The damage and destruction that wide scale "intensive farming" of domestic cows, pigs, chickens and billions of other defenseless creatures does to the planet and environment (not to mention the animals themselves) is not something that can be ethically defended and rationalized. It is also demoralizing to those humans working in intensive farming and high speed slaughtering operations. A recent news article reported that Canada is experiencing much difficulty attracting and keeping workers in slaughterhouses. They are hoping Syrian refugees will be willing to take the jobs.
Instead of "feeling sad" (or insulting a horse carriage driver) when seeing carriage horses on the street, it is far more productive to offer a carrot to the horse and engage the driver in respectful conversation. Ask questions. Learn about the profession. Learn about horses. Seek the common ground with those working with and (like us), caring about animals -- even if not necessarily to the same degree or same way as us.
Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
During the year or so of being engaged in the carriage horse debate, I have witnessed intense polarization, vitriol, condescension, endless accusations and even hate being hurled from both sides of the animal welfare vs animal rights coin.
We need to recognize that the real "enemy" to justice and life for animals is social apathy and eventual removal of animals from our world. -- PCA