As Mayor Bill de Blasio works to ban Central Park’s horse drawn carriages, activists have unveiled a model of a vintage antique styled electric car to replace it. It’s called the Horseless ECarriage and it was commissioned by the animal rights group NY Class.
The cars were designed to present the “old world” character of horse drawn carriages sans animal cruelty. The mayor says that the horses are being treated inhumanely. According to NY Class, these 220 horses routinely work 9 hour days on hard pavement, pulling a vehicle that weighs hundreds of pounds. At the end of the day, the horses return to tiny stalls where they’re never afforded any pasture time. In the past two years, 18 accidents have involved horse drawn carriages.
Mayor De Blasio says that if the ban goes into effect, the horses will retire to sanctuaries. Currently, according to NY Class, upon retirement, the horses are transported to Pennsylvania where they are often sold for meat and then slaughtered in Mexico and Canada.
The new horseless carriage will mean that the industry stays afloat, just in a more modernized and less cruel manner. NY Class says that it has partnered with The Creative Workshop in Dania Beach, Florida to design and create fully electric cars that serve as ideal rides for tourists. The cars seat eight passengers and provide “stadium” 360 degree viewing of the city. The cars will travel 5 mph in the park but will be able to keep up to cars in the streets. They’re also all-weather vehicles that tourists will love just the same.
The horse drawn carriage ban has become a heated battle in the city. Actor Liam Neeson put a pro-carriage op-ed in The New York Times. He said, “an entire way of life and a historic industry are under threat. We should ask whether this is the New York we want to live in: a sanitized metropolis, where local color and grit are thrown out in favor of sleek futuristic buildings and careening self-driving cars?” After his op-ed, animal rights activists picketed in front of his New York City apartment. These new vintage electric cars may be just what’s needed to please both parties and say goodbye to horse drawn carriage cruelty.
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