Would YOU Eat Horse Meat?

January 6, 2011


At 3:30 PST, a group of representatives from U.S. and Canadian animal science and humane livestock handling organizations, as well as federal and state livestock processing regulatory agencies will convene at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada for a discussion entitled “Setting the High Standard for Humane Processing of Horses.” The “processing” part of the equation entails the slaughter and butchery of the animals for the purpose of human consumption.

The panel, which is being held as part of a four day Summit of the Horse includes representatives from American Humane, the Humane Handling and Assessment Tool Project, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The issue at hand has stirred passionate and polar arguments from those who see horse meat – especially that of wild mustangs who are seen by some as an invasive species – as a cheap, viable source of food for hungry Americans, and wild horse advocates who see the slaughter of these animals as cruel and unnecessary.

Horse meat holds a particular taboo in American culture, but is a not uncommon element of French, Belgian, Swiss, Japanese, Chinese and even Canadian cuisine. It’s praised for its leanness and sweetness, and pending the outcome of the summit, might spark a reconsideration of the Restore Our Mustangs Act, passed by the House of Represntatives but awaiting action in the Senate, which prohibits the processing of wild horses or burros for slaughter.

We’ve asked before if our readers would be willing to eat horse meat and were slightly surprised by the outcome, expecting an infinitely more negative response.

I have and I enjoy it. 9.65%
I haven’t, but I would. 28.38%
Only under dire circumstances 19.74%
I could never do that. 42.23%

Is there a change in perception on the hoof?

Take the poll, here.

I took it. What was your answer?

“I personally wouldn’t eat horse meat, but I do not have anything against eating horse meat. Personally, I think due to the economy it would be a welcomed way to help fight against starvation. There are so many people going hungry and really horses are livestock, it is just that our perception of them is more along the lines of pets.”


“I don’t see horse meat as a huge deal. What makes it different from eating a cow, deer, or elk? They are all mamals of a similar type, and it can be said that moose, elk, or deer are as intelligent as a horse, and many cow lovers would talk about how intelligent they are.

I don’t understand why people see some meet as being wrong, and others as being normal (primates aside), and cultural bias aside I’d like to hear a valid argument against eating horse meat (or cat/dog for that matter).”



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