Should Chicago ban horse-drawn carriages?


  • MN - 4 years ago

    That you CAN put a horse on the city streets doesn't mean they adapt well to it. What the hell?!
    It's 2020 now and we have horses which were meant to roam in the fields walking on city roads, in noisy traffic, while being practically blind folded. I don't know what else constitutes animal abuse. This needs to stop, period.
    It's not cute, why don't we put all of you who are for these rides in front of a cart, blind folded while in horrible weather and tell me again this is good exercise and good for them?!

  • Melanie Wojtulewicz - 4 years ago

    Let's ban the mounted police and the use of horse drawn carriages by Amish while we are at it. I am a biologist and love animals, but this has gone too far. I would like to know if the "animal rights activists" have ever contributed 10 cents to Lincoln Park or Brookfield Zoo, or the Shedd Aquarium. Everyone in the Middle East should stop
    riding camels. Indians should not use elephants for labor. Laplanders should stop using reindeer for transportation. Kids should stop harnassing their dogs to their little red wagons for a ride. We should stop using pack dogs for sleds in the north.
    I say MYOB and we will all be OK.

  • Susan - 4 years ago

    This poll is useless.

    1. A simple choice of yes, no, I don't know would have been sufficient.
    2. Unlimited text characters only proliferated diatribes and pontification.
    Last but, not least...
    3. Allowing multiple voting skews the results.

    I know this is Chicago but, I thought voting more than once only applied to our shady electoral history.

  • Leo palo - 4 years ago

    Horse carriages are absolutely outdated and a terrible option for a tourist attraction. The owners claim they care dor them but what they really mean is they care about their profits. These horses can go to sanctuaries they are all over the country. There isn't any excuse to continue to exploit them.

  • Ed Lawrence - 4 years ago

    I lived in suburban Chicago for 45 years and had the pleasure of horse-drawn carriage rides on many occasions. During those numerous occasions because I am a Horseman, I always examined the horses closely out of concerns for the safety of me and my companions, so I looked carefully at the horse's training, disposition, and temperament, and visually it's overall health and conditioning. I did not, on any of those occasions, witness an animal that appeared overworked, mistreated, lame or injured, or in poor general health. Just the opposite. All were gentle, pliant, looked fit, and completely at ease with what they were being asked to do. As a hands-on animal lover, I believe animal welfare is important but this is the most misunderstood issue in all my years in horses and having lived near what I consider as the most liveable large city in America. Those horses are not being abused or treated inhumanely simply because they are pulling carriages and we need to trust their owners, the City of Chicago licensing regulations, and stop trying to humanize their existence. If we keep this up pretty soon we'll have a repeat of what happened during the Industrial Revolution when our beloved American Icon lost their jobs in service to us humans were cast aside and discarded in large numbers. These horses are fine and have value earning tourist dollars for the City of Chicago. Leave them be.

  • Sarah - 4 years ago

    It’s not a matter of do they suffer, yes or no. The question should be phrased “do you care if they suffer? yes or no”

    Please put an end to exploring these poor animals

  • Ken M - 4 years ago

    Chicago is the third largest city in the US, 5th largest in North America. No one is coming for horse drawn carriages, so the idea that it's a tradition that helps tourism is laughable. Carriages have no place in cities in the 21st century.

  • James Myers - 4 years ago

    Sentient beings do not belong in the streets breathing carbon monoxide and forced to blend in with traffic; they are not machines. Not only is it cruel and unnecessary to force sentient beings to be in the streets with buses, cars, trucks, and motorcycles, but they also can't move out of the way fast enough for first responders. We can be nurturers and caretakers to all sentient beings, we don't have to exploit them. There's a reason why cities now throughout the world are starting to ban carriage horse rides; it's cruel and unnecessary, and a public hazard.

  • Frank Langholf - 4 years ago

    Decisions on the carriage should be made equine professionals in relationship to horse welfare. There are numerous uninformed opinions and these should not carry any weight. Clarity in the ordinances and consistency in enforcement is important.

    Your options are not well written.

