Horse Meat for Sale

abused4By A.B. Thomas

With the exception of Canada, Great Britain and The United States of America, horse meat is a preferred and relished meat choice in the world. It is estimated that over 4.7 million horses a year are eaten by human consumers, yet primarily in North America humane groups have instituted an emotional blackmail campaign against the North American suppliers of this meat. Both American and Canadian governments classify the horse as a non-food animal based on the historical usage of the horse in North America. Within American groups such as the “Equine Protection Network” the supporters have gone as far as to say that horses are a non-food animal, and that slaughtering houses is immoral for these animals should be buried or cremated.

It is just the way of life that all animals on the Earth are meat. They either kill or are killed, unless a percentage of the population decides that a particular species is no longer a food product. The Canadian Humane Society and the American counterpart have taken issue with the idea of horses producing an acceptable meat for human consumption. They have become a loud voice against those who harvest and sell horses to meet the world’s demand for horse meat. In the United States, these groups were highly successful in not only getting state legislation but some federal legislation passed banning the slaughter of horses for consumption. American horse producers are forced to send their animals either to Canadian or Mexican slaughter houses in order to get their horses ready for the large consuming markets over seas. This has created a larger problem: Canadian and Mexican slaughter houses have their own national producers and cannot readily accommodate the American ‘overflow’, leaving American horse producers with far too many horses with no where to go.

American humane societies, in their narrow one tracked thinking and actions, have created untold suffering for horses, yet they do not talk about this part, only boast that they were able to get the American slaughter houses shut down. Over two hundred thousand horses a year were raised specifically as consumer products; what has happened to those horses? There has been no significant rise in professional horse riding events, there are no commercials on television for “Crazy Mel’s Used Horse lot” where prices have been slashed and everything has to go. How many of those horses now are suffering through starvation, being let loose only to be killed or just shot and left to rot as the result of ‘humane’ societies?

When the proponents of shutting down the horse slaughter operations speak, first they speak of the horse as a noble friend, a companion to man and then about how wrong it is to consume this animal’s meat. They speak of the horror of the methodology used to terminate the life of the horse; how cruel it is to put a bullet to the head, then leave the animal to bleed out. Slaughter houses kill using the methods of guns and blood letting because this yields the meat fit for the human sensativities of digestion. If one uses chemicals, those chemicals may quickly run through the horse’s system and end up poisoning the human consumer that buys the meat; therefore chemical death can not be used. Any method that is slow to work on an animal that is to be used for human consumption runs the risk of ‘alerting’ the animal to its demise, which releases hormones that ruin the meat’s taste. There is no ‘humane’ way of doing this to make a product fit for human consumption because we have become spoilt consumers that demand certain requirements for our goods before we will pay for them

There is also the matter of the animal’s age. Tough meat is not valued in our cultures; tender is. The older the animal, the tougher the meat. Nor is man a carrion eater so the cutting up of horses that died of natural causes cannot be sold.. Groups like the Canadian Humane Society do not dwell on the issue of marketability because they have no interest in that market other than their own preferences.

How humane are these groups? The bottom line is that there are a large percentage of horses bred and raised specifically for the consumption of their meat. The ranchers that have invested their lives into this business are experiencing devastating losses not only in the fiscal sense but in their own standard of living and quality of life issues. Families are losing their farms, rural areas are suffering economic spirals as those ranchers who used to purchase supplies no longer have the means available. How humane is it to vilify people who are supplying a food product that; while not popular in Canada, Great Britain, and the United States; is a multi-million dollar business in most of the rest of the world? Perhaps it has become time to use similar tactics as the Canadian Humane Society and their ilk in counteracting the message of brutality that they are attempting to portray.

The American Revolution produced a motto, “Give me liberty or give me death”. If humane societies truly are sincere in their belief that the slaughter of horses is wrong by giving ‘human’ characteristics to horses then would it not be rational to assume that these societies, much like pre-American revolutionary America, are the slave owning plantation owners? The horses may be treated well, groomed, fed, exercised, but for whose benefit? Slaves who are treated well perform better; but the condition for them will always be the same – their well being is not one of self-determination but the will of their masters. Horses are not free; they are kept in pens or barns, they do not choose when they are ridden or by whom. Horses do not choose when they eat, they do not choose what they will eat. Horses are bound and tressed, broken tame in order to do their owner’s bidding. Horses are bought and sold in a market, their prices based on health, lineage, age and trainability. When the Humane societies speak of friendship, one has to wonder if they treat their human friends similarly.

