April 13, 2009

"Does the United States really want to be a country that sends horses to slaughter, here or abroad?"

"Throughout history, horses have paid an excruciating price as we built our civilizations on their backs, forced them into our bloody wars and bestowed on them the agonizing fate of being the predominant mode of transportation. Humanity owes the horse, and a 21st-century horse-loving nation ought to ensure a life, and death, of dignity for these animals."

A letter to the editor. Here's the underlying news story about slaughtering horses:
An estimated 100,000 horses a year are shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughter, prompting Congress to consider a bill that would ban the sale and transport of horses for human consumption outside the country. But Arkansas, Georgia and eight other states are against such a ban, saying owners need affordable options for unwanted horses.

Last week in Montana, the Legislature approved a bill allowing the construction of horse-slaughter facilities....

“Bottom line is you have to separate the animal from the pet,” said State Representative Edward B. Butcher, a Republican who wrote the Montana bill.
Butcher....
“No one has to send a horse to a processing plant,” he added. “It’s just an option for horses that are unusable. And it’s much more humane than leaving them there to starve to death.”
There are a lot of issues here — including federalism, one of my favorite issues: Is this a matter that ought to be dealt with at the state or the national level?

But what I'm most interested in myself is the letter-writer's argument. Should we take a moral position on the individual animal in light of the historical contribution of the species? Is it okay to slaughter cattle — because they were always only about food — but not okay to slaughter horses — because of all the work they've done for us? Some horses have gone to battle, so all horses should be honored? Is this a good moral argument?

90 comments:

Jason said...

Yes. Horses are special, and deserve a special protected status under the law, because of our sentimental attachment to them. People shouldn't just have a willy-nilly right to put their own horses down. Privacy be damned.

No problem upholding a right to an abortion, though.

Joan said...

Should we take a moral position on the individual animal in light of the historical contribution of the species?

No. What a bizarre thought process.

That said, I had no idea that so many horses were slaughtered each year. There must be a market for them, somewhere, and really, why should people not eat horses, because they're pretty? Lambs are cute, and delicious, too.

raf said...

I admit to personal squeamishness (Is "squeam" a word? Shouldn't it be, if "squeamish" is? Then I could just admit to a personal squeam and save seven letters.) regarding slaughtering/eating horses, but I find the attitude incoherent. Horses have been a staple of dogfood anecdotes for, roughly, ever, and horsehide is a useful leather which has to come from somewhere, yes? If slaughter is acceptable for these purposes, and other nations do not have a cultural bias against horseflesh, then so be it. Just don't expect me to partake.

zedzded said...

FLS ate his ponies.

mcg said...

But Jason, horses have done far more good for us than unborn babies ever have!

traditionalguy said...

I smell a pander for a payoff to go away, from these sudden HORSE LOVERS. There will be a lot of horses unfed soon as the Energy Rape-off taxes come down on the USA from Pres. Obama and the Sorosocrats. If it eats, you cannot afford it will become reality this time next year.

rhhardin said...

It's a moral argument because it defines who you are, assuming it's your horse.

If it's somebody else's horse, it's moralism.

Moralism is an entertainment for the masses.

Bill Harshaw said...

Cattle are/were not "always about food". Oxen have a long history of being draft animals. I live near "West Ox Road", designating a colonial-era road which was improved enough for oxen-drawn vehicles.

Smilin' Jack said...

...a bill that would ban the sale and transport of horses for human consumption...

I thought horses were slaughtered for dog food.

Anyway, horses were pussies to accept bondage, and got what they deserved. Zebras, on the other hand, won't put up with that shit, and have never been tamed.

Kirk Parker said...

"...including federalism, one of my favorite issues: Is this a matter that ought to be dealt with at the state or the national level?"

Isn't it a prior and much more important question, under federalism, whether we even can constitutionally deal with it at the national level?

Just because someone concludes we should, that doesn't absolve us of the necessity of the whole arduous Article V process if we currently can't. (Or it shouldn't anyway, and wasn't supposed to.)

raf said...

Same "argument" as for dogs and cats, really.

rocketeer67 said...

Horses make our Belgian pommes frites delicious, and provide an enjoyable mode for rambling over the countryside.

Ms. Gore just ain't broad-minded, is all.

former law student said...

I thought horses were slaughtered for dog food.