  • Cathy - 4 years ago

    Animal rights activists set fire to our carriages in 2014. The horses were is the barn and the characters were kept outside. We were lucky to get the horses out of the barn before they inhaled too much smoke. Fortunately none of them were injured because we had somebody there to watch the horses. These are the same people that want to ban the carriages now. We realize that this is the type of people that we are dealing with. These activist just has their opinions and do not want to listen or learn about anything that may be true. They continue to lie about how we care for our animals. If our horses did not get food or water they would not look as good as they do. There are so many animals out there that need help. I would be happy to go with this group and help some animals that are in need. The carriage horses are kept, cared for and nurtured. Not to mention loved.

  • Chance - 4 years ago

    The animal rights activists have been under investigation for setting the horse barn and carriages on fire in 2014 and spray-painted for you to horses. And I believe Jodie Whittaker is under investigation for running an illegal non-profit organization without a tax identification number. For three years before she got her license.

  • m kaufman - 4 years ago

    This is a very outmoded tourist option. Anyone who has had their consciousness raised would be opposed to using animals for entertainment. Horse drawn carriages do not belong in any busy metropolitan area. The carriage industry is just exploiting animals. The heavy set driver shown in the WTTW11 piece had a 4 person carriage pulled by one lone horse. If the occupants were typical overweight Americans the load for 1 horse would be enormous. Carriage horse staff need to transition to another career that does not involve animals with no voice. I applaud the group that has taken their own time to document the abuse and end this ridiculous practice

  • JD - 4 years ago

    WTTW how irresponsible of you to give this lunatic Jodie any screen time. She is spreading false information and should be fined and jailed for her massive, ridiculous mission to spread hate and vitriol to which she knows nothing. I thought you were better than this. You are irresponsible and are taking part in spreading libel. Maybe you should be fined as well.

  • Dianne - 5 years ago

    Thank you to all who banded together to save the Chicago Carriage horses. We will not let the radical animal rights group take away our rights to own and work with our animals!!! Thank you to the Chicago Aldermen for hearing all sides and voting in favor of sound, scientific animal husbandry practices over emotive AR propaganda! Well done guys!

  • Cassandra R Standley - 5 years ago

    PETA freaks are probley behind this. I know first had what happens when they come after you, they wont stop, do we have nothing better to do with our lives then to make Nabisco change the cover of there animal cracker box because it shows animals in cages!!! We need to put a stop to this crazy crap going on around us. What do they want the world to turn into the movie jamanji. I think so and I'm gonna laugh my ass off when there animal crackers get ate by the tiger or lions they free. Because we all know most of the live in these city's and wouldn't know how to survive if they went able to order at Starbucks anymore. And go ahead put stupid messages on your cups so when your order comes up they yell out dont eat meat or whatever stupid crap. I'm gonna put I eat meat on my cup. Yummy meat!!!! Save the carriage rides if you dont then were letting them get one step closer to turning this world into a shit hole.

  • hal - 5 years ago

    Show some proof before you spout nonsense. Horses are bred to either run, pull, or perform. This is not animal cruelty. It's cruel to make an uninformed decision based on emotion rather than fact.

  • rachel - 5 years ago

    I wish all these animal rights people would actually do their homework before they decide to “free” something. They are all saying “oh the horses would much rather be running in some field being free”. Well i hate to break it to them but if the carriage industry is shut down most of these horses will end up on a slaughter truck destined to Canada or Mexico. Or have they offered to buy some land and save all these horses? Do they even know how much it costs to feed, shoe and vet these animals? It ain’t cheap! Horses love having a job and being around people. These horses are well taken care of and enjoy their jobs. Shutting down the carriage industry will be a death sentence to many of these beautiful animals.

  • Carriage on - 5 years ago

    The human/animal bond must be allowed to continue. This radical Animal Rights ideological nonsense must not be allowed to continue. These views want to remove ALL animals from our lives, yes, even your companions the dog and cat. It may seem far fetched, but little by little they work to take away our rights to own and work with animals. They use emotive propaganda to turn public opinion. Light of facts or principles based on sound, scientific animal husbandry. Don't fall for it! These horses are loved and well-cared for. Please do NOT ban carriages in Chicago. Thank you!

