Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Not Just Horsin' Around
News on horse slaughter for food and export has been going around a lot lately; I was contacted by the US SPCA to vote on a bill that opposes the export of horse meat. That got me thinking, where do we as people draw the line on what is an acceptable meal and what’s not?
Am I not being biased when I eat Peking duck at P.F. Changs (yummy btw) and veal (cute in my opinion), but horse meat is beneath my righteous self? Or is it simply because I have a soft spot for Sea biscuit and secretly wanted to be a jockey growing up, before I realised I couldn't make the weight cut? Who am I to decide what is fit for consumption and what’s not?
That being said, and me continuing to be the selfish and biased person that I am, I researched and tried to find reasons to oppose horse slaughter by looking at it from the environmental perspective. Does it cause enough environmental harm to oppose it? (I do need a reason to post it to the blog too, right?).
Myth: Horse slaughter does not cause environmental harm.
Fact: The primary options to dispose of horse carcasses, other than processing at slaughter facilities, include burial, rendering, cremation, placement in a landfill, and composting. However, disposal regulations and methods are state and county issues, and they vary from locale to locale. Not all options are available to all horse owners in all areas, and the inevitable disposal of an additional 70,000 horse carcasses per year will create environmental problems.
Fact: Two out of three slaughter houses are in violation of current environmental law related to the disposal of blood and other waste materials.
Fact: Scavenger species can be killed by chemical agents in discarded tissues. Burial is not permitted in many areas, and chemicals can contaminate the soil. Other disposal methods, such as bio-digestors, show promise but are not yet readily available.
There I feel better already. My world saving tip for the day: Vote NO on horse slaughter.