National Geographic News
Horse sausages and meat for sale in a butcher in Haarlem, Netherlands.

A butcher in the Netherlands offers a variety of horse meat options.

Photograph by Bram Budel, Hollandse Hoogte/Redux

Catherine Zuckerman

National Geographic News

Published February 12, 2013

Everyone, it seems, is talking about horse meat.

A scandal has erupted in Europe because some products labeled as beef—including Burger King hamburgers and frozen lasagna—were recently found to contain various amounts of horse meat.

Some of what was sold as beef was entirely horse meat.

With everyone from vegetarians to die-hard carnivores, the subject hits a nerve. Burger King is reported to have dropped a supplier linked to the scandal, while the frozen food company Findus has pulled its lasagnas from supermarket shelves in France and England. Frozen shepherd's pie and moussaka have also been yanked.

Even if you routinely make pig, chicken, and cow a part of your diet, there's a feeling that there's just something wrong about eating horse.

But that may only be true in certain parts of the world, like the United States and the United Kingdom, where the reports of horse meat masquerading as beef first surfaced and where horses are widely viewed as gentle companions or noble competitors. Think of the Kentucky Derby, and the many movies and books dedicated to the equine kind. It's probably safe to say that most Americans are uncomfortable with the thought of sitting down to a plate of Black Beauty or Seabiscuit. (Room for wild horses shrinks in the American West, from National Geographic.)

In plenty of other places, though, horse is regularly consumed—without any stigma attached.

Horse Meat Consumers

On the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, for example, horse is a popular local ingredient, as is its relative, the donkey. (What's the secret to Sardinian longevity?)

Among Europeans, the Sardinians aren't alone in their taste for the animal. The meat is available at some butcher shops in the Netherlands. It's eaten in France, too. And though it may not be mainstream or headlining big-ticket dining establishments, there are websites like this one, where you can buy various cuts of chevaline for grilling, roasting, and braising.

The world's biggest consumer of horse meat is China, according to estimates made by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The Chinese dry it for sausages. The meat is especially popular in the southern region of Guangxi, where it's served as part of a dish made with rice noodles.

Number two, estimates the FAO, is Kazakhstan, where horse is an integral part of the diet and used to make various sausages and a type of dumpling called manti.

Russia, Mexico, Mongolia, Argentina, and Japan are also top consumers of horse meat.

The Meat or the Deceipt?

So what does it taste like? Food writer Waverley Root once described it as having a "lingering sweetness, which is not disagreeable but is disconcerting in meat."

The blog Eat Horse, dedicated to "promoting the human consumption of horse meat," touts the meat's healthy qualities: it's low fat, low cholesterol, and high in iron.

Los Angeles-born food historian Andrew F. Smith takes a nonjudgmental stance, perhaps surprising for an American.

"What's wrong with eating horse meat?" he asks, noting that the real problem in the European fallout is that customers were deceived.

As for whether or not horse should be consumed, he says, "We've decided certain animals are edible" and have "made certain definitions while other countries have not."

What's your definition of an edible animal? Do you think it's acceptable to eat horse? Does cultural background make a difference?

57 comments
Sandra Gilson
Sandra Gilson

I'm violently allergic to anything dealing with horses, including tetanus shots that used to be made out of horse serum (IE, blood products). So eating what I believed was labeled as beef, but was actually horse meat would have sent me instantly to the nearest ER, not knowing I had eaten horse would have delayed my treatment just long enough to kill me. I do not wish to eat horse any more than I would wish to eat dog or cat, as a personal choice that I don't eat my friends/companions. I don't decide what other persons eat, nor would I wish to. But if you are selling it to be eaten label it correctly.

