There has been much in the last day or so about horse meat appearing in beef burgers. In the UK, meat eaters do not on the whole eat horse meat. Somehow eating horses, dogs & cats is considered akin to cannibalism, such is the anthropomorphism applied to domestic pets & other animals who the human race think like them.
Myself, I don’t eat meat at all. I consider eating meat to be a disgusting habit. I can’t see the difference between eating cows & eating people. Are they not living creatures? Is their only role in life to be slaughtered for the consumption of the human race?
I can see that in parts of the World where poverty & deprivation is a big problem it is a different matter altogether. But even in these areas, extreme cruelty is inexcusable. In the West what is called factory farming prevails. Much has been written about that. Animals are kept in appalling conditions, fed growth hormones to speed up the process.
The German film Our Daily Bread (Unser täglich Brot) is worth seeing.
It chronicles the appalling way factory farmed animals are treated in developed countries, not just cattle. There is also film of tomatoes being harvested which made me feel hungry, although, personally I only organic tomatoes & the tomatoes in the film weren’t organic.
Our whole relationship with living organisms on the planet is encapsulated in the way we treat farmed animals. Compassion in World Farming recognises that, at least in the short term, perhaps never, people are going to stop eating meat. Compassion in World Farming seeks to improve the conditions of farmed animals at any rate.
At Christmas there is a mass slaughter of turkeys & other livestock. People just don’t seem to see that this is wrong. The attitude & lack of concern for other animals than ourselves (for that is what we are – animals) is an abuse of power.
We feed animals who are perceived as not liking us to animals who are perceived as liking us. Animals are anthropomorphised or totally disregarded as living creatures. Farmed animals are a commodity. Horses are animals who have their entire lives been slaves of the human race, maybe as race horses, maybe as beasts of burden. Then they are transported in terrible conditions to Europe, slaughtered & eaten. Most people in Europe see nothing wrong with this.
It may be & is the case that in the UK, the reason that people care about eating horses is sentimental; in fact horses are loved by the population of the UK (sort of) & for that reason are repulsed by the thought of eating them. But it is a step in the right direction. The next step, which might just occur, is for people to make the connection generally between their food & how it originates.
I am glad that people are upset about eating horse meat. It’s the first step.