11
   

If we went back to horses...

 
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2008 05:43 pm
@dyslexia,
I didn't realize it was that many per man. I always thought about half a dozen or so. Thx, Dys.
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2008 05:58 pm
@Merry Andrew,
History proves that we are no friend of horses.
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2008 06:39 pm
It wouldn't pay to keep breeding specialized luxury horses with conformational problems, that's for sure.
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 01:32 am
The other thing the Mongols had was unlimited amounts of feed. The Eurasian steepes are grasslands - the whole economy centred around the horse. Fermented mare's milk or koumiss (or kumis or airag) is even available for the diehard horse-lover.

Quote:
....with the horse manure problem of the 19th century.

Back then, 100,000 to 200,000 horses lived in the city. A typical horse produced from 15 to 30 pounds of manure (with the average output about 22 pounds) and about a quart of urine a day, usually distributed along the course of its route or deposited in the stable, as “The Centrality of the Horse to the Nineteenth-Century American City,” an article by Joel Tarr and Clay McShane, explains.

In 1818, in an attempt to control the manure nuisance, the New York City Council required that those who gathered and hauled manure, so-called “dirt carting,” to be licensed.

This 1880 New York Times article [pdf] on the challenges facing the Sanitation Department singles out a manure pile on East 92nd Street which was supposed to be cleared once a year before May 1, but had been left in place.

The manure piles attracted huge numbers of flies, and one journalist writing in Appleton Magazine in 1908, charged that each year 20,000 New Yorkers died from “maladies that fly in the dust, created mainly by horse manure.”

The horses posed another sanitation problem when they dropped dead " sometimes from overwork, sometimes from disease (like horse distemper and other maladies that caused horses to swell overnight). In 1880, New York City removed 15,000 dead horses from its streets. But sometimes a big carcass would simply be left to rot until it had disintegrated enough for someone to pick up the pieces.
NY Times 9 July 2008

cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 06:47 am
@Mr Stillwater,
Only a quart of urine a day? Ever seen a horse take a leak????

Another question, how many handicapped horse parking spaces would be needed? I thought all horses were handicapped.....
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 01:58 pm
@Bi-Polar Bear,
are we all ready for horse-drawn street cars ?

http://www.cable-car-guy.com/images/last_horse_car_001.jpg

i recall a documentary about NY city pre-1900 . there were already so many horses on the streets that the manure started to pile up .

it's like going back to the "operator" style telephone system . i understand we would all have to work as operators for the phone companies if we didn't have automatic dialing.

would be fun to consider the internet with "operators" .
"operator , a2k please ! "
"one momment please - connecting "
"a2k here"

wouldn't that be fun <GRIN>
hbg


the a2k exchange

http://www.doingbizabroad.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/telephone-exchange-1892.jpg

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 02:31 pm
@Bi-Polar Bear,
If you went back to horses, you could watch the infant mortality rate climb through the roof. The invention of the automobile, and its subsequent proliferation was the greatest single, dramatic increase in public health in the history of the human race.

Fill the streets with manure, and the air with flies, and sit back and watch people die. Tuberculosis would increase, too. Horses, and in the ubiquitous urban livery stables, were prime vector for TB.
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 02:46 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
The invention of the automobile, and its subsequent proliferation was the greatest single, dramatic increase in public health in the history of the human race.


I must respectfully disagree with you, Set. I think antibiotics should get credit for the increase in public health. Antibiotics doubled the life span of women almost overnight. You could argue cars in a few ways, but mostly they created an increase in pollution, especially the addition of lead into the environment. I also think our exposure to farm animals was a major way in which humans learned to deal with disease. The book "Guns, Germs and Steel" gives an excellent accounting as to why humans exposed to domestic animal diseases went on to rule the world. While horses certainly added to the dirt of society, I would not pin so much human misery on them.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 02:53 pm
@Green Witch,
I really am not much interested in how much you "pin on" horses. The fact remains that urban draft animals left literally tons of manure in the streets, from which clouds of flies bred, which flied spread the diseases which caused high rates of infant and childhood mortality. As automobiles proliferated, infant and childhood mortality decreased dramatically. As i have also pointed out, horses and urban livery stables were significant vectors for tuberculosis.

I can think of few crackpot theories to explain why white boys took control of most of the world in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries than that they were exposed to domestic livestock--and Dog knows the world of academic historians is rife with crackpot explanations. But you are free, of course to believe what you want.

