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I believe that most women are now aware of the evil side of Premarin, a medication that's prescribed to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. It's made from the urine of pregnant mares and involves the pain and torture each year of nearly 100,000 helpless adult horses. For most of their 11 months' pregnancy, they are confined and tethered in narrow stalls on concrete floors while catheterized to devices that collect their urine. They can't move more than a step or two in any direction or lie down. And because Premarin farmers receive more money for concentrated urine, these helpless mares are denied adequate amounts of water and suffer from dehydration, in addition to a host of other illnesses. Within a few years, they become physical and mental wrecks who end up in slaughter houses, as do their babies, who are the by-products of the Premarin industry. Each year, many tens of thousands of foals are sold to feed lots, where they're fattened until they reach meat weight. Then they're slaughtered and end up on dinner tables in Europe and Asia or as dog food.
There are a number of estrogen replacement drugs that are plant-derived, cruelty free, safe, and less expensive than Premarin. Among them are Estrace, Estriol, Ogen and Estraderm (used under the skin). Yet Premarin continues to be the most widely prescribed. Why? Because it has been on the market for a very long time, and doctors, like most persons, are creatures of habit. It's therefore extremely important that women inform their doctors that they will not participate in the slaughter of horses, young or old, and demand that they prescribe one of the plant-derived drugs.
Most Premarin farms are located in Canada, and some are in North Dakota and Montana. Since raising a foal requires special expertise that few of us have, we can help by subsidizing those who do have this expertise. --Greta Marsh Lanesboro, Mass.
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