Thursday, January 20, 2011

Americans Do Not Eat Horses

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Guest OpEd by Calamity Cate ~ Founder/Publisher of “TrueCowboy Magazine

Hands Down, Full Stop, That’s the Way it is!

The true symbol of the American West ~ photo by Terry Fitch
I recently attended a conference called the Summit of the Horse in Las Vegas.  This was billed as a group of concerned horse owners, ranchers and breeders led by Sue Wallis, Wyoming State Rep, who were seeking solutions to the “unwanted” horse population in the U.S.A. to “benefit the horses”.  Their solution to their own practice of over-breeding was SLAUGHTER, of both domestic and wild horses, for human consumption to the “poor”, prisoners and school children.
Now I ask you, how do you think a young child would react upon learning the meat on their plate was the pony next door!  Even hard core prisoners would repulse this idea.
The poor?  Families who have probably stopped eating beef to cut back on their food bill.
So why would they eat horses?  They wouldn’t.
Apparently slaughtering cattle for human consumption, directed to prisoners, the poor and school children, is not sufficient.  Where once cattle ranchers could get top dollar for prime beef, that industry has been hit hard in our current economic climate and with the humane shifts in attitude and practice regarding meat consumption.  People are simply eating less meat for personal, economic and philosophical beliefs.
So why would they eat horses?  They wouldn’t.
Further, the group also perpetrated the idea that ALL animal rights and animal welfare advocates are “terrorists”!  Specifically citing Wayne Pacelle, President of HSUS, Ingrid Newkirk, President of PETA and John Holland, President of Equine Welfare Alliance,  as the leaders of the pack, and labeled repeatedly by certain speakers at the Summit as “enemies” and “Know who your enemies are.”   WTF?
Needless to say, I was sick emotionally, spiritually and physically by this ugly, hateful group of “horse lovers”!
Below are points of truth from the Animal Law Coalition and Equine Welfare Alliance.
Tofu anyone?
1. Horses are our companions and pets; they helped build this country and still work in the military and law enforcement and, provide entertainment in horse racing, shows and other sports and exhibitions. Horses are not raised for food in the U.S.
2. The slaughter of horses simply cannot be made humane: Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM & former Chief USDA Inspector, told Congress in 2008 that the captive bolt used to slaughter horses is simply not effective. Horses, in particular, are very sensitive about anything coming towards their heads and cannot be restrained as required for effective stunning. Dr. Friedlander stated, “These animals regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck, they are fully aware they are being vivisected.” The Government Accountability Office and dozens of veterinarians and other witnesses have confirmed that ineffective stunning is common and animals are conscious during slaughter.
3. The FDA does not regulate American horsemeat as food because there is no market for it in the U.S. and most importantly, horsemeat is dangerous, if not deadly, for humans to consume. Horses are given all manner of drugs, steroids, de-wormers and ointments throughout their lives. Horses are not tracked and typically may have several owners. A kill buyer has no idea of the veterinary or drug history of a horse taken to slaughter, and many of the most dangerous drugs have no or a very long withdrawal period. A typical drug given routinely to horses like aspirin, Bute, is a carcinogen and can cause aplastic anemia in humans. Bute is banned in all food producing animals and there is no withdrawal period.
4. The availability of slaughter actually increases the numbers of excess horses on the market. Slaughter creates a salvage or secondary market that encourages over-breeding. Banning slaughter would reduce the number of excess horses. Slaughter is not “an alternative” for so called unwanted horses or horses in need. Slaughter is a for profit industry driven by a demand for horse meat, and has nothing to do with the numbers of excess or unwanted horses. Slaughter actually encourages over-breeding and adds to the problem of horses in need. The USDA has confirmed more than 92% of horses that end up at slaughter are healthy; they are not unwanted, neglected or abused. Horses are in need right now because of the economy and, in fact, slaughter is still available which is further proof that lack of slaughter does not result in excess or unwanted horses. Just the opposite!
One more talking point, True Cowboys/girls DON’T eat their Friends!!!” ~ R.T.

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