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Equine Meat at my Local Grocer

This is a discussion on Equine Meat at my Local Grocer within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        01-19-2014, 09:34 PM
      #31
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Yogiwick    
    Unless the horse is specifically raised for meat I'm sure it's had LOTS of medication.
    And same goes for many of the animals purpose-bred for consumption. Pretty much all dairy cows are given antibiotics at different periods in their lives to treat mastitis or other disease, and then of course, the heifer calves are dehorned, so some of those may or may not get pain meds depending on the producer. Then there are the normal dewormers and vaccines. Remember, every dairy cow ends her life as a beef cow.

    Horses aren't really all that different. I am with smrobs- best for the animals be put to use. I have often advocated that the 4 million plus unowned cats and dogs this country kills annually out to be slaughtered and shipped to a country that is less squeamish than the US. Cow and pigs are no different than cats and dogs. And horses.
         
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        01-19-2014, 09:35 PM
      #32
    Green Broke
    I just think it's more carefully regulated and probably given in the first place if the animal is intended for consumption. Shrug.
         
        01-19-2014, 11:06 PM
      #33
    Yearling
    Ok, let's get rid of the emotion of eating a pet (for those with hang ups about it).

    We've been eating horses since before man painted on cave walls. If you spend enough time Western Europe you've likely eaten equine and not realized it (it had a tendency to turn up in sausages along with other meats) and it's not that uncommon in good restaurants in France and Italy (just look for "equine", but expect to pay more for it).

    But all that aside, let's look at practicality.
    1. Equine is one of the healthiest sources of domestic red meat. It's leaner than most and equal to the leanest cuts of any.
    2. It's got amazingly high rates of iron and B-12 (and we must have B-12...sorry vegans, but's why you need supplements while we omnivores don't)
    3. If you don't care for oily fish (salmon, etc...) the horse is the go to choice for omega 3. It's loaded with it (way over 300 mg/100 grams).
    4. It's one of the few domestic animals who's meat is actually better when it's older. E.g. The meat from a 20 year old horse generally has a better flavor, etc... than that of a 5 year old.

    With the exception of religious taboos (e.g. Judaism and Islam both have dietary restrictions against eating equine) it's only been in the last 100 years that the English speaking world went on a crusade against eating horse (it was still being eaten during WW I).

    In general pigs are as smart as dogs (smarter than all the other domestic animals) and yet no one is bothered about eating an animal that is more intelligent than their cat or horse (and possibly their dog too, depending on the breed).

    Now for the ultimate practicality. The TB racing industry alone (not counting any other source of "horse flesh") dumps about 5,000 horses a year on the market (OTTB's). That comes out to about 50,000 a decade. Add to that the number of horses that come from other sources and the number becomes staggering. The reality is that probably less than 20% (on a great year) of all these animals find a "home". Rescues can't handle the numbers and there will NEVER be enough people who want to AND can afford to take on the care of that many horses.
    So, we kill off the rest (or the die from neglect or for what ever reason). Now we have to bury them to feed the worms, leave them out to feed the buzzards or expend an excessive amount of energy to cremate them.
    Realistically it's a greater crime to let that much nutrition be deliberately wasted when it could go to much better use.
    Personally it bothers me more to think that my horses we be recycled into a lower life form than it would to think that they'd provide good nutrition to another human (or even a dog). While I would be too keen on dressing mine out for meat like I would a dear or hog, a dead animal is no longer the "being" it was. At that point it's just a piece of meat and if you put a nice equine steak on my plate or cooked a nice equine roast I'd gladly eat it (and be healthier for it).

    So rather than just have all this "excess" (and that's what they are....excess) horses, donkeys, mules, just be disposed of and go to waste I say put them to good use. Our ancestors certainly would have (and did).
         
        01-19-2014, 11:29 PM
      #34
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sharpie    
    I have often advocated that the 4 million plus unowned cats and dogs this country kills annually out to be slaughtered and shipped to a country that is less squeamish than the US. Cow and pigs are no different than cats and dogs. And horses.
    Why ship them out?
    Some of the old timers can attest that cat taste amazing like rabbit (hence the term "roof rabbit" and why some butchers in the UK during the big war required hunters who brought in rabbits to have the heads still attached....dressed out they are quite similar). And I love a well prepared rabbit (just as soon as a stray cat shows up in the back yard ).
    Dog is suppose to taste like pork.

    While shipping them out is a good use for the excess, I suggest we start a campaign to educate and eliminate the general attitude that certain animals should never be eaten so they can be eaten here (and get the price of meat down by increasing the supply of meats available). The concept of certain types of animals that are kept as "pets" are "untouchable" is ridiculous. I've know people with pet chickens, pigs, cows, goats, sheep, rabbits, etc, etc, etc...... (I myself have had a pet cow) so all domestic and many non domestic animals would be taboo.
    I say make them all available. Turn them into sausages if need be (make a hotdog a "hot dog" )
         
        01-19-2014, 11:40 PM
      #35
    Foal
    I personally wouldn't eat horsemeat, but then I don't like venison, duck, goose, or seafood either. I think as long as it is slaughtered under the same conditions as cattle etc there isn't any problems. Only people who want to eat it will buy it.
         
