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Jon Stewart and Liam Neeson argue over NYC's horse carriage banJon Stewart and Liam Neeson argue over NYC's horse carriage ban

WATCH: Neeson and Stewart Argue Over Horse-Drawn Carriage Ban

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Liam Neeson stopped by “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” on Wednesday to promote his new movie ‘Non Stop’ but the conversation quickly changed directions leading to an argument about New York City’s ban on horse-drawn carriages.

The guest and host debate began when Neeson mentioned he was annoyed at New York City’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, who is pushing to ban all horse carriages in the city.

“I’m a little pissed off at our new elected mayor,” said the Irishman who lives in New York City with his children and cited that a poll showed that 60 percent of New Yorkers want to keep the carriages in the city. “The horse carriage industry, they made the roads of New York.”

Stewart who lives by Central Park, where most of the city’s carriages circulate, was quick to step in to defend the horses saying he felt bad for them when he saw them on the streets.

When Neeson disagreed saying the horses were treated like “children” by the carriage owners, Stewart replied with the stinging humor he’s known for.

“If DYFS, the Division of Youth and Family Services, ever found out they’re keeping their children in 60 square foot stalls and feeding them twice a day buckets of grain… That is not good parenting as far as I’m concerned.”

Neeson claimed that the facts Stewart was giving were lies but Stewart didn’t back down.

“I really hope the two sides can work it out because it seems from my perspective that this is not a particularly fulfilling life for an animal.”

Neeson reacted by getting up and faking the start of a fist fight with the interviewer, both sides not backing down but humorously agreeing to disagree — at least in front of the cameras.

Way to go, Jon Stewart, for standing up for animals and not letting his guest use his show to promote an outdated and cruel practice that keeps horses from enjoying their lives on grassy fields where they belong.

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  • ThinkThisThrough

    From above – “Way to go, Jon Stewart, for standing up for animals and not letting his guest use his show to promote an outdated and cruel practice that keeps horses from enjoying their lives on grassy fields where they belong.”

    Do you people ever actually look into anything on your own – or have the ability to think for yourselves?

    Anyone who speaks truthfully about the realities of the situation, or has a different viewpoint instantly qualifies as: “being paid by the carriage owners”, “inherently inhumane”, “cruel”, a “slave owner”, a “torturer”, someone who “must approve of slaves”, keeps their animals in “shackles” and “cells” and “prisons”.

    I personally find it convincing when someone continues to scream more and more outrageous comments for longer and longer periods of time. Using reason and logic is way overrated anyhow.

    I know, I know, it will all be wonderful. “The horses are all going to the grassy fields of the sanctuaries”, or they could be “set free”. Right. The sanctuaries which do exist are stretched for space and resources – but in this case it is just going to be so wonderful and easy. How much pasture and feed can 220 horses actually need anyhow.

    And when I say that I’m taking your dog/cat and going to send it away for someone else to look after (how could you as the owner possibly have any knowledge about your own animal – surely the animal rights groups are the only ones who know what is best for everyone), you’re not going to have a problem with it.

    Just turning animals free is such a convincing and intelligent solution too. Any animal would do well if we just took them out of the city and turned them loose.

    Maybe someone should make it easy and just give you a list of the ten most commonly used lines – and then you wouldn’t even have to type. You could just pick number 1 ( the practice is “inherently inhumane”), or number 4 (horses which spook become “weapons”) – I always find that one to be particularly intelligent, and from someone who is obviously very familiar and knowledgeable when it comes to horses.

    I realize I’ve wasted my time in making such a ridiculous request (to ask people to look into this or put some rational thought into it), and have therefore qualified myself as someone who doesn’t realize that “this is 2014”, and that “we’re better than that now” – but this repetitive, misinformed drivel has gotten really old.