Belly Acres
Belly Acres

PAGE 12

Sorry please read further down starting at page one, it was too long so I had to keep messing to see how much I could fit in lots of copy and paste lol ughh

I do apologize about the length I just had a lot I wanted folks to read and be open minded. Don't eat my Taco, hes just all furry and not much to him at 33" tall :( There is already a spot picked out on his favorite hill under a large oak for him for when the good lord comes to take my angel:(

Belly Acres
Belly Acres

PAGE 11

I would never eat horse meat and I truely would have the feeling about folks eating them as I tease everyone about my pretty deer. But I would have no problem I don't think if there was a quick humane way to put them down, if they had to be for the butchers. I could never imagine my horses going thru that, and my family will never eat horses I promise you that. But I understand in other cultures its different, so I think NOTHING should be labled as this and actually be different. Slaughter houses need to come up with something better, more humane.....BUT I did want to make the point that there are more risks with the drugs normally used for competition, luxury horses that are not safe than in your average cow. But your cow is not safe neither, I have seen them all dopped up and sent to the kill pens. Even the dewormers for example some say 3 wks withdrawl puffft I seen peeps shoot em up, deworming the heck out of them, and on the trailer to the sale barn where the meat buyers are at.

Belly Acres
Belly Acres

PAGE 10

My Australian Cattle Dog (to most known as heelers) when I retire them they live high on the farm with us. They are a very devoted breed, and to tell you the honest truth, they have saved numerous family members and my life from a ticked off 1500 # bull who did not want to load up in the trailer. They have put their lives at risk more than once to protect us or our children, good reason why you never see me without one by my side. So once they start slowing down, showing age, I am supposed to toss them down over the hill???? Heck NO! That one animal one of gods creatures has done more for my family than most anyone else could, they risked their lives to save us. HUMANS are known for back to what I said in the beginning the worst critteers on the planet, what we don't want just gets tossed to the side, hence a race horse, or old quarter horse who cannot compete or no other uses anymore end up heading to the meat buyers trucks.

Belly Acres
Belly Acres

PAGE 9

I understand there is a food chain, but you can take a hog to the butcher that was just shot one time killed, a cow who had to be shot, a horse you cannot, and as others have stated THEY RECEIVE A GRUESOME DEATH!!!! I think to us animal lovers and horse lovers, its just sickening and makes you want to puke.

So in summary, what is safe, you cannot always believe what you read, but there are a lot of things you do NEED to expect, just like the rainbow is a beautiful site but I know I will never go try to find it, as there is no pot of gold under it. Nothing is 100% and that is for all our different cultures. I do not believe in slaughtering horses at all, especially the horrible way they do now, I do not believe in Whaling, that is just as horrible, pouchers disgust me, these idiots need to be caught and dealt with but that barely ever happens.

Don't get me wrong when someone has used and abused an animal for profit and they dump and go, it ticks me off something fierce. O'well this race horse is out......slaughter. Even a high priced mare or stallion could be used and pampered for a good bloodline, and live a happy life with a gimp. (I was making the point of profit there for those who do that).

Belly Acres
Belly Acres

PAGE 8

The horses in the kill pen, 90 % of them have disease, bugs, wheiter it be mites, rain rot, etc etc wrong with them, they have not been dewormed in so long their coats are nasty from lack of a good diet and from not being dewormed, and no biting lice for examples. Almost better look road kill out there. I have many close friends who when their goats or lambs are done breeding or they want to not use that line due to issues, they get them all fattend up and send them to the sale barn. Its a business to them, and being open minded I get that but it does break my heart where I want to bring them all home. Some of them get diseases that are very transmitable, that have tested positive to CL etc. and these animlas go to slaughter.

Most dewormers will say not to be used for animals inteded for meet, or you have a holding time for different meds. I can tell you for a fact, I have seen lots of Cows, hogs, horses sent thru the same auction houses that the meat buyers buy out of, loaded up with ivomec, antibiotics, Bute, and even ACE to make them seem more calm its a sedative. It they look better or don't look so stiff from bad diet or old age, they will bring more money. SO THAT means that those horses that should have not had those drugs in them have, and I guarantee you thru there life many of times have had the drugs that should not have been in their systems, which can be harmful to humans or other animals its fed too.

Belly Acres
Belly Acres

PAGE 7

There are a million reasons to not have any form of a slaughter house but its not realistic these days. We believe in humanely putting an animal down, we lost many horses, dogs, cats, in our lifetime we have always been thankful to have the chance to have the vet come out and euthanize them, we have this choice as they are not used for meat.

