YOUR OPINION: Letters to the Editor March 18, 2013

By NEMS Daily Journal

Do we pet horses or eat them?

Dear Editor:

Last week, 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.

Sincerely,

Stuart Aliche
Tupelo