Posted by Russ Cable on September 14, 2005
In Reply to: They shoot horses, don't they?" posted by Conando on September 14, 2005
: Does the phrase "they shoot horses, don't they?" mean anything other than the movie title? I've heard it used but don't quite get the meaning...
Prior to the days of modern veterinary science, it was common practice (and considered merciful) to shoot a horse with a broken leg to "put it out of it's misery." Back then it was considered almost impossible to successfully heal the broken leg bone of a large heavy horse, and even today it often requires surgery, metal implants and much care.
Without giving away the plot of the book and the movie, the title/phrase is trying to say that if a horse in such miserable shape would automatically be shot, why should a human being be expected to endure it?