NOW for the slaughter of horses verses most other breeds it is VERY gruesome!, and it is never pretty. You would have to have no heart to watch and say o'well thats what had to be done. I am against the slaughter of horses, but I know it is out there I am not blind, I wish they could come up with a more *humane*way if it has to be that way. It is a horrible ordeal, and horses are very smart, I think of the poor ones there *waiting for their beloved mankind to send them next into the shoot to be tortured.* Plus back to what I was saying about the meat, which someone is going to eat.......

Belly Acres
Belly Acres

PAGE 6

I have seen sheep with blow outs as they call them, they are prolapsed uterus hanging out, or a dairy doe (goat) who has mastitis so dang bad, hogs with tumors the size of the small round seedless watermelons on them, sometimes dragging the nasty sawdusted ground of mudd and feces. These all go on the *meat dealers* as we call them. Animals that cannot stand, with infections, skin and bones, hoof rot so bad with maggots, its horrible I mean just breaks your heart. Or the best is during Greek Easter, lambs and goats bought for religious reasons, they want to come to your house and slit the throat of the goat and throw it in their trunk. If the USDA (STATE ) finds out you let them do that on your property, your butt is done for. These animals I feel should have NEVER made it to the slaughter, they had internal, external issues that were obvious and to think they are going to go for meat.....***ughhh scary huh?

There are a million reasons to not have any form of a slaughter house but its not realistic these days. We believe in humanely putting an animal down, we lost many horses, dogs, cats, in our lifetime we have always been thankful to have the chance to have the vet come out and euthanize them, we have this choice as they are not used for meat.

Belly Acres
Belly Acres

PAGE 5

In Ohio there are LOTS of livestock auctions, I have been to many, there are special horse auctions when you go there, the pen is labled by those of us know it to be the *kill pen* all crammed in there butts to chest. A lot I know including us, if looking for a new friend will go and it is very hard and breaks your heart to not be able to bring them all home, but we try and pick our soon to be new horse out of the kill pen. If you truely looked into their eyes, it touches your soul more than any words could describe. at EVERY auction house there are meat buyers who go every week to get their trailers full to head south,or West.

Belly Acres
Belly Acres

PAGE 4

Anything we raise, is not for slaughter, I tried the hogs, we tried the calves, I cannot stand it, just thinking of them going to slaughter kills me. WE wanted to raise our hogs so we knew they were on a great feed, or calves and knew what drugs they had in them to be safer for our family. But we had all named them as part of the family so I sold them to some friends which I knew what would be done, heck they were about killing each other to come get them as they knew they were fat, healthy, and I actually let our hogs free range, so they were great hogs. I just could not go thru with it.

On the flip side, I buy our Hamburger off a few farmers around us, who I know hay and good grain their cattle, and raise them with a great life. When they have a time when they are going to be taking some to slaughter, they call us and we usually go 1/2 with someone else, or 1/4 of a beef, whatever we need and can budget at that time, see we know where they come from who owns them and how they were taking care of. Sames as pork, etc.

Belly Acres
Belly Acres

PAGE 3 We have bottle raised lambs, goats, pigs, calves, etc. Even to this day, I CANNOT butcher anything of ours. Growing up I had to help butcher deer, rabbits, squirrel,turkey, chickens etc. It is not something I loved nor like now. We try to live our lives as animal friendly as possible. I remember and I try to remind our children that we *humans* are the worst creatures on earth. A lot of these poor critters their habitat is being taking over, and pushed out, so we try to respect and let them live amongst us.

HERE starts the good stuff ok, I am not much of a meat eater although I do eat meat, my concern to this positing is as others have shown the **FRAUD**not known that horse meat was in these dishes. I woud be just as ticked off if I found out that I thought I was buying hamburger in it and it was venison (deer) in it. We do not eat deer by choice but tons around us do, thats great but not my thing. We ejoy living among them and see them at nature wills it, natural, its a great thing of beauty.

