The Taboo of Horses for Food

I know what I may say may upset some people, but I’m not all that upset that Horse slaughterhouses located here in the United States are being allowed to reopen. From the SFGate article:

Congress amended an agriculture spending bill last fall to ban using taxpayer funds to inspect horse meat, which would stop horse slaughter in the United States because federal law requires the inspection of all meat.

But the Department of Agriculture, lobbied by the owners of the plants and their allies in Congress and in the horse and cattle industries, issued new rules last month allowing the plants to keep operating by paying the $350,000 annual cost of the inspections.

All meat being produced in America, designed for consumption, must be inspected. This is done by law. No taxpayer money is going for the inspections of these plants, and thus, no problem, outside of our collective squeamishness of eating something that most likely had a name.

This is a strong taboo here in the United States, having as much to do with the horse being an icon of the American frontier as well the traditional views of Christian churches.

Pope Gregory II, way back in 732 AD, who banned horses for use as food, probably due to the fact that the Pagans had limited taboos on where their meat came from. As Pagans were equated as a threat to the Church, instituting policy that banned their practices is not out of the realm of the Church’s behavior.

Personally I have no problem with horses being used as meat. As long as the product is safe, the horses acquired legally, that the horses were killed in a sensible and quick manner, and that the horses aren’t under threat of extinction, it’s difficult to come up with a reason to not allow it. In my opinion, cows, goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys and pigs are no less noble than a horse. I realize that may put me in a small minority, but so be it.

I do find it ironic that two of the slaughterhouses for horses are found in Texas, a state where I am lead to believe that eating horse meat is illegal.

Technorati Tags: Food, Meat, Horse Meat

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