        01-20-2014, 12:11 AM
      #36
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Celeste    
    Everyone wants to be hard on the OP for stating her disgust at finding horse meat in the local store. I just wonder how everybody would feel if it were dog meat or cat meat. Just so you cook it well, it should be perfectly nutritious. Yum, yum.
    I travel all over the world and have, undoubtedly, eaten things I haven't been able to identify. No doubt horse, monkey and who knows what has been on my plate. At the market I visited I saw rat on a stick, roasted dog and roasted bats. As I said....meat is meat.
         
        01-20-2014, 07:01 AM
      #37
    Weanling
    My daughter is a vegan, my son will eat whatever meat he can get his hands on (and has tried Kangaroo, snake, turtle, racoon, and various other "exotic" meats), and me and my wife are "traditional" meat eaters. I've never tried horse, and not sure I'd necessarily rush to either as that "pet/food" barrier exists in my mind that I'll admit (as others have clearly touched on here) doesn't necessarily make much sense when the road comes to an end, but it exists for me nonetheless.

    It has been an interesting thread to read, however, especially given the nature of the forum. Quite frankly, I'm surprised. Not offended or anything, just surprised - one might expect to come to a horse forum and see a 100% vehement fight against horse meat, so it's been an enlightening situation here.
         
        01-20-2014, 09:08 AM
      #38
    Foal
    I really wouldn't mind horse meat. I would mind cat or dog, but not because they are pets- I refuse to eat carnivores. That means no alligator, cat, dog, coyote. I would also have an issue with just grinding them into sausage and hotdog unless it is labeled, since it is almost a religious thing to me.

    But rabbit, goat, horse...it's all free game to me! One of my friends even said her parents used to fill their freezer that way- go to an auction,and they could cut and wrap it themselves for a final cost of maybe $2 a pound.
         
        01-20-2014, 10:09 AM
      #39
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Quite frankly, I'm surprised. Not offended or anything, just surprised - one might expect to come to a horse forum and see a 100% vehement fight against horse meat, so it's been an enlightening situation here.
    Let me give you some insight into why most serious horse people favor domestic processing of unwanted horses.

    There is always going to be a large number of horses that no one wants. When there is a downturn n the economy, this number gets larger. There are many reasons there are 'unwanted horses'. Some are breeding horses that are no longer useful for breeding. There are ill-tempered horses that do not train well or are mean. There are badly spoiled horses that are dangerous. There are many horses that may appear sound but go lame with any riding. (I have 2 of those now.) Some horses are so ugly and unattractive that no one will buy them. Some just are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    For whatever reason, most have been offered for sale (sometimes multiple times) because their current owner no longer want them or can afford them. No one should have to justify not wanting to keep a horse for any reason. No one should tell anyone else they cannot sell a car, a house or a horse they own. I don't care if it is not gentle enough for the kids or it is too slow on a barrel pattern or it goes lame if ridden hard, it is the owner's right to NOT keep it forever.

    Now, most horses offered for sale are purchased by someone else that is going to ride it, use it for a different purpose, train it to make money on (called project horses) or 1000 other reasons. But, when a horse is offered for sale and no one wants it or it has no useful purpose at all, it has to go somewhere.

    The ideal system of capitalism is ruled by supply and demand. When the demand is high, so is the price; a LOT of people buy project horses because well-trained horses are very expensive. When money is tight and people lose jobs, many people have to get rid of horses for simple economic reasons. So, untrained horses and other 'useable horses' become unwanted. This is what we have seen the last few years. Many pretty nice horses have become unwanted. The owners cannot be faulted because circumstances change -- can change many times during the 20--30 year lifespan of a horse. So, if a horse is offered for sale and no one wants to buy it, it has to go somewhere. Unlike a 4-wheeler or a car that can be parked until it can be sold, horses continue to need $100.00 to $200.00 of feed every month.

    There are a lot of good people that get put into bad circumstances and cannot keep feeding and caring for their horse(s). It is their legal and moral right to sell any horse they own. Their family must come first. If no one wants to buy the horse for riding purposes, then the slaughter market has to be there to pick up the slack. Without it, there will still be just as many unwanted horses. The problem is that most of them will receive little or no care, get little or no feed and will be terribly neglected or will have to travel thousands of miles to Mexico or Canada.

    You answer this for me and you will answer your own question. Is it better for a horse to be hauled a short distance and quickly killed and processed into useful meat or is it better for the horse to stand in some back pasture and die of starvation or nearly starve waiting for spring (and grass) or waiting until the owner is able to get a job and be able to buy feed again?

    So, while every horse lover, including myself, would love to see every useful horse in a good home, the reality is that domestic processing is better than any other alternative for the hundreds of thousands of horses that are unwanted by anyone that actually wants them.
         
        01-20-2014, 10:14 AM
      #40
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Allison Finch    
    I travel all over the world and have, undoubtedly, eaten things I haven't been able to identify. No doubt horse, monkey and who knows what has been on my plate. At the market I visited I saw rat on a stick, roasted dog and roasted bats. As I said....meat is meat.
    I will eat labeled, USDA stamped beef, pork, or chicken. I will not eat "mystery meat". Not only do I worry about the "yuck" factor, but also about disease such as trichinosis from dogs and rats, not to mention bubonic plague from cats and rats. I will rapidly go on a vegetarian diet if I can't identify my food source.

    As far as the "yuck" factor, I like my horse a lot more than I like my dog. I have much more of an attachment, and therefore anthropomorphic about her. If I were Hindu, she would be my sacred cow.
         

    Tags
    #abuse, #help, #ontario, #slaughter, #thoroughbred

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