Belly Acres
Belly Acres

PAGE 2

I am from a rural area, our childrens school is in the middle of pastures and rolling hills. No stop lights in our town, so needless to say we are a farming community majority wise. I say we as this is my community does not mean I agree with everything that goes with it, but its where we live. We are blessed with all kinds of critters, ducks, geese, chickens, dogs, cats, goats both *milking* and *meat goats* ferrets, 2 horses and a mini Donkey thats Taco you see there in my profile picture. *he was a rescue from a horrible situation*. and a ton of wildlife!

I do not hunt, I am actually teased about it for many years and family members ticked off they cannot hunt on our property. Trust me there are many city slickers who come and hunt their tiny 5 acres from the big cities with 10 + buddies.... we always have problems with Coons and Oppossums, we have Coyotes in our back 40. The Coyotes everyone is against,we do not bother them, they don't bother my critters. (even though coyotes can mate with a domestic dog *coydogs*, we feel our dogs keep them at bay, its too noisy and loud if they come past the ravines*, 17 yrs we have lived here, and we are surrounded by 1,000's of acres. The coons will rob you of many eggs, babies, etc. We practice a safe live trap and release with them. We are mindful of breeding season as to not transport momma coons if possible. I respect all live wheither human or animal. I am raising my kids the same.

Belly Acres
Belly Acres

PAGE 1

I would just ASK for everyone to read my point of views before responding and only reading half of what I say.

I am an American by birth, and still reside in the US. I have had the luxury of having many folks in our lives who are from all different cultures. Being a military family, you get to exp lots of different things such as cultures, and living over seas. I have also been raised with companion animals and "livestock". We currently own a farm now and our children are enjoying the good old fashion upbringing that we are lucky enough to have them still be able to exp in this day and age.

I have seen many things in my life, and this has led me to have an open mind even on heated issues that I feel strongly against. Now when I say feel strongly against, THAT IS an opinion which we are all able to have. So the following is my opinion as I might have seen more sides of a coin than most have. By no means does that mean I am right or think I am better than others.

roman manrique
roman manrique

I'm colombian and I eat guinea-pig.   Although not mainstream in colombia this is eaten in some regions.  I'm living in Australia right now and noone here would accept the fact that you eat a PET.   I think there will always need to be respect for choices (even though I eat everythink that comes my way).   Horse meat - I wonder how many times i've eaten without knowing - this is wrong.

Joan Hasselgren
Joan Hasselgren

As a few commentors have stated horses in this country are usually filled with drugs not for human consumption.  That said there are many thousands sent to Canada and Mexico.  In Mexico the horses are stabbed repeatedly until their spine is severed and while they are still alive and conscious are repeatedly stabbed all around their bodies because people who eat horses in Mexico believe this torture makes the meat sweet.  In many abattoirs live horses are hung by their hind leg and slowly killed.  Something to think about when discussing the "morality" of horse consumption.

Susan Adler
Susan Adler

The reason why americans want to reinstitute horse slaughter has nothing to do with the dietary goodness of horse meat. Otherwise we wouldn't let our dairy farmers feed cattle bubble gum and other non food items to the animals; we wouldn't let farmers feed herbavoire livestock other animals for the extra 'protein' to increase profits even though the practice is linked to the spread of diseases; we wouldn't let industrial areas pollute our waters with our sea food and fish that our doctors press us to consume for the healthy omegas.

The real reason is we don't want to be held financial responsible for overbreeding animals with poor conformation and health. We allow breeders to over populate the markets with unwanted animals just to make a dollar. Half the time, these people hide medical issues in order to pass off the animals for higher prices, and if you have tried buying a horse in the past five years or even owned a horse, you would know what I am talking about. These unregulated animals end up in the food chain and on someone's plate ready to cause a whole host of complications (because they are pumped so full of drugs that we won't even let our dogs eat)

Susan Adler
Susan Adler

People arguing for the consumption of horses based on their edibility really need to do more homework on the horse industry. We banned the use of horse meat in dog food due to the toxicity of it, so logic would go: if its bad for my dog, its probably not good for me; my dog is fed a raw diet. Just because history said horses were eaten, doesn't mean current trends can't change. I mean we used to let some people own and trade other people just a couple of hundred years ago. I would love to have someone cook, clean, do my yard work, dig up my garden, etc, (for free), but you don't see me and other people bullying others to reinstitute slavery.

