I received this article from a really upset horse person who is in her late seventies. She tells me that horses have always been revered and considered remarkable companion animals throughout her lifetime, but now there is constant posturing in the United States to rile up the public against wild horses and think of horses as a meat source.
The author [Cole Lewis] of the Commentary in the IDS says, “The next time you stop at the supermarket, hopefully you will be able to pick up a couple of pounds of horse meat.” Hope not, I say. Animals get killed, often horribly, for us to eat meat. The great majority of humans do not consider the terror, pain and suffering of our meat animals. Let’s certainly not go to another meat source and, instead, moderate if not greatly reduce our meat intake.
He goes on, “Blah blah The restraining order [horse slaughter] needs to be lifted. I’m a supporter of turning horse meat into common household food. In fact, I will be the first one to ride them into the slaughterhouse. Among the horse surplus, the good taste of horse meat and the ability to catch up with other nations, slaughtering and eating horses in the U.S. will solve many problems. Blah blah.” It is distressing that he is so anxious to kill off horses. Even worse, he feels nothing for horses except that he sees them as a source for meat. That’s sad. Horses are used in sport, in therapy work, as companions, as transport, and in countless other ways for the benefit and aid of humanity. I personally know that horses keep kids grounded, off street corners and at home. They teach unconditional love, reinforce posture, require responsibility and the list of good associations of horse and human is long.
He goes on to talk about the wild horse population. But I mostly appreciate this statement of Mr. Brightest Tool in the Shed - He says, “The number of wild horses will only continue to rise, further destroying our ecosystem.” My goodness, say I, our horses are now to be charged for destroying the ecosystem. Bunk, Mister. Try counting the cattle and sheep that are grazing the free public lands. Compare their eating and drinking methods with that of horses. Even compare bovine digestive systems [cow burps and gas “emissions”] with that of horses. Compare their waste. Compare how a cow drinks and stands in water. And then tally up the cost of using OUR public lands for the ranchers grazing those lands. Compare the head counts of cattle and horses. Vastly different! Animals graze those lands during droughts, or better times, don’t they? Now that there has been less rainfall, it’s blame the horses again! After you’ve answered all of these questions and tallied up, are you still willing to argue that it’s horses destroying the ecosystem?
You might argue that the cattle go to meat. Yes they do. The inspectors are there, the cattle are specifically meat-purpose bred. They do not have the love of countless little girls or families, compete with humans in sports, carry them around. They live to eat. Meat has never been the purpose of why horses exist in this country nor has it ever been.
Mr. Author, do not worry about the taste – Most people will not willingly and knowingly eat horse. There is no need. Our U.S. farmers have done exceedingly well for the public, providing all the meat we want to eat. Furthermore, just because horse meat is eaten in Europe, does not mean anything to me. Heavens, they eat gerbils and guinea pigs and eels, too. Others eat dog and cat. Humans and their appetites can be appalling. Besides, I am from Europe and we never ever ate horse meat. It was not an animal that was considered for meat. So, even in Europe, not everyone agrees with you either.
Mr. Animal Eater says,
I’m not trying to convince animal rights activists that horses should be eaten. I’m trying to convince the average American that horses should join the ranks of all the other animals that humans eat. They are no different. Horses are not extraordinarily smarter than any other animal we eat. They are creatures of habit, relying on repetition rather than cognition. Killing a horse is no different than killing a pig.
Hopefully, horse meat can become a staple in our culture. It is best for our environment, our country and ourselves.
I challenge you to tell us where your knowledge of horses comes from. And do you really think, just because you made your statements, that you have all the answers? Every living, breathing creature from the tiny mouse to the biggest elephant and to humans are creatures of habit. Killing a horse is exceedingly different than killing a pig. Or have you ridden a pig on the show circuit lately? Have you taught a horse to compete in a race? Have you had a horse stand by your side – or a pig – as you fell off riding?
Man, Dear Cole Lewis, your commentary to eat meat from horses is too weak and awful to discuss further. I am responding because, as the elderly lady said, people such as you are trying to indoctrinate the public to no longer care. I hate to say it, but not caring about much of anything seems to be the daily theme these days. It’s the root cause of many a problem in our country. Inciting and picking controversial subjects is a game, a challenge, a sport for people. Otherwise, why would you write to irritate, to incite? Publicity and to sell papers? Well maybe.
I suggest you get yourself a herd of plump horses. When it’s time for you to want a horse steak, shoot one down, butcher it and stick it in the freezer. Who’s stopping you? A bullet aimed properly at close range is a hell of a lot kinder to a horse than the mass horse killing you propose.
Do the rest of us a big favor and leave us alone.
Source: Indiana Daily Student
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