  • Curtis Livingston - 5 years ago

    Sorry to offend the Channel 11 viewers, but I want the Buggies to stay in The CHI. I support Animals in the Tourism Business and I'm a history nut. Boat ride? You wanna drown? I'd rather be in a Buggy. The Buggy Bickerers can move to another "Modern" city in the Land of Lincoln.

  • Barbara - 5 years ago

    It's easy to identify animal rights activists as far left liberals because they have the same unrealistic ideas about policy. Free healthcare, free college, and free the horses, elephants, orcas, etc. It all sounds wonderful, but none of it works well when put into practice because the people who provide those services expect to get paid, and it takes money to support an animal properly. Freeing a domestic animal, or one raised in captivity is a death sentence for that animal. Let's start caring for the individual and not some nebulous group. To paraphrase the activists, "It's 2018!" Time to care for an animal's welfare and not some rights it doesn't need. "Time to evolve" into caring for the animals AND their owners.

  • Loyda Tham - 5 years ago

    Tradition to make profits!Time to STOP...If the horses have the choiceThey Will surely ask to just galloping and running on an open pasture Free as they can be....That is their Right..

  • simon tempest - 5 years ago

    TRADITION .... is generally a euphemism for bad habit. PROFITS ... generally negate contrary facts and ethics.

  • Sandy - 5 years ago

    Sadly this poll is basically invalid since you can vote as many times as you want. What a shame, as it’s a very good question to put out to people.

  • Steph W - 5 years ago

    The ignorance regarding working horses is mind-boggling. What do you think will happen to these carriage horses when the Chicago companies have to close down? They will be sold to other carriage companies if lucky, if they won't find buyers (that is a lot of horses flooding an already flooded market), they will be sold at auction and who knows where they'll end up. I understand that in this day and age, work is a four-letter work for many, but these animals were bred to work just like any other working animal (service dogs, police dogs, Navy dolphins, etc etc etc).

  • Tony Troyer - 5 years ago

    Read the facts-

  • Brian H - 5 years ago

    People with absolutely no experience with horses are trying to get rid of the horses. How about banning bicycles, they speed on streets and sidewalks with no regard for pedestrians or cars.

  • Kevin Wride - 5 years ago

    37000+ selfish NO votes. I understand that a few...a few individual's livelihoods will need to be adjusted when the horse-carriage ban goes through. Seriously, our oppression of animals is ridiculous and needs to end. 2018. Supporting a NO vote is selfish and inhumane. It is selfish pride. It is control and oppression. Please think of the welfare of these animals before your $.

  • Patty - 5 years ago

    Perhaps the automotive and commercial truck routes should be limited!

  • Elaine - 5 years ago

    The only reason we can do this to horses is because we have the power to and they can't stop us. Would humans want to be enslaved and forced to do this? Anyone who supports such an activity should be ashamed of him/her self. Animals should not be owned any more than people should. We are guardians of animals--we should be doing this with kindness, respect and humaneness. This despicable activity doesn't even come close to that. It is absolutely shameful! We must speak up on their behalf--because they cannot do that and never will be able to.

  • Erin - 5 years ago

    I drive down Chicago Ave often and whenever I see one of those carriages in the street it is actually nerve-wracking. It's just too busy and congested as it is. People drive like maniacs; they are double parked on one side, others go around them by going into oncoming traffic, while on the opposite side, there is one lane with a horse & carriage that people are going around, often times crossing over into oncoming traffic. Add the never-ending construction and people crossing the street every which way... there's no reason to put a horse smack in the middle of all that chaos. Certainly not for tourist dollars. That's just a strange thing to proclaim.
    As for the horses themselves, they may be well taken care of and enjoy the work they are doing, I don't know. I doubt it, but hey, I've never owned a horse and they've never told me one way or another. But I do know that they should not be smack dab in the middle of the chaos of the city. If there can be some sort of compromise where they could take routes that are much less congested and therefore less dangerous to the horses physical and mental well-being, then they don't need to be banned completely.
    I don't think the debate is 'should horses pull carriages,' but rather 'should horses pull carriages down the congested, chaotic streets of the city.' I say that's an obvious "No."

  • Lee Dykhuis - 5 years ago

    I suppose in Chicago, where we were once encouraged to vote early and often, your poll may be kind of fun, but really, isn't this a bit below the high brow standards at wttw? I voted three times already!

