Q: Should horses be "food animals"?

March 11, 2009 | By Chitown | 22 answers | Expired: 2512 days ago


This week the Montana legislature could pass a bill allowing construction of the nation's only horse slaughterhouse. Horse meat would be shipped overseas for human consumption. Please tell me whether or not you think horses should be treated the same as "food animals" like cows, sheep, & pigs, and please give your reasons. Thanks.

Readers' Answers (22)
R.T. F.

Mar 12, 2009

The excuse of bad economic times requiring that horses be slaughtered is a gross twisting of the facts. The foreign powers that fuel this debate with their big pocketbooks believe that all Americans are blithering idiots. Well not ALL of us are that stupid or uninformed.

Anyone who thinks that slaughter is humane in any way shape or form has never watched the warm and bloody horse hides, complete with manes, roll off a conveyer belt and land in a container with a gross plop while a cloud of black flies raises from within...they have never been there. They have never seen the captive bolt gun miss it's mark and shatter the side of a horse's skull while it screams in fear. They were not there when a chain was tied to one of the horse's rear hooves, while it struggled, and hoisted into the air to have it's throat slashed and skinned while alive...Humane? Give me a blinking break.

The American horse has never been and never will be raised as a "food animal". Not too many years ago you were considered poor if you did not own a horse as it was your means of transportation and perhaps your mode of work and how you earned a living. This country was founded on the back of the horse.

If it is ok to brutally murder horses for food for twisted foreigners then lets apply the same principle to the cat and dog issue of overpopulation. There must be a market for them, too, if you have that sort of mind set.

Humane to slaughter horses, not on your life!!!


R.T. Fitch
Author - "Straight from the Horse's Heart"
The Force of the Horse®, LLC

Thumbs Up: 6 | Thumbs up!

Jason V.

Mar 11, 2009

Ok, I'm probably opening a can of worms here but…

Declaring one species as acceptable food while another species is not, is purely a cultural issue. Historically the concept of horse as food even in the US was acceptable at times. At one time the primary reason against eating a horse was due to its value as a pack animal. However in lean times or when the horse out lived it’s usefulness, it was fair game as food. If you look at the food that Lewis & Clark’s team ate in their travels you will see that they ate a number of their own horses as well as dogs they traded for with the Native Americans.

I would think that the big question would come down to what the definition of a ‘food’ animal is. How would the qualifications be measured? Would these be objective methods or purely subjective in nature. If they are subjective, who gets to decide?

With the US being a mixture of pretty much every other culture on the planet how do we balance the fact that cows are sacred to some people and pigs and goats are unclean to others, but we generally find them acceptable as food. Only to turn around and say the horse is not acceptable as food?

As for me personally, While I love a good cheeseburger, I don’t think I could bring my self around to eat a horse-burger.

Thumbs Up: 3 | Thumbs up!

Lauren B.

Mar 12, 2009

The fact is that the number of horses going to slaughter is actually the same or higher than before the plants in Illinois and Texas were closed. Slaughterhouses have only been closed in the United States. They are still slaughtering horses in Mexico and Canada and there are plenty of auctions in the United States where kill buyers congregate to buy American horses and send them to slaughter. Whether it was in the United States, or currently in Mexico and Canada, the slaughter of horses was/is inhumane: captive bolt, knives or guns. The whole process from auction, transport to slaughter was and is inhumane. That being said, the Oregon Senate voted recently to make horse abandonment a crime by a vote of 27 - 2. The Animal Welfare Institute has also established an abandoned horse reward fund. There is absolutely NO reason to abandon a horse. Those who do need to be held accountable.
As for Illinois, it is unbelievable that there has been a blood money amendment added to HB 583 of a $25 fee for each slaughtered horse. That money will (eventually?) go to rescues. The best and finest horse rescues in Illinois have united to denounce Illinois HB 583 and Amendment #001. Horses are not nor should they ever be "food" animals.

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