It is time for groups like the Canadian Humane Society to acknowledge that their attacks on the slaughter houses are not as black and white as they would like to portray the issue, but based on a point of view that is being forced to be accepted by using emotional flogs on the backs of the consuming market. Horses are not equal to man in the eyes of the Canadian Humane Society – far from the image of respect and love the Society prefers to portray themselves is the truth of the matter. It is time for society to ask this question back: Are the neighs of a horse as a rider gets on it, pulling on the reins to steer the animal in the direction they wish to go equine speak for ,”I’s a goin’, massa, I sure am, massa”?

About karlsie

Some great perversity of nature decided to give me a tune completely out of keeping with the general symphony; possibly from the moment of conception. I learned to read and speak almost simultaneously. The blurred and muffled world I heard through my first five years of random nerve loss deafness suddenly came alive with the clarity of how those words sounded on paper. I had been liberated for communications. I decided there was nothing more wonderful than writing. It was easier to write than carefully modulate my speech for correct pronunciation, and it was easier to read than patiently follow the movements of people’s lips to learn what they were saying. It was during that dawning time period, while I slowly made the connection that there weren’t that many other people who heard the way I did, halfway between sound and music, half in deafness, that I began to understand that the tune I was following wasn’t quite the same as that of my classmates. I was just a little different. General education taught me not only was I just a little isolated from my classmates, my home was just a little isolated from the outside world. I was born in Alaska, making me part of one of the smallest, quietest minorities on earth. I decided I could live with this. What I couldn’t live with was discovering a few years later, in the opening up of the pipeline, which coincided with my first year of junior college, that there were entire communities of people; more than I could possibly imagine; living impossibly one on top of another in vast cities. It wasn’t even the magnitude of this vision that inspired me so much as the visitors who came from these populous regions and seemed to possess a knowledge so great and secretive I could never learn it in any book. I became at once, very conscious of how rural I was and how little I knew beyond the scope of my environment. I decided it was time to travel. The rest is history; or at least, the content of my stories. I traveled... often to college campuses, dropping in and out of school until one fine day by chance I’d fashioned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. I’ve worked a couple of newspapers, had a few poems and stories tossed around in various small presses, never receiving a great deal of money, which I’m assured is the norm for a writer. I spent ten years in Mexico, watching the peso crash. There is some obscure reason why I did this, tightening up my belt and facing hunger, but I believe at the time I said it was for love. Here I am, back home, in my beloved Alaska. I’ve learned somewhat of a worldly viewpoint; at least I like to flatter myself that way. I’ve also learned my rural roots aren’t so bad after all. I work in a small, country store. Every day I greet the same group of local customers, but make no mistake. My store isn’t a scene out of Andy Griffith. The people who enter the establishment, which also includes showers, laundry and movie rentals, are miners, oil workers, truck drivers, construction engineers, dog sled racers and carpenters. Sometimes, on the liquor side, the conversations became adult only in vocabulary. It’s a good thing, on the opposite side of the store is a candy aisle filled with the most astonishing collection, it will keep a kid occupied with just wishing for hours. If you tell your kids they can have just one, you have an instant baby sitter; better than television; as they agonize over their choice while you catch up on the gossip with your neighbor. We also receive a lot of tourists, a lot of foreign visitors. They are usually amazed at this first sign of Alaskan rural life style beyond the insulating hub of the Anchorage bowl. Many of them like to hang around and chat. They gawk at our thieves wanted posters. They laugh at our jokes and camaraderie with our customers. I’ve learned another lesson while working there. You don’t have to go out and find the world. If you wait long enough, it comes to you.

