• DAY 181: WHAT’S SO BAD ABOUT EATING HORSE?

    Mar 22nd
    meat balls anyone?

    The horsemeat scandal…what a load of horse crap

    Ikea balls anyone?

    I’ve arrived in the Philippines to try and rescue a dog from the meat trade but yesterday I asked the tricky question: what’s so bad about eating dog?

    Let’s start with something a little less contentious than dogs to get a better handle on this issue: let’s talking about eating horse meat. Mmmmm.

     

    Horses are damn confusing.

    They’re not quite those fluffy creatures we call pets and not quite those beasts that live on farms that we call food.

    As a result they mess things up.

    In France and Italy they eat them and in England the royal family rides them. Which slightly simplifies the issues but you get my point: horses don’t fit into the simplest of categories.

    Phillip! Whey won't my bladdy horse move??

    Phillip! Whey won’t my bladdy horse move??

    If you’ve been anywhere near western Europe these past few months you’ll have heard the naying and screaming. Everyone’s been finding horsemeat in everything –  its probably in the tea I’m drinking.

    Ikea has admitted to having horse in their balls (as it were.) Yes, I knew there was something that made me gallop around the basement buying cheap candles.  Curries now apparently contain horse (that’s why I ran so fast to the toilet, leaping over walls and ditches).  Mass supermarkets have admitted selling horse in their burgers (the fact their turkey dumplings might just contain scrapings off the factory floor picked up by dying children in Nicaragua is neither here nor there)

     

    But the problem is this: horse meat is fairly good for you. Leaner and healthier than good old FAT COW

    Waiter! There's a horse in my soup!

    Waiter! There’s a horse in my soup!

    And, as the waiter said to teh man who found a fly in his soup – DON”T COMPLAIN TOO LOUD OR EVERYONE WILL WANT SOME.

    “oh but horsemeat might have traces of that drug BUTE.”

    Is this REALLY our concern? really?  Or is that we had a plastic set of that sweet pink horsey ‘My Little Pony’ when we were six?  And what about the extreme levels of antibiotics in chickens? Hell, if we eat chicken wings off the high street we might as well inject drugs into our eyes. And do you know why they call kebab’s ‘Elephant Legs’?  Because they ARE!

     

    My little tasty pony

    My little tasty pony

    What about this excuse: “oh but they are are misleading the public!”

    Really? By making them eat healthier? I suppose I’d be pretty pissed off too if I wanted lots of traditional fat in my food and someone gave me leaner meat instead. I GET TO CHOOSE HOW UNHEALTHY I AM DAMMIT.

    Come on, since when have we ever known the real makeup of our foods? If you grow your own food and never visit the supermarket and wash your hair in Evian you may now leave the room and play in the organic garden with butterflies. The fact it is horse is not the problem, the fact we DON’T KNOW what it is..that’s the problem.

    But I believe the real cause of our upset is something else

    We don’t want to eat an animal that is, at least in some situations, viewed as a COMPANION  We don’t want to eat an animal that as a kid we liked TO STROKE.

    Same with cats. Same with gerbils.

    Frogs?

    Urgh. SO slimy.

     

    We don’t eat our companions

    But here’s the rub: the fact that one meat (horse) is indistinguishable from the other meat (dog) is not shocking, its precisely the point. This is not just a problem for our food detectives but for our conscience. The taste of a companion aint any different from the taste of a cow.

    Oh bugger. It’s all flesh!

    And arguing that companions, or those that we like and care for,  have different rights from non- companions, or those that are too different and unfriendly, is dodgy moral ground. Since when do we eat those people who aren’t friendly to us?

    Since when was it a good idea to judge someone's moral worth according to whether we like them?

    Since when was it a good idea to judge someone’s moral worth according to whether we like them? Surely animals that aren’t cute or which don’t make companions deserve the same rights as pure-bred Aryan lap-dogs who follow us around as though we are their MASTER.

     

    That’s the sort of moral ground where we might find racists, sexists, even war criminals hanging out: those nice people that argue that the beings that we don’t like (or aren’t like us) – such as those pesky  Asian Jewish blind cross-dressing lesbian disabled people with a lisp – deserve lesser treat me. Eat ’em I say!