Horsemeat is a real treat in Belgium and la Francophonie. For me, the steaks and roasts are eerily small. And, judging by the bags at the feed store, chickens and lambs are what's slaughtered for dog food.

If you don't want your beloved pet to be sold for meat, make sure it's buried like a Christian. (Cremation would increase your carbon footprint by an unacceptable amount.)

Salamandyr said...

Interesting cultural imperialism at work in that letter writer's words. Not only should we not eat horses, we shouldn't let anybody else either (at least with our horses).

Seems like a bad law, and a substantially silly thing to ban.

Bissage said...

Should we take a moral position on the individual animal in light of the historical contribution of the species?

No. We should invent a myth and call them sacred.

But seriously, every individual horse should get a hearing where it can present its defense to the inquiry: What have you done for us lately?

Same for people.

Tasty!

Bissage said...

P.S. Justify my love!!1!!!!

Jason said...

If you outlaw horse meat, only outlaws will have horse meat.

SteveR said...

I feel the same way about the internal combustion engine.

rocketeer67 said...

(Cremation would increase your carbon footprint by an unacceptable amount.)

The horses I've known were all prodigiously flatulent. On a percentage basis, cremating one couldn't be adding much.

PatCA said...

It's an absurd view, but it's a fashionable one and reflective of the fact that most of us these days have no contact whatever with the reality of nature.

For one thing, the horses' contribution was not willing. In fact, we enslaved them.

Secondly, is it possible to live as a pacifist among predators?

I don't think so.

Eric said...

This crap is becoming a real problem in California. After they outlawed slaughter in the state it became very expensive to get rid of an old horse. Owners have predictably taken to dumping horses on other people's property in the middle of the night like old mattresses or refrigerators.

David said...

Send the horses to the prison in Afghanistan where Obama plans to keep people he thinks we should be worried about. (The Obama Administration, where "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" meets "Out of Sight, Out of Mind.")

junyo said...

Isn't horse meat routinely on the menu in Europe? And aren't Europeans naturally our cultural betters? Therefore turning horses into meat = cultural progress.

former law student said...

The horses I've known were all prodigiously flatulent. On a percentage basis, cremating one couldn't be adding much.

In general that should be OK, because the carbon being emitted was recently sequestered by being taken up by the alfalfa, oats, timothy, etc. that was grown to feed the horses. One's carbon footprint grows by burning fossil fuels. Presumably the same fields will continue to grow the alfalfa, oats, timothy, etc., which will take up the carbon from the flatulence.

If no fossil fuel is used to cremate the horse, then one's carbon footprint stays good.

Increasing one's carbon footprint can be dangerous. The NYT recently alluded to an unfortunate 2004 incident in Brooklyn. Moshe Schick, a 27 year old father of three and son of the Breslov rabbi, burned himself and others by using fossil fuels to sustain the pre-Pesach burning of chametz.

Because the wind kept putting out the fire, Moshe Schick was trying to revive it with paint thinner. But some embers were still burning, and just as he poured, a gust of wind came up and the stream of liquid vaporized in a flash, a fire official said.

A 2-year-old, a 9-year-old, a 15-year-old and a 50-year-old, all male, were also burned in the explosion ... The 50-year-old's hands were covered in second- and third-degree burns because he had tried to put out the fire. ...
But Mr. Schick was the most seriously hurt, with burns covering 20 percent of his body, including his torso, arm and face.

MadisonMan said...

Why did I know, before looking, that the letter writer was from the East Coast?

I say if Massachusetts does not want to export horses for slaughter, the Legislature in Boston should pass a bill saying so. And the residents of that fine state should keep their Brahmin Noses out of their neighbors' affairs.

Henry Buck said...

I would expect any law banning the transport of horses for slaughter, based upon the mere moral feeling of the law's proponents, to be struck down as a violation of due process.

The Supreme Court has already announced that liberty trumps morality, even "profound and deep convictions accepted as ethical and moral principles." "The issue is whether the majority may use the power of the State to enforce these views on the whole society through operation of the criminal law."

The Court must "define the liberty of all," not "mandate our own moral code.”

Lawrence v. Texas.

But then again, I don't really expect any consistency from the Court.

Peter V. Bella said...

Just send the Horses to France in the spirit of improving foreign relations.

Joe said...

