Equine Meat at my Local Grocer
Hi, not sure if anyone has info or advice as far as this issue is concerned. I am a horse-person but more importantly longtime horse-lover from Ontario, Canada. My family has long been involved in the equine industry in a variety of areas but most specifically insofar as Thoroughbred racing (my Dad was a jockey at Woodbine for a number of years). The struggles which have recently been seen by horse-racing have been a major area of concern for me lately but most recently hit home in a very significant way when I saw horse-meat being sold at my local grocery. I know that with the challenges that Ontario racing is facing right now, horse-slaughter is becoming more and more common in Ontario. That being said, I do recognize that this has been an issue for a very long time and I regret that it is only now becoming very evident to myself as a primarily racehorse focussed person. Anyways, I was EXTREMELY disturbed by the casual availability of horse meat at my local grocery store and was wondering if anyone had any advice as far as what I might do i.e) via petition might I be able to stop it/I was planning on writing a letter to the owner of the store (it is privately owned rather than a franchise)? Is this a matter I might take up with my local government? I apologize for my long-winded post I'm just not sure of what approach to take but feel very, very strongly that I must do something. I hope that someone might be able to help.
Your best bet? Accept that people can and do eat horse meat. It is also often fed to pets, in fact a lot of pet foods that don't state that they are 100% beef/lamb/etc probably contain at least some horse meat.
With such an over supply of horses worldwide I would far rather the excess were processed and used than left to starve in someone's paddock. Why is it ok for beef, lamb, veal, venison, etc to be readily available, but it isn't ok for horse meat? They are all livestock.
As long as the meat is suitable for consumption and not contaminated by drugs I have no problem with it being in the shops, at least you know it is horse meat unlike the issues we had in the UK.
Personally I have more issues with the racing industry and the high turnover and destruction of horses than I have with horse meat.
There isn't much to do. Often things happen in this world that you don't agree with. While you can get all up in arms over it sometimes it's worth thinking over and working out while you're unhappy about this. What would you prefer happened, that their meat was wasted, discarded? In what way is a horse any different to a cow or sheep? Why should your dislike of this change what other people do?
Freedom is a wonderful thing, and it allows you think what you want and do what you want - but when your actions are effecting other people's freedoms you need to check what you're doing and why. I have many strong beliefs, perhaps stronger than yours. I don't eat any meat and I am glad that I am in the position and have the freedom to make choices in accordance with my personal beliefs. At the same time I recognize that everyone else should have the freedom to make their own decision, and I am glad that they can make their own choices in accordance to their beliefs, even if they are different to mine. This is the sort of society I am grateful to live in.
Perhaps the best thing to do is try to address the problem, minimizing "wastage" whether it be through encouraging responsible breeding, rescuing horses or encouraging industries to adopt new practices.
I say try it. Buy some and have a good cook prepare it for you.
If you don't want your horse to be slaughtered and eaten, don't ever sell him. That is the only way you can guarantee it won't happen.
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If it makes you feel better, write up a well reasoned and POLITE letter to the shop owner telling him why you think he shouldn't carry horse meat.
Then let it go. People eat all kinds of meat and you shouldn't force your dietary restrictions on other people. If he's selling it, people are buying it.
I don't know about anyone else but I for one would love to try horse meat! As long as it was prepared correctly and I was aware of it. I am tracked to many types of animals used for meat such as cows and lambs and with them you just have to understand that it is a fact of life that animals are used for food. If it is alright for them why not horses? Some people want to throw in the argument that horses are pets.. But what about my bottle calves? Or my show cow who is trained to lead and load and has a very strong personality. She is my pet yet cows aren't pets. I have a lamb I hand raised who paws at me when I am not paying her enough attention. Is she not a pet as well? What determines a pet? Because to me all of them have personality and enjoy human interaction. A horse is no different.
I don't see any problems with it. I love horses, but just because I love them doesn't mean I'm going to stop them being in stores. Unless you're a 100% vegetarian it's unfair to say no to one of kind meat vs cows. Is it more okay for cows to be slaughtered then horses? Nope.
Meat is meat
As long as the animals (ALL meat animals) are treated humanely and killed humanely, I have no problem at all with what is sold. These won't be your "pet" horse because the drugs/wormers we use won't make them legal for consumption.
What I don't know.....is if they keep the horses in a feed lot, how long before the drugs might be purged making them legal for human consumption. Anyone know?
I don't think bute does leave the system:? All my horses are signed out of the food chain as my vet insists on it.
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