Photo: Vince Caligiuri / Getty Images Sport
With much of the country and world still recoiling at the horror of having horse meat discovered in their “beef,” cries for closer monitoring of our food production are deafening.
And to the extent that the flesh of animals that aren’t cows is finding its way into food advertised as cow, that’s fine.
It’s fair to want to know what we’re eating.
But there’s a larger question here.
Why don’t Americans eat horses?
Americans eat cows.
We eat chickens.
We eat buffaloes.
We eat pigs, which are supposedly smarter than dogs (another animal we don’t eat).
We eat ducks.
We eat fish.
We eat squirrels.
We eat all sorts of other animals.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
So why are we so horrified by the idea of eating horses?Is it because we have horses as pets?
French people, who are known around the world for being uber-civilized, have horses as pets–and they still eat horses. In fact, the recent horse meat scandal has reminded a lot of French folks that horse meat is delicious, so they’re lining up to buy it.
Is it because we have pastimes like thoroughbred racing (Seabiscuit, Secretariat), equestrian events, etc.?
Certainly possible. But don’t other countries have those?
Is it because the horse is an iconic American animal, having helped the iconic American marlboro man conquer the wild west and starred in books like Flicka and Black Beauty?
Didn’t horses help out folks in other countries? Don’t other countries have books like that?
I’ve never intentionally eaten horse, but I gather some folks consider it delicious.
So why don’t we eat horses? Should we?
Please share thoughts, insights, and links below. We’ll get to the bottom of this!
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