If you've ever been to (or lived in) New York, chances are you've seen a horse drawn carriage in Central Park or the line of horses waiting outside the south side of this landmark – they've been around for over a century. Well, if you live there still, you may also be familiar with the proposed bill to ban the horse carriage business in the city. Many people have strong opinions about their presence – and appropriateness – with some celebrities getting in on the conversation, too. In June, Alec Baldwin mentioned these horses (while hosting a PETA event), saying he believes they should be banned from the Big Apple because of the "traffic related stress" adding:
I don’t have a problem with the carriage trade. If they remove all the cars in Manhattan, and build a farm with an acre of land for each horse to graze, I will invest my own money. Passions run high in this issue… It’s loud and vulgar because they know they are wrong.
Then, just last week, actor Liam Neeson wrote an open letter to the City Council disagreeing with the proposed ban. Neeson writes:
As a proud New York resident, I have personally enjoyed the beauty of Central Park on a daily basis for many years, and these horses are an undeniable integral part of that experience. The notion that a well-nourished horse pulling a carriage through Central Park is considered cruelty may fit in with animal activists' extremist view, but not with the rest of us. Surely we have a responsibility to protect commerce, especially one with such history, and one I truly feel helps define this city. May pragmatism prevail.
What's your take on this matter?