News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

March 12, 2013

READERS' FORUM: March 12, 2013

Do we pet horses — or eat them?

 

Recently, food safety officials in United Kingdom, France and Sweden found traces of horse meat 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 horse meat.

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.

— Theo Mattson

Terre Haute

 

Correction

Aimee Janssen-Robinson was the author of a letter published Friday about reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. An incorrect first name was published with the original letter.

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    March 12, 2010

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