Horse slaughter is not something new in the United States. As a matter of fact, the debate around what is humane when it comes to these majestic beasts is shady to say the least. When animal rights activists jumped in to try to stop this nonsense, the ban created by government failed – the horses were shipped alive to Canada and Mexico, where they were slaughtered anyways, but had to endure the trip to get there first – not much of a better solution.
When the ban was lifted, PETA very reluctantly agreed, but was still skeptical and didn’t feel that they had made any advancements. And the upcoming facilities opening across the country won’t make them too happy, either. Lifting this ban was only agreed upon because the horses suffered more from the extra travelling. Now, the whole situation is back at square one.
Horse slaughter is approved only because several owners find themselves incapable of taking care of these animals. When a farm finds itself in meager means, usually the ones to go are not the ones that feed the family, but the luxury pets that aren’t truly that necessary. Also, some owners get rid of their horses once they are too old to work or race without even looking for a new owner. They can’t be bothered. So instead of finding them in the wild without anyone to care for them, the government prefers seeing them get killed. They do, however, say that they are ready to ensure that this happens in the most humane manner possible.
Some consider this sort of meat as a delicacy since it is very lean, high in protein and low in fat. Furthermore, it is 40% cheaper than beef, and since Europe’s economy is getting worse, their demand is getting higher. Although not commonly eaten in the US, the slaughterhouse owners believe that the market will eventually open up, even if it means doing business with restaurants only.
The main controversy is that these animals are akin to pets, such as dogs and cats, and several people find the thought of eating horse meat repugnant. Wayne Pacelle, of the Humane Society of the United States, says that this would be the same thing as selling cat and dog meat overseas. He adds that this would be an environmental concern as well as a health one, stating pharmaceuticals as the reason to keep this meat away from dining tables.
Which is worse: eating a horse, or letting it live abandoned?
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