Did you know 90,000 horses were slaughtered in this country last year and exported for human consumption? Neither did I. I learned about it today after reading this article about a House vote that passed the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. There are only three horse slaughterhouses in the U.S. that would have to shut their doors if the ban passes the Senate. But the idea of killing horses and then serving them up for a meal has caused an uproar among activists, celebrities and regular folks alike, driving support for the new law.
The inhumane nature of the practice is another argument. I found some footage from inside a horse slaughterhouse provided by the Humane Farming Association. Just based on that, it didn’t look much different from footage I’ve seen for cows, pigs or sheep. Killing animals is a disturbing business, period. Even on farms that go to great lengths to maintain a high quality of life for their animals, the fact that they will die for food eventually is unpleasant. Some of the cutest, happiest animals I’ve ever seen were on a free-range farm just north of New York City. In six months, the lambs would be lamb chops. That’s the nature of the beast.
It’s easy to single out horses for this ban because we don’t eat them in the U.S. I’ve been meaning to read Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” for a while. As a teaser, I read the excerpt provided on his website. Interesting read in light of this new development.