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A horse that is slaughtered immediately ceases to contribute to the economy. A horse that lives adds constantly to the economy. He requires food, a veterinarian, a farrier, a dentist, and people to care for him. The ripple effect of that living horse across the economy is huge. Hay and grain will be grown and bought for him; he will require medication and vaccinations; he will require a place to live, like a boarding stable. From a purely economic point of view, it's a no-brainer.