Ms. Michele, a long-term opponent of the practice has been joined by a number of other media stars who claim that the suffering of the horses who pull these carriages is both dangerous and unjustified.
Lea Michele, star of the TV musical series, Glee, has, for a long time, associated herself with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) movement, especially in their campaign to put an end to the centuries long New York tradition of having horse-drawn carriages operating in Manhattan particularly around the year of Central Park.
According to PETA and those such as Ms Michelle, who strongly oppose this tradition, much as it is one of the most important and high-profile tourist attractions in the Big Apple, if the public will be aware of the suffering caused to these animals by their owners and operators they would be considerably more reluctant to step into these one of these carriages.
Not only are these horses forced to work long hours, there are daily exposed to the worst of Manhattan rush-hour traffic, with many of them being injured in accidents and even a few killed. In addition, the horses are stabled within the city, in difficult conditions and very rarely have the opportunity to run free in country surroundings.
Joining Lea Michele to publicize the PETA campaign are other entertainment stars including the singer and songwriter, Pink, media personality Wendy Williams and Peter Dinklage, star of the popular Game of Thrones television show, with the aim of spreading their message that horses don’t belong in city traffic.
Lea recently used the power of social media, appearing in a secretly filmed YouTube video, that exposed the often horrendous working conditions that these horses have to endure seven days a week. Born and raised in New York Lea Michele emphasized her point by posing with a former carriage horse that had been rescued by PETA and had been “retired” to spend the rest of his days on a farmhouse outside the city.
In the video Ms. Michele, who has been associated with PETA for the last three years asked viewers to take a moment to imagine the plight of these horses who have been sentenced to a life of hard physical labor all day, seven days a week, irrespective of the weather conditions, and at the end of their shifts, are locked away in a tiny cell like container all night long.
PETA’s campaign is beginning to gain more public support than in the past and they have recently gained a major high in recently appointed Mayor of New York, Bill De Blasio who has come out in favor of reconsidering the plight of these horses who have been destined to a life of pulling these carriages..
Lea Michele was born into a mixed Roman Catholic and Sephardic Jewish family in the borough of Bronx in New York City .
From an early age, Lea was recognized as having considerable potential as a singer, making her Broadway debut at the age of just 8 years old in 1995 in the role of Young Cosette in Les Misérables, following that up by appearing, once again on Broadway, in the original production of Ragtime which opened in 1998. Lea was back on Broadway in 2004 in the Broadway revival of the musical Fiddler on the Roof.
After high school Lea attended the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, but passed up on her degree in order to begin working professionally, first taking the part of of Wendla Bergmann in the musical version of Spring Awakening, which first opened Off-Broadway, later being cast in the same role for the full Broadway production which opened in 2006, when she was aged just 20. For her part in the musical Lea was nominated for a Drama Desk Award in the category of Outstanding Actress in a Musical.
It was her performances in Spring Awakening that caught the attention of Ryan Murphy, creator of the television series, Glee, who was reportedly on a specific look out for young singers and actors who have already gained considerable experience in live theatrical roles, with Lea following exactly into that category.