I've found that city folk are much more sentimental about horses than those on farms that actually own them. When younger I largely believed the myth of the horse as a majestic beast (though was never bothered by them getting slaughtered), then I had several roommates in my late teens, early twenties, who owned horses and had been around them all their lives. They convinced me that horses were among the dumbest animals that ever lived and there is nothing romantic about them.

I should add that were it up to my daughters all horses would be slaughtered. An entire species vilified by one who stepped on their feet.

Palladian said...

Goodbye horses... I'm flyin' over you... [nsfw]

ricpic said...

I lay the blame in the stall of Mr. Ed.

rocketeer67 said...

They convinced me that horses were among the dumbest animals that ever lived and there is nothing romantic about them.

Again, just my experience, but it is somewhat extensive - horses are like people in this respect: there are smart ones, and dumb ones. Speaking of relative smarts, though, in the heirarachy of species found on the farm, they are well above the chickens, slightly below the farmer, and way behind any mules that may be present.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Is "squeam" a word? Shouldn't it be, if "squeamish" is?

You still wake up sometimes, don't you? You wake up in the dark and hear the squeaming of the horses.

AllenS said...

There are no horses used in Animal Crackers.

Richard Dolan said...

If it's forbidden to slaughter horses, where will we get horsehide from? Baseballs covered in horsehide have a storied history. And the best motorcycle jackets are still made from horsehide.

Without horsehide, what's to become of our national pasttimes? This sounds like a Plot Against America.

ElcubanitoKC said...

"We don't want factories in our backyard!"

"We don't want our factories going to China!"

"We don't want to work for 8 dollars an hour, but we want to pay $2 for any product at Wal-Mart!"

"We don't want things being produced in Mexico, but we want to pay $2 for any product at Wal-Mart!"

Not quite the same, but similar...

Joseph Hovsep said...

Is this a good moral argument?

No. I also don't get the similar moral offense taken when people see other cultures slaughtering/eating animals that we keep as pets. Why is it bad to slaughter and eat a dog but fine to slaughter and eat a pig?

Jeremy said...

Someone needs to speak out on behalf of the pony, too! Afterall, he's just a little hoarse.

Palladian said...

"Why is it bad to slaughter and eat a dog but fine to slaughter and eat a pig?"

Because pork is far better tasting than dog. Carnivores, on the whole, do not make for good eating.

Palladian said...

And horses don't make for the best eating either because they develop far too much muscle and not enough fat. Stick to plump little ponies.

veni vidi vici said...

old horse = lame horse = glue horse.

paul a'barge said...

Slaughtering an animal for food that can no longer be used in work or is likely to suffer starvation IS HONORING that animal.

The no-slaughter laws passed in the USA recently were a huge mistake. And these laws are the predominant reason for animals starving.

Talk to some of us involved in horse rescue who have restored the health of neglected horses or have had to put them down.

humane slaughter is honor.

Bruce Hayden said...

The good and the bad about living in northern Nevada is that we have a lot of both domesticated and feral horses around here. And the later opens up another big can of worms - they overgraze the land, and the only predator left are their friends - us. The attempts to adopt them out just cannot keep up with the numbers, and so some are shipped outside the country for recycling.

Revenant said...

They're animals, not people.

That really ought to conclude the discussion.

raf said...

IgBliss

No, I wake myself up by squeaming *for* the horses.

Works better than an alarm clock, really.

raf said...

Rev, you are clearly out of date. People don't have rights; animals do.

Henry said...

It's a categorical mistake.

Horses aren't special.

Ponies are special.

Synova said...

Wow, not a single comment yet saying that horses should never be eaten.

I saw the funniest thing on television... it was about this restaurant in NYC (IIRC) that served exotic meats. They had a special horse fillet, but it wasn't on the menu, you had to know enough to ask. It was their most popular item.

The funny bit was where the owner explained that they only served horse that had died of natural causes.

Henry said...

Here's to geldings!

rocketeer67 said...

Here's to geldings!

Jeremy usually shows up on his own - no need to summon him.

Synova said...

As for the moral argument... it sounds like pure PETA animal hating rhetoric.

Look at it.

It's not that horses shouldn't be eaten... it's that they shouldn't be kept! We "force" horses into our bloody wars, using them for transportation is an "agonizing fate." Which puts the pony club girls or the trail riders or the show horse ladies right in the same camp of horse oppressors as those who think they are tasty.

