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Do we pet horses or eat them?

Published 12:43pm Saturday, March 9, 2013

To the Editor:

Last week, food safety officials in the United Kingdom, France, and Sweden found traces of horsemeat in ground beef sold across Europe. Massive recalls and lawsuits are ensuing.

Can it happen here? Horse slaughter for human consumption was banned in the U.S. between 2007 and 2011. But now, a New Mexico slaughterhouse is getting approved by U.S. authorities to slaughter horses for human consumption, and a Philadelphia restaurant has already announced plans to serve horsemeat.

I marvel at our hypocrisy of rejecting the notion of horse or dog meat on our dinner plates, while condemning cows, pigs, and chickens to the same fate. Obviously, we have established special relationships with horses and dogs as our companions, protectors, and sports protagonists, rather than as food. But where is the ethical and logical distinction, given that all these animals are endowed by individuality, sentience, and an ability to experience the same feelings of joy, affection, sadness, and fear that we do?

Fortunately, our health food industry has spared us from having to choose which animals to pet and which ones to eat. Their delicious soy and grain-based meat alternatives are available in every supermarket.

Felix Torres

  • Jeff Turner

    Has anybody ever met this Felix Torres? Supposedly he lives in Franklin, is that so?

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  • chilimac72

    I agree we should not discriminate. There is a place for all of God’s creatures, right next to the mashed potatoes. Goat is the most common ate meat in the world, give it a try. I think horse might be a little tough but what the heck. We mock other countries (India) with famine issues yet cows are running around because they are religious. Well, I say serve it up and if you do not want the beef, good, maybe it will lower the price. By the way, dog isn’t that bad when prepared correctly.

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    • saphronie

      While I obviously don’t agree with your view, Chilimac, I respect it more than the viewpoint of those who are, for some reason, horrified over finding horsemeat in burgers, or the people who proclaim that they “just love animals” between bites of a dead one on their dinner plate. It is a matter of making thoughtful, informed, reasonable decisions.

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  • sue perna

    Descriminating against the “petables and edibles” has always been a problem for me too, Felix. I just plum can’t do it. I mean, I didn’t get an A+ in biology and anatomy but I surely am aware I’m an animal-a cow’s an animal-a horse is and so on and we ALL have nervous systems attached to our brains, e.g., we akk feel pain. Thank you for assuaging my worry that I was the only on this trek toward being a smarter, kinder person living in our (sometimes) selfish, indifferent society.

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  • saphronie

    Well stated, Mr. Torres! I wish more people would take the time to view the documentary, Forks and Knives. It might give people pause for thought about what dead animals are on their dinner plates and how those animals get there!

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