Monday, March 21, 2016

Animals as Vehicles

Like many people who commute to work on foot, I understand the perils of being a pedestrian.  It seems as if our transport infrastructure always caters to the needs of the automobile majority, even at the expense of other travelers just trying to get from A to B. 

It is not that car-centric communities are necessarily dangerous to others.  But they can be when paired with a sense of entitlements, one that says: "the road is for vehicles and anyone else on them is on the wrong place and deserves whatever they get".

That arrogance is why pedestrians get hit even when crossing roadways safely, even on a signaled crosswalk, because drivers just never even consider they might be there, let alone that they should always look for and give way to us. Automobiles give people power, but that is also meant to bring with it vigilance and a sense of responsibility, especially to those traversing the land in slower and more vulnerable ways.

And that does not just mean on foot, but by traditional animal-based forms of transport.  Outside of marked highways, these are also permitted forms of travel not mere inconvenient obstacles in the road.

So that is why I despair when I read of a lawyer saying, of a defendant who by all accounts (other than his own) deliberately rammed a horse and rider: "