I absolutely understand that this is a touchy subject. No one wants to imagine horses being slaughtered, they have a very gentle nature and are considered one of man’s closest friends along with dogs. It is very unfortunate, however as you said above @JordanBosstick, the horses will be slaughtered in Mexico in a much less humane fashion. I think that we should try to find homes for these horses first, however if there are no other options we should probably have them slaughtered rather than starved. I do not think we should eat them though, like you said we have no idea what kind of drugs or steroids these horses are given when they are sick, and I do not trust our government to create safe consumption standards. Horse meat has already found its way into the United States and although those companies were forced to pull the food from the shelves, many people could have consumed that “food.” I agree we need to raise awareness for this cause. Raising awareness will help not only raise money for the cause and save horses or help create rescue centers, it could also educate people about the true costs of horses and encourage them to be financially stable before people accept the responsibility of taking care of a horse or horses. HERE is a great charity that helps save horses: http://www.savethehorses.org
This issue is very near and dear to my heart. I’ve spent most of my life with horses. I grew up taking care of them, riding them, and learning about their nature and individual personalities.
The United States Department of Agriculture is starting to issue permits to companies such as Valley Meat Co, to slaughter horses for their mean in the United States. The first permit has been issued to Valley Meat Co in Roswell New Mexico after the company sued government officials for not issuing permits to them. At least 6 other horse slaughter facilities could be issued permits to begin slaughtering horses this month (July, 2013). The last horse slaughter facility closed about six years ago in the United States when Congress banned funding for inspections of all horse meat slaughter houses. The ban has lapsed and the USDA issued a statement saying these permits are now in compliance with the law and they will issue them until Congress acts.
Valley Meat Co claims they will not sell the horse meat for consumption in the United States, they claim to sell the meat to countries abroad, specifically Europe, until a market for horse meat consumption forms in the US. However if you don’t remember, large companies such as IKEA, Nestle, and TESCO recently had to pull products from their shelves for containing horse meat.
I understand that we have an over population of horses in the United States. Horses and other animals are shipped to Mexico and Canada when slaughtering them in the United States is illegal. Foreign methods of slaughtering horses is often more cruel to the animals. So I am proposing we find ways to save these horses, while also not allowing horses to be slaughtered for their meat in the United States. I fear that horses will start to be farmed specifically for their meat. We already have a society that does not know the contents of their food. These horses being slaughtered for meat are often diseased and have been injected with different drugs and steroids before they will be slaughtered for food. I think we need to bring more awareness to this issue and start raising money to save horses that have been abandoned.
I want to know what everyone thinks about this, and if you know any other ways to help, or if you would be willing to join me in the fight against the slaughter of horses in the United States.
Here is some more information about this topic:
By Peter T. Burke
Living in an area where people are routinely abandoning horses to the desert wilderness, putting them in the pastures of vacant homes, or just letting them starve on their own property, I find it far more human to slaughter them.
This concept of ‘finding them homes’ is not very realistic… I see how badly it works here.
You could make the exact same argument about any slaughterhouse or any animal being slaughtered. Providing meat for the world is a dirty process. I feel like your love of horses is affecting your opinion. Someone in Walla Walla Washington could claim a close personal connection to cows, but I doubt you’d join the fight to ban Cow Slaughter in the US.
@Skip I actually agree with you. My love of horses is definitely affecting my opinion. This is just very, very close to my heart. I think of the horses I’ve known over my life and I would die if any of them had to die this way. If it is a last resort, I would rather have them slaughtered in the most humane way possible, but I would like to make sure we do everything we can before we use slaughtering as a last result. I fear that we will begin to farm horses specifically for their meat if it becomes prosperous. I am 100% against farming horses for their meat. The Valley Meat Co spokesperson said these animals are slaughtered mostly because they are diseased and abandoned. I am against people eating horses that are slaughtered because they are diseased. And yes, you can make an argument against all slaughtering with the position I am taking. But we aren’t farming dogs for their meat to eat them. This issue is really forcing me to struggle with how I feel about the meat industry. If you are going to make the argument that its either all or nothing, and that no species of animals are off limits, than I would probably be against the consumption of any animals. I may be giving an emotional argument here but I feel like dogs and horses are off limits.
