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Hot flashes and night sweats are no fun for menopausal women, but the oestrogen-replacement drug Premarin, commonly prescribed to alleviate menopausal symptoms, is attained through such shockingly cruel methods, there’s a high chance the majority of women would seek an alternative. That is, if they had knowledge of what happens to horses to manufacture the drug. Premarin is made from horse urine – the drug’s name is short for PREgnant MARes’ urINe. Mares are impregnated annually for the sole purpose of collecting their oestrogen-rich urine. The business model of nightmares and one we see across the species, horses don’t escape the extreme confinement that is a hallmark of animal agriculture. They are tied up in stalls so small that they are unable to move either backwards, forwards, or sideways or lie down comfortably. To collect the urine, they stand with sacks strapped to their groins for months on end.  These horses are denied water and then given some in restricted quantities in order to make their urine more concentrated. This means these mares are constantly thirsty. Heavily pregnant, confined to a space barely bigger than their own swollen, dehydrated bodies.  When the mare’s baby is born, the little foal is considered “byproducts,” only brought into this world for their mother’s urine. Most of these little foals are fattened up, slaughtered, and sold as horsemeat for human consumption or turned into dog food.

The thought of going through a menopause without any chemical assistance is a daunting one for most women, but fortunately, there are humane alternatives to Premarin available.  One such treatment is Cenestin, manufactured by Duramed Pharmaceuticals, which does the same job as Premarin and is derived from plant sources (soybeans and yams).  Given circumstances under which Premarin is harvested, and the choice of an alternative that doesn’t involve atrocity-upon-atrocity, any compassionate human would give horse urine as medicine a miss. 

Author: Catherine Wright
Occupation: Project Manager
Animal Rights Activist

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