Janet Schultz
Janet Schultz

Well, you might add here that although some like horsemeat and others don't - most people will not eat horsemeat.  One of the reasons, no doubt, for the criminal mislabeling of beef when it was actually horse.  The products were pulle from the shelves - and will not be sold.  Horse slaughter is more than the killing of an animal for consumption.  what more could it be you may well ask.  We who know horses understand it is actually a betrayal of a trust from an animal to humans.  The horse - our spiritual partner in strength and valor relegated to a slave to be butchered and consumed.  If you support the slaughtering of horses,. please do yourself a favor and educate yourself as to teh real journey of this animal to its demise.  Read a bit of the last slaughterhouses in america - Kaufman, texas and the Illinois plant.  Then search about for the controversy last year ovedr the brutality of certain businessmen towards a herd of wild Romanian horses - the very same horses whose meat may be in the lasagne just pulled from stores.  Do your research, this is not a new topic.  Don't triviliaze the miserable conditions and torment of these sentient creatures.  It is mot a simple yes or no debate.  This problem reaches deep into our values as humans and how we see the creatures around us.  Be kind.  Demand a ban on the commercial slaughter of horses.  Then there is the issue of American horses who are not bred for food and are administered drugs which metabolize into deadly components capable of bringing on aplastic anemia - meat from American horses have been delivered to Europe, Asia and Russia despite years of uproar!  This is not a simple does it taste good subject - rise above the banal and engage in real conversations.  Ban the commercial slaughter of horses.

Juraj Matej
Juraj Matej

only problem is that horse mear is cheaper in europe...

Greg Keillor
Greg Keillor

In the 70's beef prices briefly skyrocketed in the US and local butchers in many cities advertised horse meat. I recall there being a mild "ick" factor among a few people. I had no such problem, tried it and found it lean but (as a consequence) tough. Also, there was not much flavor. If it came down to pink slime additives vs. horse meat I would chose the latter in a heartbeat. We have long eaten Buffalo meat in the US and they are farmed for meat and not wild. Very flavorful but you need a high grade or it can be tough.

Miranda Liu
Miranda Liu

Honestly, as a Taiwanese, I don't eat horse at all, because I have eaten a various kind of meat like pig, chicken fish, mutton, not to mention, beef. In my opinion, the definition of an edible animal is every animal which is not poisonous, for the reason that people rufuse to eat an animal comes from affectional cause; hence, a barbarian views every living as his or her food. Simply put, that it's acceptable to eat horse and that cultural background make a difference. After all, in emergency circumstances, people eat human beings.

Bogdan Draganescu
Bogdan Draganescu

is a scam of cosmical proportions. what does it matters if is horse or cow? after plowing, carried(or being ridden), giving milk the hole life, both are rewarded with the slaughterhouse. and people buys, saying is the course of nature. or is a matter of culture.

most of the western europe horse meat comes from the eastern farmers: "The company[slaughterhouse] buys horses from the farmers when the animals cannot be used at work or when families can no longer afford to care." "In a stall nearby, relaxing music is heard." http://www.mediafax.ro/externe/scandalul-carnii-de-cal-reportaje-in-presa-straina-la-abatoarele-din-romania-10559986

animals ensured human survival for thousant of years. it would be the case that now, when agriculture, science and technology released them from this dependence, to show some respect.




Angelina Brennan
Angelina Brennan

In many areas of Quebec, horse meat is NOT considered taboo. It is widely available and affordable in the grocery stores, delis and butchers, alongside all of the other locally-raised meat. It is sometimes considered an alternative to beef. Our recent ancestors did not often have the luxury of being picky about protein sources during the harsh winter months.

