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When Horses are Persons

Animal rights activists have considered sentient nonhumans as persons for quite some time. But on rare occasions, the animal-using world deigns to use the term when referring to an animal.

In "Hungary's Spirits Are Back Up, on a Horse," the New York Times' Nicholas Kulish reports that a thoroughbred known as Overdose, who is owned by Hungarian Zoltan Mikoczy, has become "the Hungarian Seabiscuit. He appears to remind Hungarians of themselves: undervalued and underestimated."

Overdose is doing quite well and is on a winning streak, therefore he is worth something. Kulish reports:

Since Overdose’s victory streak began, Mr. Mikoczy said, he has been offered $6.5 million for the horse, but has refused to sell.

“I didn’t buy the horse for business or to make a profit,” Mr. Mikoczy said. “You do not sell dreams.”

Here's my question for Mr. Mikoczy: What happens when Overdose isn't making money anymore? I'm just curious.

Overdose has become a celebrity and a symbol and a sign of hope for Hungary. The secretary of the Association for the Future of Equestrian Sports in Hungary, Zalan Horvath, said:

“If I were a politician, I would do the same [want to pose with Overdose, that is], because Overdose is one of the most famous persons in Hungary, even though he is a horse.”

So a horse can indeed be considered a person to the animal-exploiting world–when said horse is apparently responsible for making an entire country look good. And when he can make a politician look good.

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