  • M. Green - 5 years ago

    Just because something is tradition does not make it morally justifiable. Similar arguments were made for slavery. The city is no place for a horse. This archaic and barbaric practice must end. It's the 21st century folks!

  • Alafair - 5 years ago

    Regarding the comment about a job, Horses do not need, a job they are not welfare recipients . ALL HORSES NEED IS TO LIVE WILD AND FREE, FAR FROM HUMANS!

  • Karen Smith - 5 years ago

    Those saying its a job for the horse, well, you lay on the sidewalk all day, take in the auto fumes & see what happens. They were not bred to have there faces side by side with auto fumes! Imagine it being 90 - 100 degrees and inhaling car, bus exhaust all day! No they were never bred for that!!! Its funny..... everyone talks about the environment and yet they have animals breathing smack up against 1 of the worst pollutants on the earth, car exhaust!!!!

  • Karen Smith - 5 years ago

    It's awful for these animals, the fumes from cars. So what if it removes a part of history, history is always changing for the better!!! If we do not care about every living thing , then who will!!!

  • Anita Schneiders - 5 years ago

    Honey, we can't go to Chicago, they don't have horse drawn carriages.

    Said no tourist ever!

  • Larry LeBlanc - 5 years ago

    Do you people realize these horses have a job. They are bred to do that job. They are taken care of better than most people.
    If you end their job, you sentence them to death.
    Alive with a job, or dead.

  • Jerry - 5 years ago

    $$$ beats decent behavior...Explain why your city has no other means of income? Tourism is your big defense? If people don't get pulled by overburdoned and malnourished, easily startled horses, you go broke as a city? Clogging traffic for actual employed workers makes more sense? Chicago must be worse than I thought. Forget banning carriages. Evacuate and abandon the city, quarantining supporters of carriages inside.

  • Barbara - 5 years ago

    Casi, I own horses, but am not a carriage horse owner or driver. What's stupid is your comment that equates what a human is capable of doing with what a horse is capable of doing. A horse can be anywhere from 1000 - 2000 pounds of mostly muscle. They are more than capable of pulling a wheeled vehicle on a level surface with very little effort. Even humans can do that.
    No one is opposed to reasonable heat restrictions, but what I keep hearing from people like you is that you want them banned year round. So, let's not pretend that you are only concerned about the temperature.

  • ROSSANA CASTAGNETTO - 5 years ago

    Do not hide behind a so called tradition to commit abuse and benefit from inhumane and immoral profits!
    There are many antiquated traditions that a modern and true civilized society frowns upon now......this will be one of them if we act ethically and accordingly!!!

  • Diane Schlicht - 5 years ago

    Domesticated animals need a JOB to do for them to be healthy and happy. Take away that job, and they will die a joyless life. How would you like it if someone told YOU you had to go into a nursing home as soon as you came of age instead of living your life's purpose?

  • Del - 5 years ago

    I've had years of experience as a groomer and can say I look forward to the day I don't see a horse pulling a carriage load of people in the hot sun or in freezing temps on a congested city street. Enough already! Ban 'em!

  • Casi Mahlberg - 5 years ago

    Barbra you must be a owner ... That's the only way I can comprehend your stupid remarks! Lets strap a Carriage on you load a bunch of people in it see how far you get 90-plus weather

  • Jude MacDonald - 5 years ago

    What a ridiculous poll! I’d gladly respond that not only are these horses well cared for and happy doing what they do (according to several
    studies including testing horses for their stress levels while working) but they also benefit city dwelling humans by bringing a bit of nature into our dreary concrete filled worlds.

  • Barbara - 5 years ago

    To the guy who thinks a motorized "old" carriage is anything like a horse drawn ride: If you ever took a horse drawn ride, you wouldn't say such a thing. The experience is entirely different.

    To the girl who wants horses to be "free" in a sanctuary: Who's going to foot the bill and take care of the horses? You can't just turn them loose to fend for themselves, and not everyone who thinks they can take care of horses actually knows what they are doing. A lot of times you end up with hoarders, or unable to afford basic necessities.

