Because of high-profile cases that were brought to the public’s attention through media coverage, most people today are aware that there is something wrong with the greyhound racing industry. Those who have read of the mass slaughter carried out by David Smith of Seaham, Co. Durham and exposed by the Times newspaper in 2006, will know that this is happening on a massive scale. Smith was convicted of killing 10,000 greyhounds over a period of years and burying them on his land. Another case that received media coverage was that of Andrew Gough, who left a greyhound named Rusty to die on a Welsh mountainside. Goff had shot Rusty and cut off his ears to remove the ear tattoos by which he could be identified. Unfortunately Rusty didn’t die immediately and he was still alive and whimpering for help when a man found him days later, he had to be euthanized on the spot by a vet.
These are just two cases that have made headlines in the media. There are many hundreds more who do not. You can find more information on my website and the like. Most people, when they hear about such cases, will be horrified. Before the media got involved, the general feeling seemed to be that these cases were rare, and the greyhound racing industry went to great lengths to maintain that view, and indeed still does. Unfortunately, the truth is that even the reported cases are just a drop in the ocean of cruelty that is far more widespread than anyone outside the industry may know because it is a closely guarded secret. You can easily see why this is so. If the truth about the racing industry with its death and suffering were common knowledge, it would cease to exist—right? This is actually a valid question. On the home page of my website there are four pictures of a greyhound with a statement about the racing industry followed by the question “is it good”? Someone sent me an email a while back saying he was fine with it and that it was fine for hounds to suffer and die to entertain him.
Fortunately, most people are horrified by animal cruelty and when they learn that someone is being cruel, they will try to stop it. There are others who seem to have a different view. Although they themselves do not directly perform actions that cause suffering, they still turn a blind eye to the things that others do, preferring not to hear about it so that it does not weigh heavily on their conscience. These dizzy people are the biggest hindrance to anyone trying to bring about change for the better. They are the ones who keep the greyhound racing industry going despite increasing opposition from other, more caring people. These are the people I want to address in this article.
If you ever go to a greyhound race, even if it’s just once a year for the company Christmas party, there’s no escaping the fact that you’re a link in the chain of causation that ultimately leads to the early deaths of thousands of beautiful greyhounds each year in the UK alone. Saying you don’t harm yourself is not helpful. Compare it to a person who wants to build a house in a beautiful forest. Unless he is very talented, this person will hire various tradesmen to work on the construction of his house, and when it is finished, he will simply see the end result. A wonderful home for him and his family. He does not need to know whether the electrician put in ring or linear contacts, whether the carpenter used beech wood or ash. He trusted these traders to do their jobs correctly without his intervention. Nor must he know of the ten lovely mature trees that have been cut down to make way for his house and garden, with the consequent loss of their homes to various wild animals. He doesn’t have to know any of this, but he can’t escape the fact that he’s involved in it. Indeed he is the cause of this because he wanted his house to be built. He is a link in the chain, and when you go greyhound racing, you are a link in the chain of causation that keeps alive one of the most exploitative and cruel activities in the world today.
Please remember this and don’t support greyhound racing by burying your head in the sand and please tell everyone you know what is going on in this horrible industry. There is a lot of information on my website and others. Please take the time to explore and learn more, then it’s your choice if you want to be a link in the chain of death any longer.