One legal definition of slavery is a civil relationship in which one person has complete control over another’s life, fortune, and liberty. This is the business of thoroughbred horse racing.

In this cruel industry, horses are bought, exploited for monetary gain, and then cast aside when they are no longer useful, often to be sold to slaughterhouses. It’s an industry in which thousands of these beautiful animals are bred and raised each year for the sole purpose of providing entertainment for the public and a return on an “investment” for their owners.

Yearling horses are forced to train when their muscles, bone structure, and joints are vastly underdeveloped. Sometimes they are injected with performance-enhancing drugs, which can result in internal bleeding and ulcers, among other symptoms.

For those horses who make it to the track, many will suffer devastating injuries that require immediate euthanasia. Upward of 900 horses die on the track every year in North America . Horses who make it past the track are often sold to slaughterhouses, and their flesh is used for human consumption or turned into pet food. Moments before death, horses are aware that they are about to be killed. Many times the horses, who are trapped in restraints, will move their heads up and down to prolong their lives for a few more seconds, refusing to look down the barrel of the bolt gun aimed at their heads. These intelligent and beautiful creatures do not deserve this.

Horses in the racing industry are stripped of their life and liberty from birth. They are owned, sold, and forced to perform for the fortune of others. It is outrageous that this type of activity is not only allowed but also glorified as the “sport of kings.” Horse racing has no place in an enlightened society, and this modern-day form of slavery has to end immediately. No sentient being should have their life and liberty taken from them.

Do you have family or friends who attend horse races?

This post was written by PETA guest writer Garen Momdjian.