100,000 horses a year is not a large number. Not really. And those (IIRC) sold for human consumption are generally draft animals bred in order to produce "pregnant mare urine" used for hormone treatments for menopause. So... young animals, and never pets.

What should be done isn't banning the shipment of those horses to Canada for slaughter, but the slaughter and consumption of them here in the US.

Jeremy said...

First they want rights for the noble horse. Next thing you know it's disability payments to any jackass with a sore hoof.

Peter V. Bella said...

First they want rights for the noble horse. Next thing you know it's disability payments to any jackass with a sore hoof.

I figured you would find a way to inject the Democrat Party in here some how.

fivewheels said...

Some horses have gone to battle, so all horses should be honored? Is this a good moral argument?

Not in my opinion. But it is a common and particularly leftist argument, in that the desire is to treat all members of a class as if the experience of individual members of that class are universal. It's reparations for horses.

How is deferential treatment for a 21st century plowhorse (ostensibly as a reward for the good work of Paul Revere's giddyup) different from, say, affirmative-action remedies being applied to young women and minorities just exiting college who by definition have definitely not encountered employment discrimination (yet)?

This isn't any more stupid than that.

Pogo said...

I will now start eating horse meat just to piss these people off.

Dad Bones said...

My old barber rode a horse to school every day in northern North Dakota with his big sister sitting behind him bitching in his ear the whole hour it took to get there. He was also required to carry a shotgun in case they spotted a rabbit or bird so he could bring home something for the frying pan.

HE doesn't miss horses even if they did give him a good sense of humor.

Henry said...

Rocketeer, you warned me too late.

Do horses even make good glue anymore? Can we ask a Canadian?

Rabbit skin glue is still a traditional sizing for artists' canvas. I'm pretty sure I still have some in my basement, dehydrated, just add water.

Art history abounds with loving portraits of horses painted on canvases sized with rabbits.

Synova said...

When gas was so expensive last year one of the elementary schools in the area ended up with enough people taking their children to school, or picking them up, on horseback that it was in the paper and they had to do something about having a horse drop-off/pick-up area for safety reasons.

Peter V. Bella said...

I will now start eating horse meat just to piss these people off.

Here ya go Pogo:

Picula ad Caval

This traditional Italian recipe will serve 6

21/4 pounds ground horse meat
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2-1/2 ounces ground cured lard (or pancetta)
2 onions, minced
1 glass dry white wine (though some Italian chefs prefer broth)
6 ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded, chopped, and drained
2 bell peppers, ribbed and seeded, then diced
2 Tbsp. minced fresh herbs (basil, sage, and rosemary in proportions to taste)
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil, lard, and onion in a skillet. Sauté until the onion has become golden but don’t let it get really brown. Add the horse meat and brown it, stirring frequently. When it has browned, sprinkle in the glass of wine and reduce the heat to a bare simmer. Cover it, and let it cook for at least an hour. Mix in the chopped tomatoes and diced peppers, and continue cooking for another half hour.

Ten minutes before removing the dish from the stove, sprinkle the minced herbs over everything. Serve it hot with salt and pepper to taste.

Pastissada

Another traditional Italian recipe from the Verona area.

2 pounds horse meat
2 ounces lard or porkback fat
2-3 carrots, cut into slivers
2 sticks celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves
a dozen coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic
1 bottle Italian red wine
flour, enough to brown the meat with
1/4 cup olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. butter kneaded into enough flour to make a small ball
paprika to taste

Slather the meat with the lard and slivers of carrots. Dice the other vegetables and put them, with the meat and spices (except the paprika) in a bowl. Pour the wine over everything, then cover and marinate in the refrigerator for three days, turning the meat occasionally.

Pat the meat dry with paper towel (keep the vegetables and the marinade), flour it, and brown it in the oil over a brisk flame. Add the vegetables. When they’ve cooked for a few minutes, pour the marinade over the meat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about three hours. Once the meat is done, remove it to a platter saving the sauce that has been formed with the marinade.

Return the sauce to the fire, thicken it with the butter-flour ball, and season it to taste with paprika. Pour the sauce over the meat, and serve with a good traditional side dish.

Filet Mignon

This simple French classic serves 4.

4 four-ounce filets of horse
4 slices bacon
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare exactly as for a filet mignon. Wrap outside of filet with uncooked bacon slice and secure with toothpicks. Broil to taste.

