Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Horses for Sale

Though I rarely eat animal products, I am not 100% vegan. With that fact in evidence, I just finished watching a recent episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, and found myself struggling with the segment on the slaughter of race-weary thoroughbred horses. Apparently owners will sell them to butchers for a few hundred bucks once they feel the horses have outlasted their money-earning utility. They showed footage from the killing process, and several times referred to the fact that the process was designed for cows, not horses. They highlighted individuals and organizations that work to rescue noble steeds from the cow-butchering machine.

Once again, I am not a vegan. Yet, is the hypocrisy here not obvious? What's good for the cow is too cruel for the horses.

Yes, change has to start somewhere, but are we still arguing that horses and cows are so different from each other? In other countries, where most of the horse meat is sold (7 days from stable to table), most people would scoff at us for being so sentimental about an animal that has served its purpose and can serve one more in death. We're not talking about people who have nothing else to eat. We're talking about cultural tastes.

Does a cow, or sheep, or goat, or chicken, or pig deserve a less noble fate than that of a horse that once ran a good race?

While I think Real Sports is one of the best news mags on television, I have had issues with the host over the years. Perhaps that bias is coloring my judgment. I don't think so though. Either its okay to brutally slaughter animals for dinner or its not. Let's not pretend our affection for one species, or the fact that it once had the potential to win buckets of money, somehow earns it better treatment.


yardsnacker said...

Thanks for posting this. I'm vegan but the transition still has me sitting on a leather couch with some leather work boots. In this case it would be a shame to waste them, but now educated, would I buy anything like this in the future? HELL NO. The treatment of animals, horses aside, is a tragedy on a huge scale that quite frankly leaves me zapped of energy when I think about it. I made a youtube video about factory farming, it goes right along with what you are saying. Stable to table. How horrible.

Rediscover Raw Food said...

ys - I still have leather chairs and all that I bought years ago and certainly won't be dumping them into a landfill. I just try to appreciate that we (you and others and I) have stopped our support of the factory "farms" that make sure those animals lives are stripped of value from beginning to end. Beautifully, the recipes we post, or to which we link, are giving people cruelty-free options they might have never known about!

HiHoRosie said...

Very interesting. I'm not always vegan either but I find myself thinking more and more about the treatment of ALL animals, not just cows. Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

I thought the same thing when I watched Oprah's show on puppy mills. I wonder if she received similar responses from her viewers or simply came to the same conclusion herself because soon after she decided to try a vegan diet. In her words, when you know better you do better.:)

Thanks for a thought provoking post!

Rediscover Raw Food said...

Lots of times I know better and it STILL takes me a long time to do better! I learned about Raw years ago, and even lived the benefits, but did I stick to it back then? Nope. And that's just one example. I've got plenty of 'em.

Anonymous said...

me too, but we get credit for the fact that we keep trying, right? maybe not as fast or as steady as we would like, but still better, I hope. :)

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