    To the guy who rides his bike when it's too hot for horses: Really? Wouldn't that also be too hot for you to ride a bike? Horses live outdoors all the time. Do you?

    To the girl who claims to have seen horses "collapse" in the street: State the location and date. Horses can occasionally trip and fall down, but that isn't the same thing as "collapsing".

    To the girl who said we have no need for horses: There are a lot of things we don't need - music, movies, museums, sports, etc. But those things enrich our lives. So do horses.

    To all the activists who think anyone works with horses to get rich: HA!!! No one in their right mind would do all that work in exchange for so little money if they didn't love horses.

  • HM Blom - 5 years ago

    Carriage/working horses aren’t abused. They’re actually better taken care of than many children living in Chicago’s foster care system. Maybe Chicago city government should worry about things they’re already screwed up instead of trying to destroy another industry.

  • Elizabeth - 5 years ago

    When horses have no jobs, horses will have no value. They will go the way of the do-do.

    My horse likes to work--some of the time. Nobody wants to be over-worked.

    If you make horse carriages illegal, most of these animals will be on a truck to Canada for slaughter. City kids will lose the opportunity to learn about horses.

    Why not focus on changing the culture of animal abuse? Reasonable work is not abuse for a horse.

  • Lauren - 5 years ago

    I think they should ban them temporarily until they can get things together. Carriage rides themselves are not abusive but the rules and regulations need to be tighter and the punishments should be more severe. So the bad can get punished properly and the good won’t have to suffer because of them.

  • Barbara - 5 years ago

    Leave the carriage horses alone! They live a good life. They have all their physical and mental needs met. Horses enjoy interaction with people. They find us amusing.
    The only people that want to ban carriages are the ones that have never had hands on experience with horses. Why should we listen to them? Their good intentions will have bad outcomes for the horses and the owners/drivers.

  • John Fisher - 5 years ago

    Adapt with the future, make old-time, motorized carriages that give you the same effect as a horse drawn one. That way horses aren't breathing in toxic fumes all day. Also taking it away is not taking away any Chicago history, it has only been going on for 40 years and its a total tourist trap

  • Lorraine Wasso - 5 years ago

    These horses are bred to do this. They are not being abused. This has to be overseen to be sure to make sure they are not abused. The veterinarian says they are not abused and I believe they are not.

  • Lisa - 5 years ago

    We have cars, trains, bikes, buses, etc. We have NO NEED for horses. End carriages. They are disgusting.

  • Tim - 5 years ago

    Lol @ horses bring tourism dollars. We have plenty of great spots for tourists and ancient carriages is not one of them. No one likes horse farts.

  • Mary - 5 years ago

    How incredibly biased and shameful wording of the poll.

  • Donna F - 5 years ago

    What a great example of biased writing of poll questions. How about, "No. There is no credible, sound, well-researched, knowledge-based, and/or rational REASON for banning them." Tourism dollars are all very well and good, too, but there are more things to consider than that.

  • Cameron - 5 years ago

    This article/poll has horse carriage owners jimmies rustled. Please do more articles about bad horse carriages are so the public can help to ban them.

  • Jack - 5 years ago

    Walk that’s why “we” have legs!

  • Sam - 5 years ago

    Bye bye horse carriages. Cruel and outdated. Funny the only people voting no are the horse carriage owners! All they care about is money! Find a new job! One that doesn't use animals!

  • anne - 5 years ago

    those big ole draft or draft crosses are not being hurt by pulling a carriage. they probably spend more time lounging vs pulling anyway.
    you would think Chicago would have a far greater concern about real issues like their hideous murder rates, the killing of innocent kids in drive bys, the areas of their city eaten by decay, their burdensome tax rates where the money apparently doesn't make it to schools or infrastructure. Gotta love the ARs. How many times did you clowns revote?

  • Susan - 5 years ago

    Another BS poll. Any poll that allows you to vote more than once is bogus. Get someone to write the poll so you get actual voting results.

    The poll was written so a yes vote means a negative response. A No vote means a positive response.

    Appropriate that this story is presented on the Politics Page where facts are ignored in favor of opinion.