Roger Maude
Roger Maude

During the mid 40's (the later years of WWII), horsemeat was available in the US due to the scarcity of beef.  Although, even though it's more than a half century, I do remember my mother cooking it and telling us what it is.  As far as I can remeber, it's much like bison is today (rich and lean).

Elizabeth ONeal
Elizabeth ONeal

While I understand different countries and cultures view horses and horse slaughter for human consumption in different ways. I am totally opposed to horse slaughter and am fighting to END the slaughter of American horses which are NOT raised as a "food animal" and are given medications that should never enter th human food chain. In the USA Horses are NOT FOOD......we do NOT eat our friends and companions. While some countries eat dogs and cats, here in the USA, like horses, dogs & cats are friends and companions and should NOT be betrayed. This "horse meat scandal" as you call it is more than an issue of food taboo. The safety of your food chain has been compromised and if you don't care about horses you should care about the health issues that may arise from this "scandal".

  Please read my open letter titled. Selling The American Soul By The Pound. Thank you. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=301388889895117&id=158998754134132

Jade Hawks
Jade Hawks

Humans decided a long time ago that they are at the TOP of the FOOD CHAIN and therefore have the RIGHT to eat whatever species they consider "non-human" on the planet.  This issue is about the sheer DANGER of people not knowing that horsemeat from the US was not raised specifically for consumption. I have read that years ago there were TV ads in other countries showing pastures of beautiful horses touted as being raised like cattle and specifically for consumption (meaning no meds, and cared for before being "processed and shipped to European countries that LIKED the meat!). The fact that these horses are drugged, and that medication STAYS in the meat forever is a greater issue! Keep in mind, we have no problem eating beef - and in India cows are considered SACRED! But I don't see India dissing the United States because we eat and animal THEY consider Sacred. The bottom line is the horse meat being sent to other countries is POISONOUS to humans and other animals alike! As an active political Horse Advocate the last 4-5 years, I'm against horse slaughter because I love the animal and have several! But the main focus at the moment is the contaminated meat that people are being told is safe to eat (no matter what animal it comes from!). And horses are not "raised" as food animals - period!

Rob Coenen
Rob Coenen

Dutchmen living in LA here: the subject of horsemeat came up at work months ago. I honestly had not the slightest idea this was considered taboo at all. Clearly, I grew up in the French-Dutch North-West European zone, outside the AngloSaxon bubble. Horse-meat is considered a kind of delicacy. A better quality, les fat meat from carefully raised animals. Unlike intensively farmed cow cattle. Horse to beef compares a bit like turkey to chicken. 

Jo-Claire Corcoran
Jo-Claire Corcoran

We don't raise horses in this country for food as such they are not raised under food safety guidelines as our meat animals are.  Therefore we give our horses medications which are banned from use in ANY animal intended for human consumption.  Banned because they pose dire risks to the human consumers... banned because they cause diseases like Aplastic Anemia, birth defects, etc.  


We do not eat our companions in this country and we have made a moral decision that it is not right.  Over 150,000 US horses were sent to slaughter in Canada and Mexico last year, race horses straight off the track and full of banned substances, performance horses, family pets, etc... all of which have been given over their lifetime drugs like Bute, Ivermectin, Lasic, Furosemide, etc...  

Jill Davenport
Jill Davenport

How do you mention Sardinia, and not Malta?

This island gets ignored so much lol.  

Maria Cecilia Costa
Maria Cecilia Costa

What I think, is that the real question of the scandal is how those people ate horse meat instead of what they choosed to eat. Everyone has the right to choose what to eat and what not. Maybe if you offer cow meat in India saying that's any other kind of food, population will not like it so much. The culture makes a lot of difference, but everybody has the right to choose, and we have a lot of different opinions. For me, eating horse meat, something that I (probably) never had eaten, is strange and possibly, damaging.

