Horsemeat: Not On My MenuPublished May 26, 2011
This said, tens of thousands of horses, many of which are discarded riding horses, stolen horses, children's ponies, carriage horses, wild horses, race horses and remnants of the Premarin industry continue to be legally shipped over the borders under conditions that are inhumane. They can be sent to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada where their meat is shipped to countries such as France, Japan, and Italy, destined for fancy restaurants that consider horsemeat a delicacy, according to various horse rights organizations, including StopHorseSlaughter.com.
Since y’all know how passionate I am about the welfare of all horses and my unyielding abhorrence toward meat packers that tremendously profit from the slaughter of these magnificent animals, you can only imagine my reaction when I read a news item concerning the popular Canadian television show “Top Chef Canada.”
An episode on the Food Network, Canada included a challenge in classic French Cuisine in which one of the chefs prepared a dish using horse meat. I consider the use of horsemeat a flagrant case of cruelty to animals, so I can’t help but wonder what they were thinking.
I am glad I am not alone in my reaction. In commenting on the episode, the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition stated, "In their triple whammy food extravaganza they manage to insult viewers, align themselves with industries synonymous with inhumane animal handling and promote dubious food eating practices, all in one sickening episode."
While my strongest objection to the airing of this show is based on the ethics of horse slaughter remaining is the question of food safety. Some horses are raised for human consumption in other countries, but if horsemeat from a U.S. carriage or race horse were eaten, a wide variety of drugs, supplements and medications given to the animal in its lifetime could then be consumed. For instance, the frequently administered painkiller, Phenylbutazone, is a carcinogenic and highly toxic to humans.
What I find even more disturbing, is that the Equine Welfare Alliance, suspects this is more than just a cooking challenge. They wrote in a press release, "The choice of horse meat was not an accidental social misjudgment, but more likely the result of influence from a well- funded public relations effort on the part of horse slaughter supporters aimed at gaining acceptance for the meat and desensitizing viewers to horse slaughter in general. Case in point, the Toronto Observer also ran a story on May 11, defending the consumption of horsemeat."
If you wish to read and share your opinions on the episode, leave comment, visit the Food Network Canada's Facebook page or find related tweets to @FoodNetworkCA with the tag #boycott.
What are your thoughts about this program? Share in a comment.