Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Wild Mustangs By David Cruise and Alison Griffiths
|October 20, 2010||Posted by Christa McGrath under Uncategorized|
Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Wild Mustangs provides a tell-all tale about the plight of the wild mustang in the United States during the middle part of the 20th century. At that time, these horses were brutally hunted and killed for commercial purposes (many of them ended up in tin cans for cat and dog consumption). Their relentless captures and inhuman slaughters came to a halt at the hands of one determined animal activist who fought to protect them from such brutality. It all began one faithful morning on her commute to work where Velma Johnston witnessed a truckload of bloodied and bludgeoned wild horses on their way to a slaughterhouse. So disturbed by such an appalling and gruesome sight, she spent the better part of the following two decades crusading on their behalf. Lobbying ranchers and politicians alike, she raised public awareness and gained support of Americans across the country.
Though not without any faults, Velma Johnston epitomized perseverance, strength, courage, and compassion as she continually fought an uphill battle. A lady with a kind heart and brave soul proved to be a thorn in the side of those who participated in and supported such brutal slaughters. It is even said that the wild mustang exists today because of her efforts, proving that one person really can make a difference.
Velma overcame many obstacles in her life. As a child she battled polio and suffered the loss of her beloved brother. These obstacles likely shaped who she was to become as an adult, giving her the tools to wage on in her war to save the wild mustangs. With the support of her husband, she single-handedly took on ranchers, politicians, the legislature, and even the nation’s president with such an unwavering determination and a tenacious personality that you can not help but be inspired. She continued her crusade after her husband passed away and even while she battled cancer some years later (though her involvement was to a lesser degree by that time). Her story proves that hard work, determination, and passion can persevere despite the battles fought along the way. The world is lucky to have people like Velma Johnston—those who are not afraid to stand up for what is right so that future generations can enjoy the beauty of the wild.
This book is, at times, difficult to read. The graphic descriptions of the wild mustangs’ torture are disturbing and may not be for the faint of heart. We are reminded of the cruelty and callousness of humans and the challenges of creating animal protection laws. And though Velma made such great strides in saving the breed during her time on earth (she succumbed to cancer in the mid 1970s), the wild mustangs continue to be hunted today. The authors do a superb job of sharing Velma’s story to save the wild mustang and raise awareness on their behalf once again. This is a must read simply because wild horses (and indeed any species that walk this earth) are too often at the mercy of humans and their voices deserve to be heard.
Browse inside Wild Horse Annie.