Q: Should horses be "food animals"?

March 11, 2009 | By Chitown | 22 answers | Expired: 2508 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.

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Mar 20, 2009

There are actually two questions here: 1. should horses be used for food?, and 2. should horses be slaughtered in the US for food (here or overseas)?

1. No, because they are inherently inefficient producers of meat per unit of food. Their digestive systems are not efficient enough to justify the waste (literally) of the grains and food given them. Many more acres of grass and/or grain goes toward creating a pound of horseflesh than a corresponding pound of other ungulates (especially ruminants).

2. Maybe, maybe not. It is a cultural squeamishness that makes people think that horse meat is unjustifiable because we have "pet" horses. Pigs are WAY more intelligent and trainable (arguably more intelligent than cats and dogs and horses), and yet they are slaughtered by the millions to fill human appetites. Some tests have put pigs' intelligence up there with our most intelligent non-primate species, dolphins.

As another poster said, horses *will* be slaughtered, and whether it happens in the US or Mexico or Canada, it's just a matter of how far they have to travel.

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Meg S.

Mar 18, 2009

I guess I feel the same way the Hindu's would feel about Americans eating cows.
I beel the entire debate is not WHAT animal is being eaten but SHOULD any animals be eaten. And that debate has many, many decades left before ever being resolved.

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Eight Pond Farm

Mar 16, 2009

I love horses, with all my heart. I also love dogs. and cats. and sheep and cows and chickens. I love each and every animal i take care of. the idea of actually eating one of my cows or one of my sheep or even one of my chickens is as disgusting to me as eating one of my horses or dogs.

Animals, all of them are wonderful, special and unique. I've rarely met an animal i didn't like. and i've never cared for one that i didn't end up loving.

No you bloodthirsty Montana creeps.....i wish i could stop you from leading beautiful horses be slaughtered.

Let the French go kill their own horses.

And all you people that breed and breed horses....perhaps you should cool it. There just are not enough homes for all of them. And you people that use a horse until it's spent, then throw it away when it's no longer good for your barrel racing, or your eventing...Shame on you.

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Nona V.

Mar 15, 2009

No, I will never consider a horse a "food" animal.
Many reasons. Their part our heritage; they are working animals, and more pet than any thing. We do not eat our pets, well Most Americans.horses are not fed to be eaten, and we can not change a horse to be "food" animals to satisfy the over breeders in this country. Most popular breed in the slaughter bound trucks are the AQH.
Sadly our economy and horse owners losing jobs has had horses end at sl. auctions. KB's buy healthy ones.
No matter if 10 sl.plants are built, there will be abuse and neglect. Those neglected are not the ones taken to
No, horses not food animals. Neither are dogs and cats.
Their history with us will not change,and only foreign countries are in to eating "horse."
Americans do not want Horse Slaughter; we need this matter settled once and for all. The sl. issue has been in the political halls for 9 years.
Sen. Landrieu of LA. sold out the horses to another matter.

Say no to Horse Slaughter and stop the over breeding.

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Amanda E.

Mar 14, 2009

Although I realize they have been used as food for eons, I hate the way farm animals are treated while still alive--as if they are not living creatures! Horses should absolutely not be slaughtered! To me, there is something mystical about horses. I can't put my finger on it. We can't control what other countries do but we sure is heck have a voice here in this country. No horse slaughterhouse in this country! (Preferably nowhere)

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Nancy H.

Mar 13, 2009

It is appalling that anyone in this country would consider the dollar over the lives of animals that have carried our a---- for hundreds of years. Without the horse in the pioneer days, they would not have been able to till the soil for the crops or to harvest them. This is sickening and I hope your legislature has better sense.

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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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Joan F.

Mar 12, 2009

Legislatures in 12 states are under-handedly passing legislation to legalize horse slaughter & open new u.s. slaughter houses. Illinois is in the process right now & has a final amendment pending on the 25th of March. In this amendment a Mr jim Sacia (89th district-Illinois)is stating that the horse & burro will be lsited as live stock and horses as young as 12 mos. could be slaughtered.
please e-mail & phone your state legislators. No to bill H.B. 583. I re'cd some of this info from the Humane Society and several horse rescues, joanben ben

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Barbara R.

Mar 12, 2009

Most definitely, NO. We don't eat horses in the USA, so it's silly to slaughter them for it, just to send the meat overseas. Horse slaughter ENCOURAGES horse theft and indiscriminate or irresponsible breeding. www.stophorseslaughter.com

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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 HorseĀ®, LLC

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