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36 Comments on “Horse Meat for Sale”

  1. As unappetizing as horse meat might sound to a diet that thrives on neatly packaged meat selections at the corner grocery store, the global community can’t afford to be so selective. Would we deny them their right to eat because their available foods offend us? I once visited a home in a village that had practically nothing to eat except what they could forage from the desert. The family had caught a number of rats they had neatly skinned and skewered and were roasting on a grill. They invited me to partake in their dinner. Quickly, i told them i was vegetarian, although if they had been grilling chicken, i probably would have given a different answer.

    Do we, whose sympathies are moved for starving creatures quite as moved for the starving children that could benefit from unwanted livestock? Are we so moved, we’d set up hostelry for the number of animals crowded into animal shelters and sent to their peaceful, cost effective deaths for lack of anything better to do with them? The resounding answer is usually, “i can’t do anything about it. My apartment won’t even allow cats or dogs. How can i possibly consider taking in horses?” We don’t wish to consider inconveniences to our tidy arrangement of what’s right or wrong, but if we don’t wish to look at all sides, perhaps we should stay out of the ring when it comes to making decisions that has no effect on us individually, but does impact a very large population.

  2. I have owned, ridden & trained horses for over 40 years. I am a HUGE animal lover, owning & loving virtually every type of animal possible. However, I am a human, first. Irregardless how much animal “lovers” and vegetarians argue to the contrary, it does not change the FACT that the human body requires meat. While I LOVE those beautiful, adorable animals and their big brown eyes, I also love my steaks & leather shoes. What is wrong with all these “humane” societies? humans, are FAR more humane than ANY predator in the wild. It literally outrages me to see the countless, healthy horses (animals) suffer, because the limited amount of “good homes” are taken up by ill, injured, suffering animals. You can even get a prosthetic limb made for your crippled horse! All the while, huge populations of the Earth’s humans, suffer & starve, in conditions far more inhumane than any slaughter house! Will humans ever start using their brains and stop acting on emotion, alone?

  3. Americans that dont care about the welfare of their horses have no problem selling their horse to killbuyers at an auction. People that absolutley cannot keep their horse and cannot afford a vet to euthanize are the ones dumping their horses because they do NOT want them slaghtered.

    Anybody that eats horsemeat is ingesting very dangerous chemicals.

    Any horse that has a low sale price will most likely end up with a killbuyer. They buy every horse that they can get their hands on to satisfy the contracts with the slaughtrhouses. There are lots of horses stolen or received under false information and sold to killbuyers.

    China and other countries eat dog and cat, so why dont we send them all of our unwanted pets?

    The problem is not what is done after the horse is dead but before and during the slaughter. As stated before the meat is unfit for food, now, who should be outraged?

  4. Pingback: horse population
  5. I like this site and saw it on Ask search. I thought your thoughts on Horse Meat for Sale are right on. Thanks for writing about this and looking forward to reading more on your site.

  6. I feel like you don’t actually know what you’re talking about. While I am a vegetarian (by the way, many humans are perfectly capable of living without meat, though certainly not all. I like to think of myself as stronger than you meat reliant weaklings), I think that horse slaughterhouses are a necessary evil. I think that the abuse and neglect of the horses whose owners cannot care for them outweighs any abuse they may endure at a slaugtherhouse.
    As far as other cultures eating horses, let them. Our culture, by and large, agrees that that is not socially acceptable. You are the outlier here, not everyone else.

  7. As a primary food producer all I can say to all of you folks against horse slaughter…..as the economy tightens and you can no longer afford your 25.00 CD’s Blackberries, Ipods, new vehicles and trips to far away resorts…..I hope you all STARVE TO DEATH…how about you all get your priorities in life in order and worry about your long term survival….what a stupid society we have created…no wonder the world looks at us on this Continant with contempt.

