A secretary turned animal activist paves the way to protect the wild mustangs of Nevada from cruel and inhumane capture.
Back in the 1950s, Velma Johnston follows a stock truck on her way to work and espies that it is “crammed full of wild horses that were beaten and bloody from tromping on one another.” A rancher herself, Velma’s love of horses leads her to research on capture-based information following several trips to the Bureau of Land Management. There she learns that the eradication of wild horses is supposedly directly proportionate to the competition for grass with ranchers’ cattle. Not true, since horses digest small amounts or grass compared to cattle. Velma—aka Wild Horse Annie because of her fierce activism—leads a grassroots campaign whereby schoolchildren write letters to the U.S. government that raises awareness of the mustang plight. What results becomes known as the 1959 Wild Horse Annie Act.
Award winning photographer and author Corky Scranta scripts an amazing and highly informative story about a current animal rights issue that first came to the forefront over fifty years ago by one courageous woman. A combination of Scranta’s stunning photos and well-researched narrative, Scranta’s latest book not only includes a wealth of historical background on these incredibly beautiful creatures, but also the governmental changes that have taken place since The Wild Horse Annie Act. Examples include the establishment of various horse advocate organizations, how the 1959 Act has been amended and contested in the Supreme Court, and sadly, the availability of these gentle horses to kill-buyers who in turn sell the horse meat for consumption—mostly for dog food. Amid the dismal equine demise, Scranta provides hopeful information for those who desire to support this well-needed cause.
With a percentage of proceeds from this book going directly to horse sanctuaries, THE WILD ONES is an essential book that should be widely read, as well as incorporated in school curricula.