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Horse Meat Inspection Ban Lifted In The U.S.

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How we treat horses in this country has always been problematical. Wild horses have had their available range land reduced to where these horses are starving to death. The wild horse has always been a symbol of American independence, of the freedom that still is a dream in other countries. Today's free horses tend not to be the majestic animals that once had vast open lands on which to graze and roam unfettered, but instead are mostly scaggly creatures fighting for their surival against long odds and living on the edge like so many marginalized beings do.

How cows are slaughtered for food has been the subject of much attention in the past few years, and conditions have become more humane because of this in our country. Horses should not be treated as cows. They have a different sort of intelligence and become attached to their owners in a way a cow never does. I sincerely hope anyone who has and loves a horse would give it the kind of easy death it deserves, rather than shipping it off to another country to be disposed of who knows how, just for a few bucks.

C

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On the one hand, I'm very partial to horses, though I've never owned one and don't know how to ride. They're noble animals, smart and capable. To me, a horse would be a workmate, a friend.

In other words, I wouldn't want to eat one, if I could keep from it.

On the other hand, I see no reason for people to go hungry or for an animal's body to be wasted, useless, not put back into the ecosystem the way nature intended. Something in nature deserves to reap the benefit of any creature's death. (And in the case of humans, I believe theirs need to be returned to the land/sea somehow, with whatever customs are respectful.)

I know some cultures eat horses and other animals that I would prefer not to eat unless I absolutely had to. That's their way, their beliefs, and I'm sure they think some of mine are strange. While other cultures would be grossly offended by the idea of eating their horses or various other animals, or perhaps any animals. That, I can respect too.

If I have the means to feed someone who needs to eat, and I deny them that offer, what kind of person am I? -- Just a thought. I don't expect a debate on that.

Horse owners, breeders, and ranchers have to decide for themselves what they believe and what their practical considerations are, the realities of life.

But if it's going to be done, then it needs to be done humanely and regulated for health.

Sigh. It seems a shame. Though if I were starving...well, I'd have to examine that more closely. For now, glad I don't have to.

Just my personal opinion, though. Other people think differently.

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Some cultures eat dogs, and treat them as food animals. We do not. Are we right and they wrong? Because we see our beloved pets as family members? Or is this merely cultural differences. I see the idea of eating horse meat much the same way. Many (most) of us eat beef. And pork. And chicken. How some of these animals are treated before and during slaughter is highly suspect in some facilities. Pigs are more intelligent than both dogs and horses, so is seeing them as food when we don't consider dogs and horses the same way hypocritical?

As to the wild horses issue, remember, all wild horses in North America are released (or escaped) domestic horses. Some decades or centuries ago. Horses are not native to North America, but rather domesticated from a wild version from somewhere around Mongolia. These ancestors of today's domesticated horse is believed extinct. Therefore, there are no truly wild horses, but just feral horses.

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