Tuesday, February 26, 2013

horsemeat

Okay, I'm genuinely curious:

There is a ton of uproar about horsemeat in various products, from Ikea meatballs to prepackaged dinners to who knows what else. So far I haven't even heard any stories about horsemeat in things sold in the US, and it's still huge news. Everyone is disgusted, outraged, grossed out, upset, etc.

Why?

Why is eating horsemeat so much more disturbing than cows? or pigs? or chickens? or turkeys? or fish? or veal? lamb? deer? rabbit? duck?

(the same could be asked of our aversion to the asian countries that regularly consume dog or cat.)

If the thought of eating a horse is so disturbing, shouldn't the thought of eating any animal be disturbing? What's the difference?

signed,
the vegetarian who thinks it's all equally appalling

(and who thinks that the labeling issue is a big one--we should know what's in our food, and companies should be honest about that. but is this really about labeling, or about eating horses? My sense is that it's the latter, based on the tone of news reports...)

6 comments:

  1. This is not making the news in the Detroit area....we'll probably get it next week...but I agree, meat is meat. although as a meat eater there are some animals I don't want to eat: buffalo, dog, horse, squirrel (and others in that family)...it's clearly cultural, but also wild verses farm raised verses pet...not a clean distinction, but it is mine...

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  2. The issue seems to be primarily in the UK, and now in Ikea meatballs in some other part of Europe...I keep hearing about it on NPR, the BBC, and the major newspaper websites. it's bizarre.

    I guess I wonder why some animals are pets and others are dinner?

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  3. We read about it in Australia and I was similarly perplexed! I do eat meat at the moment, but I feel far worse about eating pig (more intelligent than dogs, and just think of Charlotte's Web and Babe!) than I would about horse. I don't feel too bad about sheep -having had a particularly nasty and stupid one as a pet... But I did have some lovely pet chickens... The guilt!

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  4. Bill and I had this discussion this week. I think from my 14+ years owning horses I am more sensitive to it than most, but I don't find it appalling. If I were given the choice of the "horse meatballs" to "beef meatballs" I would choose beef, because I don't have an emotional connection to cows. I think horse meat SHOULD be utilized to feed people and animals, because too many horses are euthanized and their proteins have gone to waste; being buried after being poisoned. There is a lot of meat on a horse and it could feed a lot of hungry people or zoo animals.

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  5. I've really wondered the same thing. But I haven't had a lot of exposure to horses. I like Jess's point.

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