  • Sheri - 5 years ago

    This is ridiculous, people do not understand horses. I have owned horses my whole entire life, not to mention a boarding farm, and have rested horses for the Chicago carriage company. Those horses get the best possible care !! These animals are bred to withstand what they do. To all the people that are going to vote against this, have you guys thought about where these animals are going to go i? Are you willing to pay their board fee of $550 a month plus all their medical bills? I know the vet that one of these companies use and I can tell you he’s one of the best. People are not willing to take horses just as pets,they cost to much money.If you do not know horses or understand them, I highly encourage you to educate yourselves . This greatly upsets me, as a horse owner of 30+ years. People can vote on this subject consciously and know nothing about horses . If people think that horses are meant to be out in the wild running free that’s not how it goes anymore. We have domesticated them. Horses depend on us to take care of them and I know for a fact that those horses in the city have better care than most horses in boarding barns. All these animal activist people that think what they’re doing is cruel really needs to investigate how great these horses are cared for. Horses are social animals if you don’t think they like this work or this attention I encourage you to visit your local boarding barn

  • Linda Vasquez - 5 years ago

    Its time to move forward and accept that some "traditions" were only made with people in mind. Horses do not belong in the city. They do not deserve to breathe car exhaust their entire day and then have to walk back home to their barn at the end of it. If you want the joys of the "country" then go there and ride horses in their real habitats. We have to worry about bikers getting hit by cars everyday, do you really want to see it happen to a horse?

  • S Ott - 5 years ago

    As usual, people who know nothing about animals are showing how ignorant they are. Seriously, horses are not harmed by being ridden or used to pull a carriage. That is what they were bred to do. Too sad for Chicago and all horse lovers that there are so many people out there that don't see how this is a positive for everyone.

  • Amy - 5 years ago

    I'm not an animal rights activist but any one with half a brain can see how awful carriages are for horses. I've seen them collapse in the street from exhaustion. There's NO REASON to use horses, we have cars! Come to 2018 folks!

  • brad b - 5 years ago

    Traditions that oppress another are best left to die rather than the oppressed. I doubt a big tourist attraction is a carriage ride. Its mainly the greed of these carriage owners that argue its good without concern for the horses to which all kinds of claims of "horses are adaptable" to justify it. Perhaps we strap a rickshaw to them and have them cart people around and say "you`ll adapt"

  • Cathy - 5 years ago

    It is a shame that the carriages have so much public support yet the animal rights activists sat up all night and kept Voting so that they could skew the results of the survey. You are only supposed to vote once.

  • Jeff klein - 5 years ago

    Ban them. I ride my bicycle around the city and have seen these horses suffering in the heat, barely being able to move. the carriage drivers only care about their paycheck and will make up any excuse to keep them working.

  • Christina - 5 years ago

    What’s the point of an internet poll where people can vote over and over? It’s well-known that animal activists are keyboard warriors, who vote on these things repeatedly, while carriage drivers and other horse people are too busy actually caring for their animals to keep refreshing the page and clicking.

    Meanwhile, actual scientific polls in both NYC and Charleston have shown that the general public overwhelmingly opposes banning carriage horses. Equine veterinarians all agree that the welfare of carriage horses is good. The safety record of commercial carriages is stellar - far safer than any other equine activity or form of traffic on the public way. There is no reason to ignore science and to violate carriage drivers’ human rights just to appease a handful of single issue special interest voters.

  • Christine Fox - 5 years ago

    Ban them! They are terribly cruel and hurt the horses, they are not meant to carry people let alone carriages. The carriages are dangerous and outdated and the horses deserve to be free in a sanctuary. We don't need to use animals anymore so lets not! Much thanks to the alderman in support of this ban, will be good to not see these horses struggling in 95 degree heat.

  • L Goen - 5 years ago

    Keep the carriages! well meaning people with zero horse experience should not be making policies or laws about horses. Carriages are not cruel, it's physically easier than carrying a rider. Having horses in a city is not cruel either. Horses are extremely adaptable animals just like dogs and cats they've lived beside humans for thousands of years. Like herding dog breeds, horses need a lot of exercise and a job. Left alone in a pasture many will get fat and bored too. City carriage horses get exercise and affection from people all day long. They are well fed and vetted often. It's a good life for a horse.

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