I definitely understand where you’re coming from. It’s not pretty. It’s all societal too. If we were in India, Dogs and cows are pretty much reversed, but the argument is exactly the same. I love dogs! But i’m not going to fight if someone wants to start a slaughterhouse for them, especially if they’re saving them from a worse plight. I just can’t elevate any animal above another in these discussions. God put them all here for humans to enjoy. In America we enjoy riding horses, in some countries they enjoy eating them. Enjoy your horses though, they’ll be safe.
My opinion sides with Jordan; I can’t get my emotions away from this one.
I recently became a huge advocate of pet adoption(especially dogs,cats and horses) after visiting various animal shelters in Florida and in California.
Upon these visits I came to the conclusion that awareness must be raised on not only the issue of slaughtering abandoned pets… But also the issue of adopting pets before paying thousands for them.
I side with Jordan as well.
Slaughter houses are awful, disgusting and cruel. And I am to the point of giving up meat even though I love a good steak.
I am biased. I love horses.
if I could, I would just ban ALL inhumane slaughter
why give permits to companies that slaughter any animal if it has been injected with steroids or drugs, or if it is diseased due to poor living conditions/other abuses? what do you think they do to cows?
not to mention, that sort of conduct really impacts the quality of the meat
You guys don’t have anything to worry about. The market for horses as food will never pick up. It’s been a longstanding tradition in some European countries (Italy, in my experience). However horse meat isn’t very tasty, so I don’t think you should have anything to worry about it mainstreaming in the U.S.
@fredh its so hard not to be biased on this one! But I think the best option to actually make a difference is to try to raise money for horses so they never have to go to the slaughter! AND NEVER allow horses to be raised as livestock specifically for their meat. I hope I can have my own ranch one day and rescue horses, dogs, and other animals!
@brock I hope you are right!!
This a 66 billion a year industry … maybe we should put them on notice that if they cannot respect horses/nature (for me wolves are special too), then we will stop eating beef.
@Jordan Bosstick …. http://www.dw.de/are-insects-the-food-of-the-future/a-16935692
@FredH that article is very interesting, and also gross! LOL! I don’t know if I could eat a grasshopper… But if it is a healthy alternative and people are looking for inexpensive protein, then I’m all for it! Regarding horses, I am coming to the conclusion that I just need to try to raise money through charity to save horses, and also try to raise education on the issue and encourage people not to buy horses unless they can afford them. And of course, I cannot allow horses to be farmed, raised, bred, and slaughtered specifically for their meat. I can only hope that capitalism takes its toll on this industry. Hopefully a horse meat market would not survive here because people in the United States are not willing to accept it.
@jordanbosstick I think this speaks to a bigger problem in our food industry and that is the steroids and other chemicals being pumped into our food. We need to slow this down. More people should try and eat organically, myself included. I personally do not find the idea of eating horses favorable from a mere taste point of view. My father has eaten horses in another country and did not like it, so I am in no rush to try. However, I don’t know it should be illegal. Perhaps we more information on the issue.
I find it really interesting, although all to common, that the strongest voices for “save the ______” are coming from people who live in concrete jungles and who hunt their food in supermarkets and feed their pet animal canned food.
“Pumping drugs, steroids into every ag animal by the thousands of gallons per second …” etc. is just city talk for “I have no real idea of how ag operations are run”.
Some of the vile, evil, horrid drugs pumped into horse, cows, chickens, and ducklings by the millions of gallons every second are the same vile, evil, horrid drugs you get from your doctor when you are sick – and the animals are given those immoral antibiotics for the same reason you are. It must come as a real shock to city folks to discover that farm animals get sick from many of the same things that make people sick.
Am I correct in assuming that most people who object to the use of drugs in animals would prefer to just stand around and enjoy watching the animal die in agony?
