One of the funniest news stories I’ve heard of late is the so-called ‘disgusting’ revelation that some of Tesco’s beef burgers contain horse meat. And? I for the life of me cannot see any reason to join in people’s outrage! Okay, there is the issue of labelling, in that it probably would have been a good idea to mention on the packaging that the burgers did in fact contain horse meat, but why should we care? Meat is meat, the burgers obviously cooked, looked and tasted like any other standard supermarket burgers otherwise this story would have emerged long ago.
I think the issue here is that some, and by some I am talking about the very small minority of people, do not know where their food actually comes from. Ask a child of about 3 years old where milk comes from and there is a good change their reply will be a shop.
During the Second World War, and many decades beforehand, we were more than happy to chomp away on horse meat, it being one of the few things that didn’t come under rationing. At a time when horses were all around us and used as our main mode of transport it was understood that the animal would be looked after for its working life then when it eventually passed away it would supply a few meals for its owners.
Nowadays people see a ‘cute’ animal on a menu and automatically refuse to eat it. It’s similar to how funding for conservation works; nobody cares about ‘ugly’ animals or bugs, even though they are vital for the survival of an ecosystem, but say that you want to protect leopard cubs or baby monkeys and you’ll be guaranteed the funds you need. We’ve gone from viewing certain animals as good workers that will provide a good source of food when they die, to adoptive human children that we need to treat as we would a person and stroke and love. Ironically, although we can’t bring ourselves to eat horses, we don’t mind selling our dead horses to the continent where they are more than happy to devour them.
I don’t understand why the issues lies solely with horses though, lambs could be considered cute yet we love eating them on a Sunday with a large helping of mint sauce, we’ll eat rabbit at expensive restaurants yet they’re the sweet little creatures we have as pets.
Everyone just needs accept that animals will die and it is such a waste to not exploit a great natural resource of fur, fat and meat.