New York City is a world-class metropolis with such famous landmarks as Broadway, Times Square, and of course Central Park, where couples can catch a romantic horse-drawn carriage across the city. But those horses and their drivers may soon be out of a job, as newly-elected Mayor Bill de Blasio may replace the carriages with alternatives, like classic electric cars.
This is good news for animal rights activists, who claim that making the horses walk New York’s streets is dangerous and inhumane, as well as electric car advocates who would love to see more EVs in the Big Apple. But for tourists eager for a ride in the famous horse-drawn carriages, it has meant a rush to Central Park before the carriages potentially disappear forever.
As far as vintage electric cars, there are plenty to choose from, as once upon a time electricity was the preferred method of propulsion for automobiles. Around 1,900, 38% of America’s nearly 34,000 automobiles were powered by electricity, outpaced only by steam; gasoline-powered cars accounted for just 22% of automobile sales. Of course these early electric vehicles are neither cheap to come by nor comfortable to ride in, given the archaic technology used, leading me to believe that replica antique electric cars would be the better way to go.
As much as I love old vehicles and electric cars, however, I never found the horse-drawn carriages to be either inhumane or dangerous. Accidents involving the carriages are fairly uncommon (a website devoted to fighting horse-drawn carriages lists just six accidents since 2006), and horses have been used to pull everything from cannons to carriages for thousands of years now. I’m not saying whether they enjoy it or not, and I can’t attest to the welfare or conditions of the animals, but what happens to a draft horse when there’s no work to be done? Probably not a nice retirement in a heated stall somewhere, I’ll tell you that much.
Complicated issue, this one, and I’m just not sure what side of the argument I fall on. What say you?
Source: The New York Daily News