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Would You Ever Eat Horse Meat
 By Winniefield Park   •   6th Jul 2014   •   3,273 views   •   2 comments
Have You Ever Eaten Horse MeatA dog may be man’s best friend, but horses have been with us through thick and thin too. They've transported us through wars, tilled our fields, got us to the church on time and more, all while providing us with a sense of pride and pleasure. Our earliest relationship with horses was not quite as romantic though. Cave paintings and other archeological evidence indicate that horses were used as a food source long before they were used as beasts of burden.

In some cultures, horse meat is still a valued source of protein. A few years ago, I interviewed a young woman from Malta, who was then working in London, England. What did she miss most about home? She missed a delicious meal of horse meat cooked by her mother. Horse meat was hard to come by of course, in horse crazy Britain.

While eating horsemeat is abhorrent to most of us, obviously not everyone feels that way. Horse meat is eaten in many countries, including Mexico, Belgium, Canada, Kazakhstan, Chili, Spain, Iceland, France, Russia, and many Eastern European, South American, Southeast Asian, and Eastern countries such as China and Japan. Not everyone in these countries does, however, but certain cultures or individuals within those countries may regard horsemeat as a delicacy or as a common meal.

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Related: Canadian Parliament Considers Law to Limit Horse Slaughter

There have been times in history when even those who wouldn’t normally eat horsemeat did, just to survive. During times of war, it wasn’t unusual for people to eat horse meat, simply because desperation drove them to it. After WW1, the last war in which cavalry, mounted units and horse-drawn equipment was used, a surplus of horses brought from North America had to be ‘disposed of’. Sadly, these horses were used to feed the hungry populations of war ravaged countries. I think many of us would feel a bit better if we knew that the horses currently being sent to slaughter were going to feed the starving, rather than to satisfy the gourmet tastes of diners.

How is horse meat used? I have no personal experience here, but from researching recipes, easily found online, it is prepared much the same as beef. It can be ground, smoked, served as roasts, steaks, in stews or various types of sausage such as salami, and even eaten raw as tartare. In some countries, it is found in canned soups and stews. In most recipes, it’s suggested that the meat be only cooked to the medium-rare stage. In Japan, raw horse meat can be found in a type of ice cream alongside flavors like squid and snake meat.

Related: Romania's Last Wild Horses Sent To Slaughter
Related: Is the Final End In Sight for Horse Slaughter in the United States

Why do we North Americans dislike the idea of eating horse meat? Despite horses being regarded by the law as livestock, we regard them as companion animals, like our dogs. Our bias may have some religious roots. Pope Gregory III condemned the eating of horse meat, not because he liked horses, but to quell any ritual of horse worship. Other religious traditions, like Jewish and Muslim also discourage the eating of horse meat,

Economics plays a role in North America too. Horses that go for meat are a spin-off of the pleasure horse and racing industry. These horses are sold for a dollar value far below what it cost to raise them. However, raising horses solely for meat is too expensive. It is done in some countries, but if there were no unwanted horses in North America, the horse meat industry might not exist.
Valkyrie   MOD 
I think I would try it if it was placed in front of me, rather than offend my host. But I'm not sure I would pursue it of my own volition. Thousands upon thousands of horses go to slaughter every year regardless of whether it's for commercial sale or not. It's a very different picture from cattle who are BRED to be eaten and are highly sought after for consumption. Even if people do not eat horse meat those horses will still be sent to slaughter each year. So it's a vicious cycle.
  Jul 7, 2014  •  3,228 views
 
Kaylied Estal   
To be honest, most people in the UK have actually eaten horse meat especially with the horse meat scandel that occured the other year. I was one who doesnt buy from the mentioned supermarkets but even still, i would try it, you never know what something is like until you try it, plus its a major thing to help combat horse abuse as less horses will be abused if there is a good meat trade meaning that the poorer quality (not well bred e.c.t) will have some value just like cattle and sheep

I am in total agreement with Princess Ann
  Jul 8, 2014  •  3,210 views
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