Sauerbraten (Sour Roast)

Practically a German sacrament

2-1/2 lbs. horse meat roast
4 strips bacon (optional)
soup vegetables: carrot, celery, leek (optional), parsley root (optional), onion (optional)
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 pint red wine (optional)
1 garlic clove
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. juniper berries
3 allspice corns and/or cloves
3 peppercorns
1 thyme branch
1/4 cup pork lard
1 Tbsp. flour (optional)
1/2 cup raisins
salt
pepper
maple syrup (to taste)

Vigorously rub the roast with the bacon. Clean and wash the vegetables and cut them into pieces. Bring the vinegar to boil with some water or stock, then let it cool down a bit and add the meat, garlic, spices, and the vegetables. Let it marinade in a closed bowl for several days (but at least 24 hours) in a cool place.

Remove the horse meat from the marinade and roast it in the lard. Then slowly add the marinade, together with the vegetables and the spices. Braise it in the oven for 2 to 21/2 hours at 350 degrees. Remove the bay leaves, the cloves and the juniper berries from the gravy. Strain the gravy, and perhaps thicken it with some flour. Add the raisins and season it with salt, pepper, and maple syrup. Serves 4.

Pogo said...

Actually, that sounds quite yummy.

Need I avoid eating horsemeat?
Neigh!!

bagoh20 said...

It was the selfless sacrifice of cows and pigs throughout history that gave the horse the opportunity to be noble. Do they not deserve similar respect. Not to mention the lowly potato, carrot and eggplant, apparently without anyone to champion their plight. It seems only the mosquito truly deserves to be eaten, but the tables had been turned long ago on that. How ignoble are we that these vile creatures dine on us.

Jeremy said...

"Does the United States really want to be a country that sends horses to slaughter, here or abroad?"

Trooper says that no one would want to eat Sarah Jessica Parker anyways - her knees are too sharp.

Cripes, man. Make a couple lame joke and I get jumped on for sharing a name with LOS. Easy on the trigger, fellas.

-The Other Jeremy

John Lynch said...

The economic impact of no-slaughter laws is to make prices for old horses collapse. It becomes more expensive to keep one than you'll ever get for it. Basically you give them away.

I find it interesting that the more urban and less rural we become, the more laws we pass to inconvenience the farmers we still have left. When more of us lived outside of cities and lived with animals every day we were far less sentimental.

Cedarford said...

Eric said...
This crap is becoming a real problem in California. After they outlawed slaughter in the state it became very expensive to get rid of an old horse. Owners have predictably taken to dumping horses on other people's property in the middle of the night like old mattresses or refrigerators.


Now, that is funny. Sorta mirrors the joke about Granny dumping. Judge: "Why did you just dump your 85-year old Granny at McDonalds?" "Your honor, we tried the glue factory, but they just wouldn't take her!"

Frankly, until anthropomorphic suburbanites divorced from the reality of animals came into existence - Americans were practical people. A dead horse was a heck of a lot of useful meat, leather, and parts to American people that sometimes counted themselves lucky to have domesticated, raised meat once or twice a week. A dead horse was a windfall in some cities where people lined up to bid on a dead one. They were not wasted.

My wife's father is a practical Yankee. When her pet horse was killed by a truck, he had it butchered. She even ate a bit of "ol' Blossom"...
And we found some old cookbooks that had as many horse recipes as beef. Horse sauerbraten - the book said far better in the dish than beef. (The Germans seem to agree). And I like the one for Horsehead scrapple. It starts "Put the severed horsehead in a very large
pot of salted water. Reserve the tongue. If your pot is too small for the whole head, use a sturdy ax 1st."

My main objections to this idiocy is America used to be a free country. If your horse dies it it is time to put it down and you feel it is sacriledge to eat it, fine, bury your nag in a 30,000 dollar rosewood coffin for all I care. But don't dictate your sentiments into State coercion - as law & obligations others must comply with.

And PETA and other animal lovers agenda doesn't end with a ban on all Americans eating the horse meat their ancestors thought of as a treat...no sireee!!

Revenant said...

Rabbit skin glue is still a traditional sizing for artists' canvas.

What is "sizing"? I haven't heard that term in relation to canvas before.

Scipio said...

Horses are tasty animals. It's true. Lean and delicious. It's a known anecdotal fact that cute animals taste better.

zedzded said...