Does anybody have any idea of how hard it is to get a turkey chick to take a couple of gallons of steroids so it can muscle up when it is pumping iron?
I am absolutely in favor of running clean and efficient slaughter houses in the US for horse and for any other ag animals. Unlike most of the city folks I don’t like the practice of cutting the family pet loose onto someone else’s land so they can die of disease or starvation.
Where I live we are covered up with dogs and cats that people just turn loose to live with Bambi and Thumper. The fact is that the feral cats and dogs have had a serious negative impact on the native wildlife – but hey who cares – right?
I also had the kind citidiots try to dump their pet horses in my pastures.
The citidiot response when I explain how my ranch is run is to say “Well, it is a shame that not all rancher are like you!” Closed minded and ignorant of the subject – what a combination.
Drugs are expensive – go to your Doctor and find out for yourself. We don’t get antibiotics any cheaper than you do despite the fact that we buy them in 250 or 500 ml bottles. Why would the drug companies sell the drugs to a rancher for less than what they can get selling the drugs to the local doctors, hospitals, veterinarians, etc?
Steroids are also costly – same issue.
A rancher makes his best money on healthy cows that are at optimum weight for the price of the feed the ranch put into raising the calf. Under weight cows yield too much bone to meat so you get paid 50 to 75 cents a pound on the hoof for slaughter weight. That is really tough to take when you have a $1 a pound in them and 300 head to sell at around 900 lbs per cow. That comes out to right at a $68,000 loss.
Abused or mistreated cows result in “dark cutters”. That is slaughter beef that shows large bruised areas when slaughtered. Those bruises result from mishandling when rounding-up, loading, moving, unloading, or holding the cows in the sale ring. The slaughter house butchers just take their knife and cut around the blooded “dark” meat and cut it out. They then just throw it in the waste tray and I just lost 15 – 20 lbs of beef at $2.00. If somebody gets rough with my livestock they will answer to me and they won’t like how it works out. If I caught somebody using a HotShot on my livestock they would get to find out how a HotShot feels where the sun don’t shine.
How many times has anyone you know found a broken off hypodermic syringe in the meat they bought at the supermarket? How about anyone who found a bullet in the meat? Buckshot?
Have any of you ever bought snake bit meat? Believe it or not there actually are poisonous snakes out in the pastures where the cows are. And some cows do actually get bitten by rattlesnakes and cottonmouths. And anti-venom is one of those evil, vile, horrid drugs everybody objects to.
When I find a cow that has had a calf die inside her, what do the citidiots expect me to do? Just let her die from the infection that will result? Cows in the pasture get into wild plants – that’s a shock, huh? There are all sorts of poisonous plants in 4,900 acres of pasture. Cow also get injured from fighting, stepping into gopher holes, and any of the hundreds of other things that can happen.
Then we get the issue of worms – carried in the water, or carried by birds, rats, your family dog or cat – or other wildlife. Some of the worm infestations result in infections and need treatment.
Usually when I find a cow that has been snake bit it is a week or so later and she has a large abscess where she was bitten. I get her on the ground and open the abscess with my pocket knife to let it drain freely – then just like you she needs antibiotics to protect her from infection. It’s three miles back to the barn and she can’t drive with a bad leg so I have to treat her where she is. I don’t have a pickup a cow can drive anyway.
In reality without the drugs and medicines most people in the US would not be able to afford to purchase any sort of animal protein. No steak, hamburger, chicken, pork, or what ever. It would just be too expensive to raise and then sell at a price that the average person could possibly afford.
Horse meat isn’t so bad – it tastes better than most people’s cooking and is sure better than most foreign food. It is a very strong taste and that gets really gamey if the horse isn’t bled properly.
When I was a kid I lived on the road and the most valuable lesson I learned was that there is no way to cook a house cat and make it taste good. So what does every suggest for the massive overpopulation of dogs and cats we have right now?
Would it be better if the horses were running your neighborhood just like Woofy and Fluffy?
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