  8. how do you like your steak consience or un? id rather eat raw grown earth vegatables and fruit try educating yourself the folks that eat equine eat it as a delicacy ………

  9. POEPLE starve each other for profits horses and all (livestock)chickens cows are INOCcENT its been proven time and time again that human are healthier on fresh local produce ??? poeple are evil i wouldrather watch a human die then watch an innocent animal suffer who says were more important becuase we have evolved to survive to what end to what cost to our planet mother ,,,, how much real estate did you buy on the moon? it takes ten times the amount of recourcesto grow a cowthen a head of broccoli and the broccoli still has more nutrients

  10. I’ve had horses all my life and have four right now. I love them dearly. As long as it is done humanly I won’t have a problem with them being used as a food source when they become unridable. Last month I had to put down a mare that had become crippled. It saddened me that her meat was wasted. I don’t have any means of butching out a large animal or I would have. I hope that when I am in pain and no longer able to enjoy life, that my organs/tissue can be used to help someone who needs it.

  11. Allah does not approve of eating horses.This is a kaffir practise and must be stopped.Many horses have been stolen in the past and present,their owners are heart broken.Have a heart for the owners atleast.Harmony is right.human are evil and their evil unbalances nature,no morals are left,humans become like wild demons.Purify your minds and hearts.

  12. So let’s eat those unwanted starving people some lady posted bout in the begining of the post.. fairs fair rite, they didn’t choose to starve, they r of no use to us… let’s just line them up and eat them…. horseshit… people would and will go crazy over such things

  13. My family has owned horses for generations. I can not imagine my life without my horse. But I see the need for the horse meat industry. If my filly became so injured that she could not perform or raise a colt I know this would be an option for me. That provides income enabling an owner to replace that horse and gives a HEALTHY horse the option of a home. Its disgusting to hear about uninjured and healthy horses wasting away and starving when the injured ones could be cycled out into the slaughter industry, opening opportunities to rehome healthy ones. The debate should not be on the slaughter of the horse itself but on humane treatment prior to the slaughter. Cant people see the difference?

  14. my question for you is if you know that these poor horses arent gonna be used for slater why are you breeding these horses for meat.
    horses arent starved by humane societys nor by rescues. It’s the owners like the horse in the picture who dont treat them well humane societys work to stop those kinds of people.
    humans work to clean, feed, and provid for horses because if we dident they would look like the one in that picture and any one who has a heart would be hurt by that picture.
    people like the idea of knowing a helpless animals arnt being hurt or starved. people like to save animals from those enviorments.
    like i was once told ,”you cant change the whole world by saveing one horse….but you CAN change the world for that one horse you saved.” not every horse out there is rode but some are , and im shure they would reather jump jumps, race barles, or”dance” than go through every day till death wishing they had something to eat.

  15. I am a horse owner and love each of my horses very much. I got my first pony at 4 or 5 and have been hooked ever since. However, that does not change the fact that I think banning the slaughter was the worst ever thing our government could have done for our horse population. I myself as much as I love horses admittedly have knowingly sold horses to kill buyers. One of which was sold directly to the kill buyer before a sale because I could not take the chance of an individual buying her and taking her home because she was the type of horse that one minute would be your best friend and the next flip out try to kill you. If I had let an individual buy her I would have felt liable for any damages she may have caused and heaven for bid she had killed someone I would never have forgiven myself. There was no help for this horse. She had been to many vets and many reputable trainers and no one could explain her issues. The only reason we could come up with is something like an extreme case of bipolar. Why now should I not have the option of selling a horse like this for human consumption. We had tons of money in her already. Why shouldn’t we be able to get a small portion of it back. Not to mention that the slaughter horses would have killed her much in the same way we would have, a bullet in the brain which by the way is legal and not considered inhuman when it comes to livestock. It is so much better than what us happening now. There are starving and unwanted horse everywhere. I know people keep coming up with all these ideas but fact is the only way to fix the problem is to open back up the slaughter houses so we can get the prices of horses back up in order to keep them out of the hands of people who can not afford to feed them and give them the care they need. Most of the starving horses I have seen around here were either given to the owners or bought for cheap prices usually less than $100. Almost anyone can come up with $100 to buy a horse but coming up with that or more every month can get hard for someone with a low income. I’m not trying to say that I think low income people shouldn’t be able to own a horse because many are and are responsible owners but the fact is if people are able to come up with say $600 instead of $100 to buy a horse they are much more likely to be able to afford their care. I don’t really know what I can do to help get slaughter back up and going but if someone will post what I as an individual can do to help I will put all my effort into it. I have always been one to take in and rehabilitate horses that I thought had a chance at a quality life but there are just way to many now for me and others to make a dent. I have 7 horses and ponies right now that fell into the hands of people who were not able to care for them. These horses now have a home but I am at max right now and can’t take anymore. Something has to give and soon. Our horses are suffering more from not having slaughter than they were when we had it.