Revenent - google is your friend.

Peter V. Bella said...

My main objections to this idiocy is America used to be a free country.

No truer words were ever spoken.

Peter V. Bella said...

Filly mingon for everyone!!!!!
A car in every garage.
A horse in every pot.

Palladian said...

"Rabbit skin glue is still a traditional sizing for artists' canvas. I'm pretty sure I still have some in my basement, dehydrated, just add water."

No, it needs to be soaked then heated properly to produce a glue. And if it's too old, you'll get a bad glue. If you've had it in your basement a while, throw it out.

"What is "sizing"? I haven't heard that term in relation to canvas before."

Sizing is a substance applied the raw canvas or wooden panel prior to the application of the "ground". Traditionally, for oil painting, the ground was an oil-based ground, usually lead white ground in linseed oil with other substances added, such as chalk, marble dust or other pigments. Linseed oil is acidic and if applied directly to raw canvas, it will eventually "rot" the fabric. Sizing, traditionally rabbit skin or other glue, is a buffer between the linen (or later cotton) and the oil ground. Sizing also limits or prevents the absorption of oil into the cloth which would make for a bad, too-dry ground as well as "rotting" the linen.

Modern acrylic-based grounds (incorrectly called "gesso") do not damage the canvas so they can be applied directly without sizing. But in my opinion acrylic based grounds and cotton canvas are both unsuitable for permanent oil painting. I've tried acrylic size under a lead-oil ground as a replacement for rabbit skin glue, since it's much easier to prepare than the animal glue, but I was not pleased with the results.

Horse glue is too strong and too brittle to be used as a canvas sizing.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
raf said...

The same generally sentimental approach has led to severe deer overpopulation around here. I have even heard similar comments about cows. Anyone who harbors such sentiments has never spent significant time close-up. Deer and cattle are not nearly as attractive when they can step on you.

Pogo said...

We should just tell the soft-hearted that horses and deer are right wingers.

AllenS said...

How many people are aware of the fact that Roy Rogers had his famous horse, Trigger stuffed. It's at his museum.

JAL said...

Well, speaking as a horse owner ....

On the legal side, there are some issues which would involve the feds since it involves, in most cases, commerce across state (and international) borders.

I don't know what the answer to the horse slaughter question is. There has been a lot of discussion about the conditions in the slaughterhouses. They are miserable. So putting horses down in those circumstances is not romantic and / or honorable.

The acquisition of the horses for slaughter has also been problematical for me. Horses are, in fact, stolen to be sold for meat. (Synova not withstanding re "pets" not being slaughtered.) Not all, but with enough regularity that it is chilling.

The most heart breaking story [switching to liberal mode], which has been taken off the net, due to the effect on the girl/owner, I think, was that of a lovely, fairly young horse which was raised by a young girl. The horse was stolen (NY? PA? Ohio?) and within 48 hours slaughtered in Canada. This was clearly a well taken care of animal, this was clearly an animal who was transported out of the country, and it had to be done with illegal paperwork. Stunning to me, as I followed the story from right when the horse was stolen to when they were able to document it had been killed.

One of the more outrageous stories for many horse people is that of a Kentucky Derby winner (Ferdinand?) who was bought by a Japanese Syndicate for stud purposes. He was shipped to Japan, and as one might guess from the thread, was later sold for slaughter, much to the dismay of his breeder, trainers, and former owners. (Bizarre story as stud fees for KD winners can provide a tidy income.)

Certain aspects of the horse industry are in fact, in favor of some form of horse slaughter in the US. (I believe the American Quarter Horse Association?) There was a place in California which provided free or low cost euthanization for unuseable horses. That would be a possibility. (Perhaps cremating them could provide an energy source?)

One of our horses is an "off-the- track-Thoroughbred" (OTTB) who was found at an auction by a friend. He was "no-saled" and the option left for the horse dealer was to sell him to the killer buyer (that's what they are called). This was a couple years ago when the slaughterhouses were still open in the US. 'Unwanted' horses end up there, although they are not unuseable....)

Our friend worked a deal for him out with the guy and we ended up with the horse a year or so later as a freebie. He is a wonderful horse.

Indeed, although horses function differently in our lives than dogs, they could be counted as 'pets' I suppose. I have had to move several horses on, but always with a sense of security that they would be well taken care of, or are in a no kill situation.