    • John ‘Genryu’

      Don’t be such a prick

      • ThinkThisThrough

        Maybe I could have approached this differently, but I think that the other comments on this page underline the point that I was trying to make.
        Since Liam doesn’t agree with the activists viewpoint:
        Comment number 1 tells us that he is the equivalent of “an abuser”, “a torturer”, someone who “doesn’t care about the exploitation of animals”, etc., etc.
        Comment number 2 says that he should be harnessed to a cart and have to pull it around NYC all day.
        The activists would word this something like – the horse is “shackled” and “forced” to “drag a carriage” “weighing hundreds of pounds’ in the “blazing heat” or the “frigid cold” until the horses “nearly collapse from exhaustion”.

        No one bothers to factor in any of the following: how much a horse actually weighs, how much a carriage actually weighs, the fact that being on wheels makes the carriage easier to pull, etc.,
        Suppose a young person has a paper route with a number of customers on it. Which is the easiest way for them to carry their stack of newspapers – in a knapsack on their back, or putting the papers in a wagon, and pulling the wagon?
        There is no question that animals deserve to be well treated, and hope that people continue to support local shelters and groups which are actually doing something to help.
        I have absolutely no respect for groups that rely on such hysterical statements in order to try and raise more money.
        Don’t show me a bunch of ads telling me how much good you’re doing, prove it to me instead.

        • whattosay

          Your entire answer is basically…..”they exploit them nicely”. Let’s say they do treat the horses well, which I don’t believe for one second, but let’s say that is the case. If the horse breaks a leg, somehow I’m guessing he’s not going to be seen as anything more than a disposable asset on a balance sheet…..but let’s just go with the narrative that they are cared for.

          Nowhere in your comments do you actually explain why, on any kind of conceptual level, is it ok to treat horses as nothing but our “play things”. It’s always viewed from the human-centric narrative, as they are dying to drag us around a city, inhaling car fumes. They just live for that!! They are just dying to make somebody else money. It’s amazing how that works isn’t it?

          You want to know why I think any sentient creature wants? The same things you do, which is to have their own freedom and autonomy to do what they want. Somehow, out of all the things one can do in this world I don’t think they would prefer to be doing that for 12 hours a day. Just a shot in the dark.

          Yes, there is a logistical aspect to this, as far as where to put the horses. Honestly, I doubt you’ll have trouble finding sanctuaries around the world who would take them in, especially for an issue such as this.

          But even if there weren’t sanctuaries taking them in, it still wouldn’t make this ok.

          It reminds of me the same rhetoric that people use to defend the actions of Sea World. Just because an animal is born into exploitation and can’t survive on his own due to this, doesn’t make exploitation somehow justified.

          Also, nowhere in your replies do you mention how this continuous circle should end. Your thought process being that since we can’t put these horses in sanctuaries, they should continue to keep on doing this. If you are truly consistent with your beliefs than you should be against any NEW horses from being put in these positions, so when the last of the current horses who are being used for this dies, then the industry dies with it….right? You’d be in favor of that right, considering you have the best interest of the horses in mind, right? Especially, since none of this necessary, and done to please tourists who just don’t feel like walking.

          • Sandika

            Beautifully intelligent reply, thank you.

        • Deedie

          Not all who are concerned for animal welfare are “activists”.

        • 1bestdog

          Learn the facts before you start spewing out of your asz. Stewart lives near Central Park and SEES the horses and what they go through.

  • WickedCats

    Neeson could give a damn about animals. Not surprised. This from a man who participated in eating wolf stew when he made a movie a couple of years ago, just to get in character. Screw you Neeson.

    • future girl

      U mean he COULDN’T give a damn. Unfortunately most people in society don’t care about animals. Mainly because eating meat is an addiction that de-sensitizes people. Then there are those who eat meat & care only about certain animals – cats, dogs & horses. The are speciesists. They pretend to themselves that cows, chickens, pigs etc. are somehow lesser & unworthy of good treatment & of life. This is such a lie. All animals are equal, inclining us.