The fact remains that a return to domestic animals for draft purposes would be a public health disaster.
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 03:47 pm
@Setanta,
charleston , sc , has some neat horse-drawn trolleys .

http://www.tourcart.net/tourmate/img/tours/1438-1.jpg

there are just a few differences from the olden days :
- the horses have to wear DIAPERS !
- a marker with a red flag is set out when one of the horses has a good p*ss ,
and the driver notifies the clean-up crew by cellphone about "the location" .
they'll come with a wagon to flush and disinfect the "spot" .

so it takes several workers to keep each horse going !
that's not much progress imo .
hbg
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 05:06 pm
In re: the colloquy between Setanta and Green Witch: I think it was really something of a trade-off. While it's undoubtedly true that the presence of a large number of horses in cities provided vectors for all sorts of diseases which have become dramatically reduced, it is also true that the coming of the automobile -- particulalry the early models with absolutely no emission suppression -- caused new diseases to proliferate. It's the way the world, generally speaking, operates. You get rid of one problem by creating a new one. Every solution to a given problem carries within itself a potential new problem. I agree with Green Witch that the greatly increased longevity of recent times is due more to better health care and development of better medical practice (including anti-biotics and other drugs) than to elimination of the causes of early demise.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 05:10 pm
If wishes were horses,
Beggars would ride.
If turnips were watches,
I would wear one by my side.

patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 05:13 pm
@djjd62,
If burlap was satin, coffee would be really expensive.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 05:14 pm
@patiodog,
If my grandma had wheels on her, she'd be a bus,
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 06:16 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Quote:
I agree with Green Witch that the greatly increased longevity of recent times is due more to better health care and development of better medical practice (including anti-biotics and other drugs) than to elimination of the causes of early demise.


I find that rather problematic . . . if one does not survive infancy, or early childhood, an improved medical care delivery system won't benefit you very much. I only stated that the introduction of the automobile lead to the most significant single improvement in public health in human history. I didn't say that there were no other significant improvements. Dr. Snow's use of demographics to create modern epidemiological study in the suppression of disease (cholera in his case) was surely significant. Vaccination was significant. The introduction of sulfa drugs was significant. But none of them had the effect that the removal of horses from the urban environment has done. Now, anything which would have removed draft animals would have worked--in truth, it was not just the automobile, but the growth of urban public transit systems, as well. But epidemiologists are pretty well agreed that the most dramatic effect in public health was achieved with the removal of draft animals from cities. Most of the diseases to be associated with automobile exhausts have been respiratory, and cannot necessarily be said to have had as deletrious an effect on public health as did the presence of tons of manure in city streets, nor the vectors for tuberculosis. Even lead in the air from automobile exhaust cannot be said to be a cause of fatal morbidity, although it may have created many dull-witted children.

For that matter, the work of Margaret Sanger and other early "feminists" who wanted to end the deaths of women from the constant bearing of children and the then common "child bed fever" had a much more important effect on the health of women than did any amount of antibiotics.

It is interesting, though, that you note that a solution to one problem may be a problem in itself. We have, in a few decades, selected in the evolutionatry sense for bacteria which are antibiotic-resistant.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 06:19 pm
@dyslexia,
The Dys wrote:
during the cattle drive era of our history, the drovers out of texas running cattle north to places like montana, a "cowboy" would start with about 15 horses and a "good hand" was judged by how many horses survived under his care on the journey. My great-grandfather was such a drover but I have no idea how good a cowboy he was.


Wars were particularly hard on horses, which were used as draft animals, for officers, for couriers, and, of course, for cavalry. Cavalry remounts were a constant problem. After the Seven Years War, King Frederick of Prussia estimated that 600,000 horses had been worked to death--that was apart from those killed in combat.
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 12:15 am
It wasn't the car that changed the travelling habits of urban people. It was the bicycle. The horse that doesn't eat, doesn't crap and doesn't require stabling or the attentions of the vet.
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  0  
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 01:21 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
Wars were particularly hard on horses, which were used as draft animals, for officers, for couriers, and, of course, for cavalry


..and turned up regularly on the mess table, or usually in some al fresco kitchen setting. I remember reading that in the retreat from Moscow, with the conditions so freezing - a slice of horse could be removed from its flank without it even noticing.
0 Replies
 
 

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