I thought this subject is something all horse-loving people should be aware of, if you are not already. There is currently a big scandal in Britain about horse-meat being found in foods that were labeled as beef! It has been in the news constantly since January of this year: first it was the supermarket Tesco who did a random test on some of their beef burgers, and they were found to contain horse-meat. Now the company Findus who make ready-meals are under fire, because their meals (lasagnes, etc.) have been tested too and found to contain “up to 100%” horse-meat. The scale of the contamination is spreading day by day, with more and more products being implicated. It is suspected that even donkey meat has also been used.
The meat is imported from suppliers in Europe with most of it is believed to come from Romania. This product is not only misleading consumers, but is also likely to be the result of great suffering caused to horses by being transported over very long distances over Europe and then slaughtered in the most cruel manner. The charity World Horse Welfare estimates that there are around 65 000 horses who meet their end this way each year.
These recent revelations have really just shown the true nature of how meat is produced as cheaply as possible, with corruption and contamination issues being only the tip of the iceberg, seemingly. A good many of the meat suppliers are currently under investigation and being threatened with prosecution. It appears that much of the meat is contaminated with drugs given to horses which are not safe for humans, so it is not just our cultural distaste for eating horse-meat, but also serious health issues which are at stake. Some of the horse-meat has been shown to contain phenylbutazone (or bute), which is a veterinary drug which is banned in animals that are meant for human consumption, as it can cause blood disorders and cancer, according to this report.
This has understandably sent shockwaves through the British public, but not me particularly- I am vegan, so I have not eaten meat for a good many years, and I can't really see the difference between eating a horse or a cow, pig, etc. It's just a cultural preference really, isn't it? I won't eat any type of meat, as I know that with all of them the suffering and death are just the same (not meaning to get on a soap-box here, but I just so wish other people would make this connection too).
I hope that this blog gave you some food for thought. Your votes and comments are much appreciated.
Picture courtesy of www.independent.co.uk