Monday, December 5, 2011

"Caballo Au Vin"

Such a delicacy has absolutely no appeal for me, but I understand that the USDA is close to hiring inspectors for horse slaughtering plants. In truth, it has never actually banned the consumption of horse meat in this country, but eeuuuw. . .

While it is a well-documented fact that peoples around the world will eat anything from insects to rats and dogs, I was stunned to learn that horse meat is a staple in many countries; China and Mexico among the top consumers.

For others, eating primates is a delicacy, even if it is illegal. In my mind, that somehow equates to eating one of my distant cousins! No can do.

Horses are intelligent animals, sensitive to human needs and moods. Think of all the therapy horses that have enriched and empowered persons with mental and physical challenges. Thank goodness someone thought to try such therapy. Hundreds of thousands have benefited from riding and/or caring for horses.

Dogs and cats are also in-tune with humans. Hospitals and nursing homes have long taken advantage of this priceless ability to help brighten and stabilize patients. Our own troops have been well served by stray dogs and cats they've found amongst the wreckage in the Middle East. Cuddling and caring for a dog or cat that awards such behavior with unconditional love has enabled many to deal with the horrors they've seen without losing their minds. I must admit that I do wear leather shoes and occasionally eat meat. I also take neither for granted. I know what it takes to produce leather and tidy packages of chicken legs and I'm grateful to those who do the dirty work.

It seems to me that fellow mammals like dolphins, elephants and horses that have the capacity to show humans better ways to live our lives should not be eaten by us.

[The picture shows my sister Patty and her family's newest member, Tucker, on perhaps the most traumatic day of his life: when he left his littermates to head to his new home. He seems to have sensed that everything would be OK and that he would be cared for and loved as any member of the family. He was so right!]


Mark said...

I know a Captain who had a bull/cow,as a pet. He would call it, it would come. My neighbor had a pig for awhile, and treated it just like a dog.
As a vegetarian, I totally disagree with your last sentence, but that's just my opinion, you are definitively entitled to yours.
Love the little puppy photo.

dcpeg said...

I'm confused, Mark. I know you're a vegetarian and I can't understand how a dog finding a loving home could be a bad thing. What am I missing?