The ones we have now will be put down when the time comes, and probably buried on the property, as we have the room. (Horses can live to 30 -- so it can be a long relationship.) The usual method of disposal is to have a vet put a horse down and the body taken to the "renderer." I am not sure if the meat ends up in dog food or not.

Horses and humans do develop a unique kind of partnership -- a bit different than other human / animal relationships. While farmers and ranchers have a necessarily pragmatic take on horses, the bonds can be extremely deep, much as the one that a number of folks have mentioned here with their dogs. (Roy Rogers stuffing Trigger was a bit over the top, but I can almost understand it. Who was Roy without Trigger?)

From the comments, I would guess there are not too many riders / horse owners on the list.

And we tend to classify "horse traders" somewhat like used car salesman ...

Responsible horse ownership is the answer. But that takes responsible humans. Can't legislate that.

Just do what can be done not to slaughter any little girls' horses, if they do set up more slaughterhoueses.

Revenant said...

Revenent - google is your friend.I had better things to do than search the internet for the answer to that question. Easier to just ask the person who mentioned it.

Revenant said...

Palladian, thanks for the answer. I had no idea oil painting was so involved. :)

kentuckyliz said...

Just call it horse recycling, and the whiny lefties should get on board.

I am a former horsewoman. I do not knowingly eat horses. Nor do I eat guinea pigs or dogs but I know other cultures do. I don't begrudge them their culinary adventures. No accounting for taste.

Horses should all be loved, well behaved, and well utilized for their particular station in life, then they should die peacefully in their sleep the moment they become a useless burden.

Since we live in reality, we know that not all horses are loved, well behaved, useful, or welcome.

Every horse a wanted horse.

Food processing is just one more way to want a horse.

Sympathize with the CA quagmire. My BIL has a farm, and people drop off dogs there, thinking they'll have a happy life on the farm, because they're too cheap to pay the pound fee. My BIL has only ever kept one or two of them, because they have to be good cattle herding dogs. He shoots the others. He lets people know it too. He gets stuck doing the dirty work for the cowards.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"I will work harder."

- Boxer

Ralph said...

The Bible says all flesh is grass, so everybody graze!

A number of horse farmers come to my company to buy fertilizer and seed. My boss says they're all nuts, and I'm beginning to agree with him.

Palladian said...

"Palladian, thanks for the answer. I had no idea oil painting was so involved. :)"

It is if it's done correctly. It rarely is, however :)

zedzded said...

Rev, google is still your friend.

And, if you are so busy, why are you posting here so often?

Peter V. Bella said...

They Eat Horses Don't They?

Revenant said...

And, if you are so busy, why are you posting here so often?Why do you think I'm so busy? :)

zedzded said...

You got me.

Henry said...

If you go to Wikipedia you can find out that "As an adhesive, Rabbit-skin glue is used in the production of the bellows of concertinas."

But you won't find anything as clear or pertinent as what Palladian wrote.

The technique I learned is to dissolve the powdered glue in water heated just short of boiling. Then you let it cool until it begins to set up. It is a gelatin. Then apply the glue to the canvas or board with a palette knife or stiff brush, working it well into the texture or grain of the support.

traditionalguy said...

Horse rendition may be another plan by the Cheney cabal to shame our National Purity. Haliburton must be getting money out of it. They say that Cheney is from Wyoming where he even Rides around on top of poor Horses. How cruel a thought.

PatCA said...

traditionalguy, I heard Obama killed a horse once, but he agonized for hours about it beforehand.

zedzded said...

You misunderstood - he said he shot some horse, not a horse.

memomachine said...

Hmmm.

Only pretty animals deserve to live.

The ugly ones become lunch, brunch or are mulched.

vicki said...

John Lynch, if slaughter is banned, the economic impact you speak of is nil. According to the USDA, over 90% of horses going to slaughter are fit, sound, healthy and an average age of 7. The meat men want healthy horses with meat on their bones.

It is not a sentimental issue. It is an issue of slaughtering an animal that is not a food animal in the US. They are not classified as food animals and one branch of the government classifies them as companion animals. Horses have no production records and there are no drug protocols on the meds routinely given to horses.

Horses are the only animal slaughtered that we do not consume. If the Europeans want to eat horse meat, they can butcher their own horses just as the Asians do with dogs and cats. Is that next? Allow Asia to set up shop and butcher our dogs and cats?