James Cromwell isn’t just the star of movies like Secretariat; he’s a superstar for the animals. His latest campaign is to ensure that racehorses get the retirement they deserve when they leave the track.
Back in 1995, when he was filming the movie Babe, about a pig on a farm, Cromwell gave up eating meat and became a vegan. He’s donated his services to numerous animal causes, including narrating the documentary Farm to Fridge, a journey through the world of factory farming by the organization Mercy for Animals.
And now he’s taken up the cause of racehorses, who, once their money-making days are over, are often shipped to horse slaughtering plants in Canada and Mexico. The thousand former racehorses are sent to slaughter each year.
This week, right after the Kentucky Derby, Cromwell sent a letter to the Jockey Club, saying that “These magnificent animals should not end up on a meat hook after a terrifying journey to a terrifying death.”
Cromwell is supporting a campaign to set up a Thoroughbred 360 Lifecycle Retirement Fund, which would require owners and breeders to pay a $360 fee for new foal registrations, ownership transfers, and stallion or broodmare registrations. The racing industry breeds 30,000 new foals every year, so the fund would generate more than $20 million each year toward the retirement of racehorses. You can join the campaign here.