Thursday, December 1, 2011

so many questions!

I am sure everyone has heard by now about the bill making it legal to slaughter horses in the United States again.... I honestly do not know what to make of it. I am not going to jump up on my soap box either because I have no idea... so please keep reading! :)

Making slaughter illegal didn't stop horse slaughter right? I am not sure making things illegal really even works very well. Look at marijuana as an example. When there is a market and money to be made people will always do it right? Making it legal or not legal probably wont change much. Has not with drugs and has not with horse meat. I mean the horse meat industry seems a bit shady doesn't?

I mean I have never met a farmer who raises quality horses for slaughter and takes pride in his crop of certified black Angus grass fed quarter horse. Do they exist? The way horses go from the pasture to the plate seems really back alley to me. Does anyone know more about the horse meat industry? I feel so ignorant about the basic facts! Who buys the meat we produce? Does it get tested by the FDA for drugs, hormones, etc?
If we are going to eat horses shouldn't we treat them more like food and less like athletes? How could we do both and truly have both human consumers and horses at heart? How do we de-incentivize the practice of irresponsible breeding and the dumping of horses at auctions? It did not stop when slaughter was banned and it wont stop now. How do we stop something people get paid to do?

Ok enough questions. But seriously I would love to hear your thoughts! I know this is heated debate in the horse world but I really don't know what I think. I want to know how you guys feel. I have trusted your advise on other issues for so long!


  1. I was horrified when I heard about this!
    My question was who eats horse meat? Are we eating it and not knowing it (vomit)?
    And it seems that this was passed under our noses. . .how did this happen? Where are the lobbyists? Argh! I just want to scream over this!

  2. I wondered myself how would I know the differance between a beef steak and a horse steak??? Maybe it's time to become a vegitarian?
    Never mind horses are family and I'd never eat one just on that premise alone. Think of the toxins in horse meat with the worming, vaccinations....

  3. I can't help but wonder why people see such a distinction between horse and cow. I am sure the meat is much the same (btw, horses intended for consumption are SUPPOSED to follow the same protocols as cows intended for human consumption.) People get up in arms to protect horses from slaughter, then go home and tear into their (cow) steaks with gusto. I have a pet hog (as in, gets hugs, falls over when you touch her side, gets taken for, people constantly ask me when I am going to eat her, yet no one has ever once asked me when I am going to eat any of my horses (and my fat, big TB mare has a lot more meat on her than Harley) Why is that? I can guarantee you that horses, dogs, pigs, cows, and cats feel the same pain. Why is there a distinction???? I am not saying this to cause people to get distressed, but would like to challenge people to take a moment to consider why they feel the way they do about this, and why a horse deserves more care than a cow, or more specifically, why cows, pigs, chicken, turkeys, etc. deserve so much less than a horse, dog, or cat? Take a moment to fully form your own ideas and ethical views on this subject, not just how you were raised or what you are used to. Most everyone has had the opportunity to see a dog, cat, or horse that has flourished with human love, but many have not had the pleasure to see that the 'livestock' animals are just as fun, loving, and lovable. I personally don't see how you can have it both ways. To fight for the rights of one species, then eat a life from another species does not make sense to me.
    I honestly do not mean to be starting any arguments over this, the same way that this blog post was not meant to start an argument. And yes, I am a vegan, as I am sure many have figured out. :)

  4. The main markets for horse meat are Europe and Japan, although it is also served in Canada. The meat is often misrepresented as being from wild free ranging mustangs, and touted for it's healthfulness. The reality is that bute, banamine, wormers and most other horse meds are explicitly labeled "not for use in horses meant for human consumption".

    The horses aren't raised for meat per se, it has just become a convenience for folks who can't be bothered to humanely euthanize, or to be responsible for horses that are no longer "useful"...

    Horse slaughter is not actually illegal, but horses began being transported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter after the last American slaughter house closed several years ago. You do not want to know how they kill the poor horses who end up in Mexico.

    The three slaughter houses that operated in the USA until recently were owned by foreign companies, Belgian I believe, and there is documentation ( I have seen the tax records) that they paid next to no taxes here.

    Hopefully not too much information... I used to be the NC leader for Americans Against Horse Slaughter. We were trying for years to pass legislation that would outlaw the transport of horses across the borders for slaughter.

  5. Allison- no I don't think we do. I was thinking it was shipped to other places that do eat horse. But do they know about the chemicals used in the daily lives of most horses?

    Susan- I say give vegetarianism a chance! (Bias alert I have been a veggie for 10 years ;) )

    Alana- good point. I have always been fascinated about how different cultures eat different animals etc. How we define food changes so much from person to person and culture to culture. This is a neat book about it.
    As a positive thinker (and vegan) I hope maybe this turn in events will cause horse people to look at the meat industry as a whole now that horses are back on the menu so to speak. It is always a good thing when people get educated and get involved.

    Calm, Forward, Straight- no this is just what I want! I did not know that american meat was being sold as all natural when in reality it is closer to Barry Bonds (sorry had to). Yeah I know that the US plants were closed but I am responding to this: Do you know anything about it?
    Thanks guys for the thoughts and feelings :)

  6. While the slaughter plants closed, in part due to the inspection issue, there is no legislation that I know of actually prohibiting horse slaughter. Just hoops the plants had to jump through regarding inspections which affected profitability.

    Once there was no facility left in the US to continue slaughtering, horses began being double deckered across the Mexican and Canadian borders to their slaughterhouses.

    The next strategy to end the slaughter of american horses was to get the transport across the borders outlawed, under an anti animal cruelty act. This legislation could never pass both houses - bogged down by obstructionist agriculture lobby $$$$.

    My understanding is that a couple of pro-slaughter congressmen quietly added the plant inspection funding language to the current ag appropriations bill which is one of the very exasperating ways legislation is handled in congress.

    As long as the anti-slaughter legislation gets passed - the funding language in the ag bill won't matter.

    Call / fax / email your congressperson telling them you want their support for Senate bill S. 1176 and House bill H.R. 2966. Go to and click on the Bills and Reports tab to read the text of the bills.

  7. I feel like I should share your comment as a post because I think that is great information and great advise for those opposed. May I?

  8. Please do.

    I considered doing a post myself, but after four plus years of soul sapping work trying to pass the last few rounds of anti-slaughter legislation, I haven't got the energy. Didn't stop me commenting here though. ;)

    Lobbying congress (unpaid) was a time consuming, thankless and disappointing endeavor...