By Shawna Flavell
We are barely a week into 2010, and it's already shaping up to be a winning year—for greyhounds in Massachusetts, that is.
Thanks to voters who passed a dog-racing ban in the state, forcing dogs to participate in these cruel and pointless events is now illegal, and the law went into effect, rather appropriately, on New Year's Day.
This victory has been a long-time coming for these animals—greyhounds' natural speed and grace have been exploited for human benefit since the days of the ancient Egyptians. Thousands of greyhounds are killed each year as the declining dog-racing industry struggles to stay alive. Puppies are killed in the name of "selective breeding" before they ever touch a racetrack, and dogs who do qualify to become racers typically live in cages and are kept muzzled by their trainers at all times. And once the dogs who are forced to race are no longer able to run, many are abandoned, starved, shot, or sold to laboratories.
Thankfully, Massachusetts has realized that 2010 is the year to create new traditions—ones that don't involve the needless suffering of animals for human amusement. Now to get the last eight states that still allow this exploitation to make a similar resolution.
Photo Credit: Andrew Semansco