      • Sandika

        U mean INCLUDING us.


  • Liane Blanco

    Liam’s an asshole, evidently. An entitled asshole. He should be harnessed to a cart and made to pull it around NYC all fucking day.

  • EricSweden

    What. A. Tool. Being facetious or not, the suffering of these gentle creatures is not a joking matter.

  • michael92064

    The horse carriage industry had a chance to self regulate and blew it. How many chances do they get?

  • Kathleen

    John Stewart knows nothing of horses, and neither do a lot of people on this thread making comments. Do yourselves a favor and take a tour of Clinton Stables and take a carriage ride before judging. Horses are a lot hardier than humans who walk and bike along the same pathways. Get rid of the toxic cars and replace them with hybrids, but not the horses. They’re are apart of the reason America exists, we have so much to thank them for. Horses have been domesticated for centuries. Wild horses have there share of problems, too. There are farm horses, that pull plows, show horses, race horses, carriage horses etc. Their’s also a big movement to breed horses for their meat. They are very expensive to keep, and a lot of work to maintain and generally they are loved by their owners.

    • peopleareidiots

      This is just brilliant!!

      “They’re are apart of the reason America exists”

      Guess what? So is slavery. What in the world does this have to do with anything? We do not live in the 18th and 19th centuries. If that’s how you want to live, then get off your computer right now. I’m kind of crazy. I think the more a society evolves, the less exploitive it should be.

      “we have so much to thank them for”

      Here’s a good idea of how to thank them. How about you stop forcing them to carry your lazy asses around? How’s that for an idea? How about you stop viewing them as a form of entertainment? I would think that if you really cared about an animal you wouldn’t have any interest in exploiting them and would prefer to just basically see them live as peaceful of a life as they want for their own reasons, and not your own. How’s that for an idea on how to thank them?

      “They are very expensive to keep, and a lot of work to maintain and generally they are loved by their owners.”

      I love this nonsense. You have a group of people who purposely breed these animals for the sole reason of profiting off of them, then you’ll complain about how expensive it is, and say “what are we supposed to do about it??” How about you stop breeding them? What a wild idea!!! Oh….but then who would carry my pampered ass? They should exist for those reasons, just like any other creature would want to. It’s amazing how self-centered people are. It blows my mind.

      How in the world are you supposed to be taken seriously? Do you really think any creature would prefer to carry people around all day long around a city as congested as New York City? Really? You think that’s what any creature would want to do with their lives?

      When people make comments like this, you can tell they view these animals as nothing but part of the scenery. It’s pathetic.

      • 1bestdog

        And every day, back in the day, horses dropped dead in city streets from exhaustion. Nice tradition.

    • ThinkThisThrough

      Hi Kathleen,
      You’ve maybe encountered this before, but in the couple of months that I’ve been following this story, there is something which I’ve seen more and more.
      The animal rights groups tell us that “how we treat animals is a reflection of how we treat people”. It’s one of their statements that I agree with, and I think it has a lot of merit.
      It’s interesting to note however, that how we treat people is considered irrelevant. If someone expresses their own opinion, they are instantly referred to as someone who exploits animals, approves of slavery, etc., etc.
      Berating or belittling someone who doesn’t have the exact same opinion seems to be considered quite acceptable.
      I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a group of more angry or unhappy people.
      If this is proof that accepting their viewpoint makes you a better person, I can’t say that I’m all that convinced of it.

      • peopleareidiots

        OMG…I didn’t realize you were the victims in all of this. I feel like an idiot. All this time I thought this was about animals and how they are treated for other people’s entertainment.

        Silly me. I should have known who are the ones who are really suffering. It’s the people that want to continue to do what they damn well please to other creatures without having to hear anything negative about what they are doing.

        Do you think stances like the ones you have are just magically entitled to respect because you demand it so? Are 2 opposing views just automatically entitled to the same respect?

        Does it work like this?

