Horses for courses

There’s been a bit of a scandal recently after it was discovered that a few of the beef burgers on sale in supermarkets in the UK and Ireland weren’t exactly beef and contained horse meat.

The reaction to this has been widespread shock and disgust, with one of my coworkers looking rather nauseous as we watched the news on shift.

Now, for me it was a bit of a storm in a teacup, I mean, sure it’s a bit dodgy that they don’t know what was going into their food, but largely I was non-plussed.

I did hear however that pork products had turned up in some as well and this I think is more of a concern. For people of the Jewish and Islamic faith eating pork is a big no-no, and I think it’s unfair that these groups may have unwittingly broken the rules of their religion because of shoddy standards at the production stage.

I know some may think “Big whoop!” but I feel genuinely bad for these cats who may have done so and may fret about it. I can respect their beliefs without agreeing with them and think that allowances should be made, and if you’re anti-pork you’re buying stuff in good faith, so I thought this was a bit more of an issue.

However, a quick internet search (so apologies if this is erroneous information) revealed that for Jews horseflesh is on the no-fry list too. Although it’s okay for Muslims, which is weird as I always assumed the rules came from the same section of what I’d call the Old Testament where animals without “cloven hooves” are expressly forbidden.

So the horses disguised as cows thing is a serious problems if you’re trying to keep kosher.

Anyway, back to the news story and my main issue with the response.

I was amazed by the amount of people who were repulsed by the idea of snacking down on Shergar but would happily munch away on Ermintrude.

Most people don't see an issue with eating Ermintrude.

Most people don’t see an issue with eating Ermintrude.

It just seems wrong to me.

I mean, how can you have a moral objection to eating one type of animal but not another. If you don’t think horses should be killed for meat and you’re veggie fair enough, but if you’re not then don’t let some bollocks attachment to horses elevate them above the rest of the meat.

I think horses are seen as off limits due to good marketing.

I think horses are seen as off limits due to good marketing.

What makes a horse worth more or more precious than a sheep or a chicken or a cow? Other than being able to ride them, what special qualities do they have that means that they shouldn’t be eaten?

I’ve never (knowingly) eaten horse meat, but if offered I wouldn’t turn it down. For all I know my friend Flicka might be the most delicious of all the beasts and I’m missing out.

By the way, before anyone comments I’ll say this- I’m talking any meat I’d give it a go, the only ones I’d refuse would be any endangered species, but if they’re not on the WWF list and they’re not poisonous then I’d probably give it a go.

Dog in Korea? Fetch me some! Bugs in Cambodia? Let’s see what the buzz is about. Alligators in Florida? Make it snappy, my good man!

Oh and to cut off the second argument I’m expected- of course I don’t count humans as a meat I’d sample if offered, I’m not going to go into great detail as to why not, if you don’t get it then I’m a little worried for you and your nearest and dearest next time you get a bit peckish.

Basically it breaks down to this- I see humans as above animals. We’re capable of emotions in a way animals aren’t, we have more insight and intelligence, and while I’m not religious I do think there’s something like a “soul” in us. Animals can have character, sure, but so can buildings. Animals have character, but humans, we are characters and that’s why, unless I come back as a zombie, I’m going to say that manwiches are definitely not on the menu.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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