Vickery Eckhoff
Vickery Eckhoff

The slaughter process, while terrible for cattle, is worse for horses. Cows are ruminants, stand still and lower heads when stressed,  allowing usually a single captive-bolt shot to the head to render it insensible to pain during slaughter. Horse is flight animal, throws its head around making it harder to render insensible to pain on one shot (which is legal definition of a humane stun), is often shot repeatedly in the head (its brain is also further back than cattle's) and often regains consciousness or is conscious while slaughtered.  Both of these things (multiple shots and being conscious) are violations of the humane slaughter act. That is a good reason to be "repelled" by horse meat. 

Horse meat is not healthy. Horses are walking pharmacies; the most highly trained and drugged animals on the planet. Racehorses, breeding stock, riding horses are where slaughter horses come from. They're full of drugs banned in food animals. Many are known carcinogens. Think Lance Armstrong: a lot of doping. Horses are not organically raised—a large surplus market makes this unnecessary. 

Cattle's meds are tightly controlled from pasture to plate. Consider, also, that cattle blood gets sold to fertilizer companies but horse blood is discarded: fertilizer companies started rejecting it in the mid-eighties because it has too many toxic drugs in it. Consider also that the drugs in horse blood disabled the bacteria in wastewater systems at slaughter plants in IL and TX (closed in 2007). 

I don't care how culturally superior everyone thinks the French, Italians and other Europeans are in their culinary tastes. When it comes to horse meat and food safety, the fertilizer companies know better.

Basia C
Basia C

 It is a problem.

We are humans, we have something in our heads, commonly called brains. Do we have to eat horse meat? No. That is why our ancestors created stock raising. Not everythin what has "legs", has to be eaten because it has... "legs". Why?? Look at the begiining of my post. Saludos.

Melany Vorass
Melany Vorass

Cows, goats, horses, sheep, pigs.... why should horses be any more disgusting than the others? Such knee-jerk reactions are always worthy of close inspection.

Tatiana O.
Tatiana O.

Living in Switzerland, horse meat is considered as one of the best meat -a "Sunday meat". I don't personnaly eat horse meat because I ride horses. But everybody make good laughs out of me when it comes to the subject, just because I'm sensitive about it. I have no problems with people eating horse meat, horses are like cows, or pigs, they can be in the food-chain-better that than just be burned for nothing (if the horse died healthy of course) 

But what is for me a real problem, is the way horses are brough up only for meat consumption: I've read an article once (in Cheval Magazine), where the production is major where? In CANADA, USA and MEXICO in absolute horrible conditions. Because in the US it isn't allowed to slaughter horses, they have to pass the boarder to Mexico, in tragical conditions ! (Well done the US !) not so better in Canada ect. and then, this meat have to travel that far (America to Europe).
I think it is just a shame the way it works. I don't mind local horse meat, but people should be considering twice before buying such meat, and knowing where it comes from..

Anyway, the USA can always easely critisised or be absolutely shocked by what, we, European eat or do; but they should analyse a bit before what's going on on their part of land.
Horse meat production is part of your business too...

Graeme S.
Graeme S.

Isn't there an issue with Tetanus?

I believe that in Australia at least the Tetanus serum is derived from horses.

In that event, eating horse meat can make the derived serum ineffective.

Definitely not on my menu, it may actually be illegal for human consumption in Oz!

Susan Adler
Susan Adler

It's cheaper because it isn't heavily regulated or tested upon for food safety. You get what you pay for.

Janet Schultz
Janet Schultz

@Juraj Matej - the information in the US is that horsemeat is a delicacy and commends highprices per pound.  But perhaps it is a cheap cut of meat.  Usually, the meat will be heavy in adrenaline and other drugs which are used to comfort it and treat wounds it has suffered under the ownership of those who loved it.  Don't eat the meat, it is dangerous. 

Bogdan Draganescu
Bogdan Draganescu

@Miranda Liuit is a known fact that meat is toxic for humans, because humans are not carnivourous(and are nor necrophagous - cause this is what is happening, people are eating mostly old meat). meat consumption produce atheroslerosis, which causes coronary heart disease and strokes, the main cause of death in civilised countries. colon cancer is another consequence of animal based food.

Arran Williamson
Arran Williamson

@Bogdan Draganescu

First of all, you clearly have no credentials to back up your statements regarding the metabolic effects of meat consumption, as most of what you said is a misconstrued jumble of partial facts.