        “I want animals to carry people around in a congested city for 12 hours a day for no reasons that are absolutely necessary for any parties involved, especially the horses, and anybody who doesn’t agree with this brilliant piece of logic is closed minded.”

        Of course you can’t argue it on any kind of conceptual level, so you basically just play the martyr card. That’s the way it will always be.

        I’ll tell you what….. if there were others treating you in the same disposable manner, I’d have empathy for you, not for the ones committing these actions to you, and especially not for others who are trying to justify this.

        It’s weird how something like that would make somebody angry, right?

        “Berating or belittling someone who doesn’t have the exact same opinion seems to be considered quite acceptable.”

        I’m sorry but aren’t you the same person who commented on this board by saying

        “Do you people ever actually look into anything on your own – or have the ability to think for yourselves?”

        I guess that’s not berating or belittling because after all when YOU say something antagonistic, then it doesn’t count.

        The person who responded to your comment, asked a very simple question, and of coursed you dodged it and played the martyr card. Here’s the question:

        “Nowhere in your comments do you actually explain why, on any kind of conceptual level, is it ok to treat horses as nothing but our “play things”.”

        Why can’t you answer that? Don’t play the victim. If you are knowledgeable about a subject and truly care about these horses, than why don’t you just simply answer that question. Why, when it’s not necessary, is it ok to do this in the first place??? It’s a very simple question.

        “If this is proof that accepting their viewpoint makes you a better person, I can’t say that I’m all that convinced of it.”

        Cool, so I’m of the viewpoint that it’s ok to scream as loud as I can in your ear. If you don’t agree with my viewpoint, then that makes you a worse person for just not mindlessly accepting a viewpoint that I’ve asserted is just automatically entitled to respect.

        “It’s interesting to note however, that how we treat people is considered irrelevant.”

        So hearing something negative about your beliefs are the same thing as the way animals are treated??? Really? Would you trade that experience for being ACTUALLY treated the way humans treat animals.

        Just think if aliens came to Earth and decided to treat the human species the way animals are treated by the billions all for the sake of taste preference, convenience, entertainment, vanity, and tradition. When something like that happens I’ll lose sleep over you having your feelings hurt, because you had to hear something that didn’t automatically give you a happy face.

        Let me guess you are not going to read any of this, and I’ll have to hear how rough you had it because somebody dares to question a societal norm that you’ve been indoctrinated to believe is acceptable behavior.

    • 1bestdog

      So the stables are “nice” I have lived in NYC for 30 years and see everyday how these animals react in traffic, pulling fat tourists in 89 degree weather. It is not pretty.

  • deninbtn

    Why is Neeson such an avid supporter of horse drawn carriages?
    The guy is a knob.
    He also has a fb page, leave a comment: https://www.facebook.com/Liam4everneeson?fref=ts

  • 1bestdog

    Bravo to Jon Stewart. Meanwhile the fluff look at me I interrupt guests narcissist Jimmy Fallon agrees with Neeson.

  • Rebecca

    The horses must be freed. Keeping animals in a state of servitude will be argued by some as forcibly as it has been argued in history to continue enslaving people – doesn’t make it RIGHT. Besides compassion and enlightenment reasoning, science and animal physiology arguments are on OUR side, that of the animal activists: no one with any true knowledge of horses – their feet and hooves, lungs, sensitivities to smell and sound – can seriously argue in this day and age that these animals belong on a city street pulling tourists thru cars and traffic. I am also disturbed at recent attempts by carriage horse drivers to confuse people that they are rescuing horses from slaughter – sadly, thousands of horses do go to slaughter, but forcing them into servitude is not a great way to salvage those lives and more often than not, the carriage horses who “retire” disappear and in truth, have been sold to the highest bidder: destination is still slaughter. So many can’t even be traced to where they ended up! But – the times, they are a changing. People are speaking up: no more enslaved animals on the streets of NY!

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