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August 04, 2008

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Anna

What you say makes a lot of sense, IMO. I'm learning through experience, that good meat is good meat, regardless of the animal (most of food acceptability is cultural). So I wouldn't have anything against eating horsemeat per se, but I wouldn't want meat from a neglected emaciated horse any more than I would want it from any unhealthy animal (I seek out producers of healthy meat and avoid factory farmed). But processing for pet food makes sense and I'm pretty sure my cats would eat it (I prepare raw food for them) and I'm sure my friends' dogs who eat raw food would eat it too.

I was in Italy a few weeks ago and while shopping in a typical supermarket, and noted the meat cases marked with the various meats, including equina (horsemeat). Not a huge section compared to the more familiar meats, but there nonetheless, looking a lot like beef.

On another note, I've been enjoyed range-fed bison lately, as well as goat. My local "hobby farm" just notified me that the butcher she used from the county fair included the pig head with her order (cut in half) as well as the trotters (dressed pig feet), so I'm trying those soon, too.

Rebecca T. of HonestMeat

Hrsygyrl brings up some good points, although I believe the last two horse slaughterhouses they shut down in the US last year dealt exclusively with horses. And if we think we don't kill horses humanely in the US, how about across the border in Mexico? I don't imagine it is more humane there. How about instead of legislating away the option of horse slaughter in this country, why don't we keep it here and regulate it? How about requiring that they shoot the horse in the head or some other quick, effective way to put the horse down? I absolutely agree that breeding of any pets needs to be regulated. I live in an area in which dogs and cats breed uncontrolled and them get dumped onto neighboring farms where they become feral, covered in ticks, and slowly starve to death.

hrsygrl

The problem with horse slaughterhouses that they are not made to deal with horses, rather other livestock like cows. On average it takes 3-5 blows with a stun gun in the "knock-box" to stun a horse so that it can be bled and butchered. The issue is not whether or not horses should be slaughtered, but that if they are they need to killed quickly and humanely. The horse slaughterhouses in the US did neither. In addition, maybe there needs to be a ban on breeders and the racehorse industry who breed and breed and breed looking for that one "one in a million" horse and leave the others to the wayside to either be slaughtered or left to starve.

Jean

This is yet another case of well-intentioned laws making things worse. I believe it is better for a horse to be humanely slaughtered close to home than to be trucked hundreds of miles before being slaughtered or worse, to slowly starve to death. Culturally, we do not eat horsemeat in the US, but it makes excellent pet food.
Another thing that really irks me is the anthropomorphising (sp?) of animals' tastes. Just because you wouldn't want to eat entrails doesn't mean your dog won't think they are luscious (from humanely raised pastured animals of course!). Let the pets eat the offal and leave the preferred cuts for the people.

YayaOrchid

Well, you do post an interesting question and or dilemma. I can't say I have an answer.

GaryM

Rebecca, this is why I read your blog, because it poses difficult questions many of us try to avoid.

Cruelty, abuse, and neglect goes on all around us, in the way we treat our fellow humans, the animals we are responsible for, and the Earth in general. Most of us ignore it or pretend it doesn't exist, which to me is the moral equivalent of condoning it.

Please, keep making us look hard in the mirror!

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