If you follow this link below you can clearly see that the 'Eastern' (or in your case South Central Eastern) European countries do no export the majority of horse meat found in Western Europe, as you have previously stated.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/datablog/interactive/2013/feb/15/europe-trade-horsemeat-map-interactive 

Bogdan Draganescu
Bogdan Draganescu

the cultural background is irrelevant. culture is changing, is evolution. there is still a lot of culturally backed violence, not only toward animals(whaling, hunting, poaching, killing the lamb for Easter), but also toward humans, especially women(education interdiction, forced circumcisions, labia sewing).

Alyson Alllison
Alyson Alllison

@Michelle StoraceWho, exactly, decides which species are too cute or culturally valuable for consumption and which are just fine for mass slaughter? Americans are no better than anyone else because they choose to kill and eat cows, chickens, rabbits, etc. over horses. That claim in itself is barbaric...

Jo-Claire Corcoran
Jo-Claire Corcoran

@Melany Vorass Why? because we don't raise our horses for food.  horses are considered to be companion animals and we don't eat our companions. 

Ronnie Greene
Ronnie Greene

@Tatiana O. Tatiana & ALL, We horse advocates  in the U.S. continue to work very hard to stop the brutal transport (pipeline) of our domestic horses, & "protected by law," wild horses across the Mexican & Canadian borders & ban  horse slaughter.    However, although the U.S. is a democratic nation, there are self-serving, $$$, i.e. corrupt legislators who manage to block and/or pass bills to try to reinstate horse slaughter in the U.S. & enable transport across borders.  That said, no matter where horse slaughter takes place, it is inhumane & always will be.   There will never be a slaughterhouse that knocks horses insensible to "bleed-out" & die BEFORE the butchering.  Even famed Temple Grandin could NOT design one for horses!  Failed!  The captive bolt to the head does not work. Even after being heinously penetrated up to 11 times! Horses remain semi to conscious, hung by one hoof, thrashing when the butchering takes place. Yes, horses are now deemed "companion animals, although still on the books as "livestock."  "Livestock," again for $$$, GREED.  Americans do NOT eat horses.  Horses are honored for dedication to man.  They were instrumental in settling America & remain a working horse in many areas: war horses, therapy horses, horse racing, show horses, carriage horses, trail horses, pack horses, in the field, logging...   And now it is known how toxic horse meat is to human health. Deadly.  The chemicals in the horse (Bute, etc.) NEVER dissipate from the body.  With all the above, there is valid reason why 80+% of taxpaying Americans do NOT want horses slaughtered.  We in America, will keep on to FREE our horses from transport & slaughter & keep our wild horses FREE on the range.  Thank you.

Jo-Claire Corcoran
Jo-Claire Corcoran

@Tatiana O. We do not raise horses in the US for horse meat.  They are not raised under food safety guidelines and as such are given medications which are banned from use in ANY animal intended for human consumption.  We are trying now to get a ban on our horses being transferred for slaughter and for a complete ban on slaughter in our country as well.  Though currently horses cannot be slaughtered in the US, that could change.  

You should warn your horse eating friends not to trust any meat which is in the supermarkets, etc... 80% of the horses slaughtered in Canada and shipped to the EU comes from US horses which were not raised under food safety guidelines.  Bute dinner anyone???

Kristal Sorby
Kristal Sorby

@Graeme S. I don't think it's illegal here. In fact, I believe there are farms up north that raise horse for meat, which is sold in restaurants. Mostly in QLD, from memory.

As long as it meets our safety guidelines (which are much stricter than the US'), I think it's legal. It's just not publicised.

Rosemary Bownds
Rosemary Bownds

@Kristal Sorby @Graeme S.  

I live in QLD and have not yet seen horse on the menu in any resturant. 

Having trained racehorses in the past I know the sort of chemicals that are pumped into horses which would put concern in eating any horse meat. I have also cooked horsemeat for greyhounds and it has a very strong sickly smell that would put anyone off there food.

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