    Not fair.

    Some of my best friends are blind cross-dressing lesbians with a lisp. Steve, stand up. Or shall I say THteve.

    And so we get to dogs. Our very best friend.

    Apparently.

    Can we really be justified in being upset that some people eat them if we ourselves eat other animals?

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t be appalled by dog meat. I think we probably should. All I’m saying is that if we eat bacon we might want to reconsider why we are disgusted at dog meat. Or maybe …just maybe…we should get disgusted at bacon.

    And that includes me, Martin.

    Let’s check out the delights of dusty, dirty, smoggy  Manila.

    Walking out of my hotel I’ve already been offered viagra, a tazer gun and a chance to watch midget wrestling.

    TOMORROW: meeting up with Network for Animals to hatch a plan to rescue some very sorry dogs. Should I help dogs…or should I go midget wrestling?



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    8 Responses to “DAY 181: WHAT’S SO BAD ABOUT EATING HORSE?”

    1. Hi Martin, love your latest blog on eating horse. am watching with interest to hear about your experiences with the dog meat trade.
      My feelings on not knowing what meat I am eating is more about welfare issues, in countries where dog is a socially acceptable meat to eat, my main concern there is the welfare too. in the uk the meat industry has strict rules on how a food chain animal is kept , fed, housed and ultimately slaughtered (halal is a whole different subject). but some of this meat has been coming from europe where they dont adhere to these welfare rules and these animals could have lived in misery.(take a look at the pigs in spain) I feel guilty enough about not being a vegetarian, I always say, i love animals but I like to eat them too! I ease my guilt by doing my best to buy meat that comes from countries with strict welfare and slaughter laws and who stick to them. I think the fact our farmers cant sell an animal to the slaughter house if it has had bute or been euthanised by injection, then we get them infrom europe with god knows what in their bodies, is so unfair on our farmers. I cant imagine the welfare of the dogs for meat where you are is going to be pleasant, but will watch with interest. jac

    2. I love your sense of humor! It really makes one stop and think and perhaps view things from a different angle. Great work with great messages.Always look forward to your blogs.

    3. thanks for the continuing support Linda!!

    4. I totally get the point you’re making which is why I’m vegetarian transitioning to vegan. As far as the dog meat trade goes, in Asian countries, dogs are mercilessly tortured to death as they believe it makes the meat more tender and succulent. I have seen images on Facebook of poor young pups thrown alive into huge pots of boiling water. It sickened me to the core and their shocked, desperate faces in those images will be etched in my mind forever. The dog meat and fur trades are the worst for cruelty that I’ve seen. 🙁

    5. thank you for this. I’ve also seen some images that sicken me to my stomach. Truly awful. I’m just trying to bring this all into alignment with the rest of our treatment of animals. If I am this sickened by the way that dogs are killed…surely, I should be caring just as much about other animals…

    6. So much food for thought in what you write Martin! I was a rampant meat eater, but once I started working in animal welfare I simply knew too much about animal suffering to carry on as a carnivore. And now I know about all the cruelty involved in the dairy industry, dairy products are out too. I’m not extreme, I don’t say no to a slice of cake with dairy products in it if there’s no alternative, but I don’t drink milk, or eat butter, cheese or eggs at home. And I feel much better for it, both physically and psychologically. To me it’s become so simple: why should animals go through hell just to fill my stomach? Life is so much simpler and kinder when animal products are off the menu. Simpler and kinder 🙂

    7. thanks Lis, food for thought! as it were…nice to have you back! You speak a lot of sense. Off to India on Friday…

    8. The thing is, a lot of people think that,because something’s legal and regulated, it must be all right. Try watching some videos of the legal, regulated transport and slaughter of horses or of any other animal – throwing Christians to the lions was legal and regulated, depleted uranium is legal and regulated, opencast gold-mines are legal and regulated, zooming about the world in aeroplanes is legal and reguulated – by money, ignorance, selfishness, stupidy and greed, mostly.

      A chap I knew who worked in a slaughterhouse told me that, whereas most animals “go down” at the first bolt, horses struggle and rise several times and have to be blot-gunned again each time.

      Goats weep real tears when they’re about to be slaughtered.

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