  16. Good God People!!,horses are here for a reason, one of those reasons is cooked ever so gently (little easier then beef) with rice pilaf and veggies.Its darn good meat kind of sweet,even. granted horses are a great animal with a lot of uses, so are a number of other animals yet we eat them. veal any one? American’s are to caught up in the hype some what brain washed.

  17. Meat is meat. I like horses, they are pretty to look at and nice to ride, and are delicious medium rare. I don’t think I would have a problem eating your cat or dog either. I’ve had pets, and have loved them, but I am reminded of a show I saw of an Indonesian restaurant owner who killed a “food dog” with a piece of firewood, cooked it them deboned it throwing the dog’s bones to his “pet” dog. The only thing that differenciates your horse, dog or cat from the beef steak or hamburger in your refrigerator is your emotional attachment, and the political lobbying of the various animal rights or special interest groups who’s continual existence depends on contributions from weak brained bleeding heart animal lovers. We call them animals because they are not human. Try a we might we can’t make them so. Their existence is limited to sleeping, eating, taking a dump and occasionally reproducing. Kind of like most of the liberals I know. Until a four legged critter writes a book or carries on a conversation with me about current events, they are food. Just remember that the shark, lion, tiger, bear, croc or cougar haven’t stricken us from their menu because we are self aware.

  18. The issue of whether or not Horses are meant for human consumption,is ONE on its own… The issue of the inhumane treatment of those Horses that’s fate is to end up in slaughter houses, to me, is the issue at hand. I have seen many very candid videos that show how the horses are treated and handled. I think this is a tragedy, how these horses are treated. ANY animal, regardless of our individual beliefs and opinions… that are tagged for human consumption, should be treated with dignity and with the knowledge and understanding that they, as a living creature, DO feel pain and do not deserve any undue, or unnecessary mistreatment, or abuse at the hands of those who handle them ! There is no excuse in the cruelty and the callous treatment that I have witnessed in the videos containing the treatment of Horses, and any other Animals in slaughter houses !!!

  19. this is horrible it is not the way of life!!!!! i have 9 horses and u dont see me selling them to a slaughter house or a glue factory how could people even do this!!!!! I may be young but I know better than to call this alright this is just stupid no-one should eat horse meat bcuz horses are for helping people and therapy for others so how could you do this i have a rescue that was at an auction about to be slaughtered and she is a one year old so its not just “old” horses u do this to its all of them so quit being stupid who wants to see a foal die!!!!!
    -sugar-hope rescue, and pippi longstockings (the horse)

  20. last year my pony broke her leg and we had to put her down:( but we buried her and did not sell her to a slaughter house or glue factory she passed away november 03 2010 and we loved her she was a little bit older but she was shown and had the best life and was very well taken care of. so are other horses in this world. but some people just dont understand that horse meat is wrong to eat and should be banned. why do you think americans are not allowed to have slaughter houses in america the only ones i know of are in mexico and canada. canadians or mexicans if any of y’all eat horse then just know that youre gonna regret it when you die and someone come and EATS YOU!!!!!im very young but that doesnt stop me from caring about the life of horses and or other animals. if any of u have a dog imagine them being killed and consumed by our fellow humans!!!!! dont you think that we should give horses a chance i show mine and theyt are very well taken care of and i love them so much so dont make a little girl sad because you killed her horse or pony that was very loved!!!!!

  21. I was raised with horses. I love animals, but I do require meat to eat as well. The slaughter of horses is a ghastly thing. Hell, they way any animal is processed for meat is a ghastly thing. They could definitely stand to improve those slaughter conditions. My issue is with the transportation and abuse of the horse while they make their way to the slaughter houses. The kill houses don’t just kill the “sick weak ones” They are actually not supposed to kill a horse if it shows signs of mental and physical instability. They want to go for the young strong ones, the ‘useful’ ones because their meat will taste best, sad to say.

