From Stud to Steak

The issues surrounding horse slaughter

One quick piece of meat

Every year thousands of horses are shipped out of the country and slaughtered for their meat. You don't care? That's understandable, but this is why you should.

The Stigma that surrounds horse meat:
We are all well aware that that hamburger from Wendy's, or that order of chicken nuggets from Chick-Fil-a was an animal that was up walking around, breathing, and eating at one point. We've come to accept this. What about a horse though. I doubt the first thing that comes to mind is a tasty stew or a succulent dish from your favorite restaurant. Americans in the U.S have never raised horses for meat (not that they couldn't be) but thats not their purpose for us, and it never has been.

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A horse of a different kind...

Horses exported from the U.S and are destined for slaughter are supposed to be too old, crippled, sick or dangerous for the use of people. In reality most are perfectly healthy, young animals that have a lot to give. 92.3% of animals sent to slaughter are in excellent condition, and only 4% of the animals butchered are over 9. In fact the average age of a slaughter horse is 4 to 6 years of age. Most of the horses sent to slaughter are a "by-product" from the racing industry, which means: thoroughbreds. If they are not fast, they are bought off the track by someone who wants a dressage horse, or an eventer (if they are lucky), if not, they are purchased by killer buyers who ship them out of the country and turn them into slabs of meat.

One Expensive Steak...

Ever thought about if your meat was a show quality animal once? I know many people who win a lot of competitions with their show cattle before they send them to butcher. One fine horse, a Kentucky Derby winner in fact, by the name of Ferdinand was sold to a Japanese breeding farm In 1994, but when he failed as a stud he was sent to slaughter in 2002. The former owners who received no information that he was to be sold or sent away were outraged.

Have an issue? Take some meds!

This is a widely adopted practice in America for people and animals alike. We don't like to suffer and neither do we want our animals to. So what do we do? We throw medications at every little problem we have until we feel better. These medications, that we use on our pets, are dangerous to us. They are given to pets because your veterinarian assumes once your pug is all better that you're not going to turn him into shepherd's pie.

These drugs leave residues in our meat and that are harmful to us, and whether we like it or not, the racing industry is a shady business and those young horses are pumped full of drugs. There is also the innocent horse owners who worm their horse like when I give my horse her de-wormer every two months, I continue to make her more toxic. On her Ivermectin label it reads: Not intended for horses meant for human consumption.

I'm assuming a responsible breeder in the racing industry worms all his horses... This basically means that we are shipping tainted horses to be made into meat that isn't safe for human consumption. Yum, yum.

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What Value?

"What value could these thoroughbred horses have? All they know how to do is run." Well, my dear non-existent anonymous friend, what CAN'T a thoroughbred do? WHen they are slowed down and re-trained, they can become THIS:
The Off-Track Thoroughbreds of Rolex 2014

The Slaughter Process

In the U.S, we have humane slaughter processes for all the animals we butcher. Since horses are not one of them, we have no processes for them. And that means nobody does. Slaughter houses in Canada and Mexico have no regulations for the slaughter of horses, this gives the employees the power to treat them however they please. This often is where the abuse, neglect and mal-practice of slaughter arises.

The horses that are bought are transported in Double-Decker stock trailers from the auctions to be shipped to other countries or to the slaughter facilities. These trips can take hours without providing food or water to the horses. They arrived tired, hungry, and dehydrated.

(*Disclaimer: The pictures below are from horse slaughtering facilities around the world. Due to the nature of this project, some of the pictures are slightly graphic. Look away if your squeamish)

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Not pretty huh? How about a few more...

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The sanitation...

The conditions of these Unregulated slaughter facilities are simply disgusting. This is where people who eat horse flesh's product is coming from. It is simply anything but healthy or humane.
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A Companion Animal

The definition of a horse is : A large hoofed mammal having a short coat, long mane, and a long tail, domesticated ancient times and used for riding and for drawing or carrying loads. No where in this definition does it say for the use of food. They are companion animals that have worked alongside people to help ease the labor and provide a friend during the working day. Shouldn't we respect the beings that built America along side with us. Took us into battle, and stayed by our sides. The horse's steadiness has never wavered, but we have.

Stop the Slaughter

When polled, 80% of people said no horse slaughter. The last facility was closed in the U.S after the bill banning the slaughter of horses that went through congress. Unsuccessful attempts to start up never facilities have died through lack of support. Please support the upcoming bill banning the shipment of horses out of the country for slaughter purposes. Please support the SAFE act (Safeguard American Food Exports) and prevent more horses from going to slaughter.
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(I know I'm biased, but she's gorgeous!)