On Tuesday, New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets (NYCLASS) hosted A Night of New York Class to help raise awareness for the fight against the New York carriage horse industry. The horses in the city are forced into terrible conditions, with already 14 horse deaths this year. The horses not only pound the pavement pulling heavy loads all day long, but they are also forced to battle through the elements, like snow and extreme heat, wear blinders so they cannot see traffic, and are often forced to stand throughout the night with not enough room to get a good nights sleep. NYCLASS is promoting an alternative to horse carriages, a horseless carriage modeled after the turn of the century vehicles.
At this week's gala, award-winning actresses Kathy Najimy and Kristen Johnston were honored for their efforts in the fight against animal cruelty. Actress and animal rights activist Pamela Anderson served as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening. Other attendees included Russell Simmons, Amanda Peet, John Slattery, Lady Bunny, Kaki West, Miss USA, and a special performance by Joan Jett and The Blackhearts.
Celebrity guests expressed their sentiments regarding the out-of-date, misappropriation of carriage horses. "Why would you not support a compassionate choice? These electric cars are better for everyone -- the environment, the horses, and they're fun to ride," mentioned Russell Simmons. Kathy Najimy expressed similar sentiments, "What purpose does this serve? We don't need to have this; it's not 1843. If people want to get through the park some way other than walking, we have those who drive petty cabs and choose it...the horses don't choose this. I feel like having this cruelty as a symbol of New York is misrepresenting one of the best cities in the world."