There have been some impassioned comments after my blog on the closing of horse slaughterhouses in the U.S. The general tone was that the arguments for stopping the killing of horses for food were not emotional but then the arguments used pushed most of those buttons.
Admittedly, a great deal of horse ownership these days is for social purposes and the animals are more like pets to many people and not really working animals. For those people, the thought of selling their pet to a slaughterhouse when it becomes injured or too old to function properly is an anathema. If they don’t have the facilities to simply put it out to pasture and let it die of old age, they will go to a veterinarian and pay whatever the going rate is to euthanize the animal and then dispose of the body somewhere (Where do you dispose of a euthanized horse?)
But the horse is still dead. Even though you held its hoof while the needle was being inserted, it is still dead.
So what is the argument?
That the animal needs to be shown respect? Fine and good, but do you legislate that?
Some people eat horse meat and others obviously find just the thought of that to be wrong. But even if you personally don’t believe that horses should be used as food does that give you the moral right to pass laws that effectively stop those people from eating horse meat?
Let’s face it. Whether you slice it or grind it, fry it or BBQ it, meat is meat. Whether it comes from a cow, or a pig or a chicken or a dog or a horse it logically makes no difference.
As a friend of mine pointed out, Arabs and Jews don’t eat pork and the Chinese love it. Hindus don’t eat cows. Some cultures eat dogs. Is any one morally superior because of their diet?
OK, I know that vegans think they are, but that’s just their opinion.