    What I don’t like is the betrayal to the horse, in my eyes the horse is a large companion animal. Sure, he or she is ‘livestock. But anyone who has spent even a few moments with a good horse knows they are more than that. You work that horse, love it or abuse it, most of the time the horse gives her or his all to the ‘master’ then when they are unwanted they are abused, shipped off with no rest breaks, crammed into tiny trailers, no food no water, most of the time the babies are trampled because they are packed like sardines in them along with the big guys. Lots of death and injuries, stuck in a death line waiting with the smell of death knowing they will die soon as well. Terrified and feeling unloved and forsaken. I have read first hand reports of kill buyers, the haulers, and the kill workers about what they do and what goes on in slaughterhouses. I have seen videos. If they are to slaughter horses, they need to reevaluate how they do it.

    In my opinion, I would like there to be no slaughtering, but I can’t stop that. What I wish for is a program of euthanasia to be put in place. Those people who have the ‘dangerous’ horses or the unwanted horses, instead of sending your horse to a dead end hell of abuse and pain and all sorts of misery, and instead of ‘setting them free’ which inevitably leads to starvation or death by other natural causes. Humanely put them down. It wouldn’t cost too much if there was a euthanasia program instilled. depending on a vet the cost to needle them is anywhere from 25-175 to inject. and the rendering haulers to take the dead body away if one cannot bury them, is about $200. the most you pay for a kill and haul would be 400 bucks. If a program was instilled, these prices can be reduced. If you have a horse in the first place, yu should be able to afford that, as people should know before getting involved with them, they do cost money, they are not cheap like a cat or dog. If you truly respect your horse friend, you can come up with. Shelling out that cash is better than sending your horse to their last moments of terror.

    I can not do anything for the other countries, because they have a different culture. the horses that are raised for meat, it is sad. but what can one do?

    The answer for North America, There are other ways to get rid of a horse instead of slaughtering it and shipping it off to Europe.

  22. When they outlawed horse slaughter in 2007 in the USA, it was at the beginning of the financial collapse, it was doomed to fail. At that time, when they outlawed horse slaughter, they should have supplemented it with a euthanasia program. It is like they just wanted it to fail.

    What also upsets me is those back yard breeders. People who just breed to get a baby but don’t really know much about conformation, inherited attitudes and the rest of what goes into the decision of breeding. So many people out there breed boat loads of horses and then just ship em off willy nilly because they didn’t get the specific look they wanted. This crowd the American Horse population even more so than it is already and makes for more needing to be sent off to a hellish slaughter.
    Or people who raise the horse wrong and then they develop foul attitudes and just can’t be handled. Ohh! I’ll just jump off my soap box now and bit my tongue and clench my fingers from a very long rant I’m stopping myself from getting into.

  23. AB Thomas, looks like you know nothing about Germany or what Germans eat for meat in Germany. Horse meat is not the preferred meat at all. Point is if I know you are 100% wrong on one fact then I can trust nothing you say.

  24. Exelant artical; Seems to me that meat is meat. Be it cat, rat, or yak. It doesn’t matter what it is, it seems to me that if it can be safely eaten it should be. The only thing that should stop people from eating what ever they want is. Their own preferances and any endangered animal or plant.

  25. Something else that just came to mind. I saw something on the TV just the other day. On average for every pound of shrimp that comes out of the ocean there is 5 pounds of unwanted fish that are distroyed. Talk about glutton waste. Since I heard that I refuse to eat shrimp.

  26. The problem is not eat the horse..is the way to kill then,,and other species… The animals must be killed without pain and suffering. This is cruel.

  27. I agree with Saja and Rana,no horse slaughtering.I feel as though pro slaughter people look at horse welfare persons as inferior,looking at us as though we have no right to bury or cremate our horses in a respectful manner.My horse will never face the terror of a slaughter house or rendering plant.the horse will get the best of care at every stage of life and beyond.

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