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