Would You Eat Horsemeat?

Some meats make Americans uncomfortable

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By David Hammond

Last week in Las Vegas, the First Summit of the Horse featured presentations from speakers who advocated a return to using horsemeat as a source of nutrition in the human diet.

In 2007, responding to pressure from animal rights groups, Congress ended the consumption of horsemeat by U.S. citizens. Now, some are arguing that if the slaughter is done humanely, it’s wasteful not to use these animals – especially the wild ones, like mustangs, that have to be culled -- as people food.

On a recent trip to Zurich, I spotted horsemeat on a menu. I had to order it. I’d never had it before. I’ll try anything once.

So I ate the horsemeat in gravy with spaetzle, and I have to admit, the spaetzle was the best part of that dish, with the gravy coming in second. The horsemeat was tough and not as flavorful as regular stew meat, but I’m willing to grant that this could have been the fault of the kitchen and not the meat.

Americans feel weird about eating some animals that are considered quite acceptable sources of nutrition in other parts of the world. Not many Americans would feel comfortable eating dog, rabbit or, of course, horse. I attribtue this aversion to childhood memories of Lassie, Thumper and Flicka.

Is that hypocritical?

After all, cows have beautiful eyes and pigs are very intelligent, so if we’re going to base dietary decisions on how lovable a creature is, or how smart it is, we might all have to become vegetarians.

How about you. Would you eat horsemeat?

Reader Comments

5 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

David Hammond from Oak Park  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 5:46 AM

Marie, I respect your opinion, of course (and have no thoughts re: your soul), but please allow me to clarify: I will not, in fact, eat ANYTHING. I very firmly draw the line at members of my own species.

Carnivore  

Posted: January 17th, 2011 4:28 PM

Actually, Marie, they're all ours to devour. Just because you choose not to eat meat doesn't make it immoral for the rest of us. We're each entitled to our own value system. I wouldn't choose to force you to eat a steak (bone-in prime rib eye done rare to medium rare, please), so why should I be expected to live on veggie burritos, hummus and faux bacon?

Marie Perkins from Oak Park  

Posted: January 17th, 2011 3:31 PM

And Mr. Hammond, if you are the type of person who will eat anything, then truly you have no soul!

Marie Perkins from Oak Park  

Posted: January 17th, 2011 3:30 PM

I am appalled that this would even be considered. As a vegan, the thought of eating a living creature is so reprehensible to me. These animals are not ours to devour but to be admired ESPECIALLY an animal as noble as the horse. The horse has been a friend to human beings since they were created. They have helped in farming, construction, delivery services, and as loathe as I am to admit this, have even helped win wars. And what do we do in return? We slaughter and eat them. Nice gratitude!

Marty Stempniak from Wednesday Journal  

Posted: January 12th, 2011 3:33 PM

As you've seen from past experience, David, I'd probably eat just about anything. I'd definitely give horse a whirl if it sounded like it was prepared in a tasty way. I just had a kangaroo sausage from Hot Doug's a couple of months ago. Kinda weird-tasting and extra gamey. Not sure I'd do it again.

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