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Author Topic: Why are people so loathe to eat horsemeat?  (Read 967 times)

Offline P-Kasso2

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Why are people so loathe to eat horsemeat?
« on: 27 March, 2017, 03:36:04 PM »
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I really don't understand it! Horsemeat is off most people's menus. Whale meat is also a definite Erm, no thank you very much I seem to have lost my appetite And that has been true since long before whales even became vaguely threatened with extinction. So that's no excuse.

Strangely, we readily tuck into itty bitty lickle baa lambs with a dash of mint sauce on the side of the plate - and we munch our way through herds of cute little Bambi reindeers without so much as a qualm. Kangaroos, alligators and ostriches are Michelin starred.

Doe eyed cows and baby calves disappear into stews and casseroles. And almost everybody has rashly pigged out on mucky porkers in a full English breakfast. Some people (bleuch) even scoff down packets of crispy chocolate covered ants.

But horsemeat? Horsemeat! No way!!!

Why not? What is stopping the average person from even considering eating horsemeat? Pray tell.

« Last Edit: 27 March, 2017, 03:55:03 PM by P-Kasso2 »
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Offline Cosmos

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Re: Why are people so loathe to eat horsemeat?
« Reply #1 on: 27 March, 2017, 09:29:01 PM »
In some countries they have no qualms about eating horse meat. Examples include Romania, Japan, Iceland and Mexico.
In practical terms there are certain painkillers used on horses that would make domesticated horses in the UK risky to eat.
Another consideration may be that a horse is not a ruminant unlike some of the other animals that you mentioned, P-K, ie sheep, reindeer and cows.
I believe some of it may come from a kind of feeling of ingratitude stemming from horses having been used as a mode of transport. A similar feeling exists in some countries for the camel.
According to an Aboriginal acquaintance you'd have to be very hungry to eat a Koala because of the taste, maybe it's the same with the horse?
Bare barbarer barberer rabarbera bra .

Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: Why are people so loathe to eat horsemeat?
« Reply #2 on: 28 March, 2017, 10:36:22 AM »
In some countries they have no qualms about eating horse meat. Examples include Romania, Japan, Iceland and Mexico.
In practical terms there are certain painkillers used on horses that would make domesticated horses in the UK risky to eat.
Another consideration may be that a horse is not a ruminant unlike some of the other animals that you mentioned, P-K, ie sheep, reindeer and cows.
I believe some of it may come from a kind of feeling of ingratitude stemming from horses having been used as a mode of transport. A similar feeling exists in some countries for the camel.
According to an Aboriginal acquaintance you'd have to be very hungry to eat a Koala because of the taste, maybe it's the same with the horse?

Thanks for your answer Cos. Plenty to think about there, but I still don't get it. Maybe it's time for a quick poll of Intelligent Answers members?

Have any other IA'ers ever eaten horsemeat? Would any IA'ers even consider eating horsemeat? Or would you immediately puke at the idea of eating horsemeat? It'd be interesting to get some other opinions in here.

Going back to your fine answer, Cos, on the subject of the taste of horsemeat, I can assure you (and everybody else) that horsemeat tastes just fine...so good in fact that various food manufacturers have been successfully prosecuted for flogging off horsemeat products as 100% beef for years! So bang goes that theory.

I am not sure about the fact that "a horse is not a ruminant" matters a bean or not. They eat straw and hay. Cows, sheep and reindeer eat a similar diet. So there goes that theory too.

Humans are of course famous for only eating vegetarians...and horses aren't carnivores. Another theory bites the dust.

There is however a lot to be said about your "In practical terms there are certain painkillers used on horses that would make domesticated horses in the UK risky to eat." I really hadn't even thought about that. (But I do know that a lot of humans like to get high on killer doses of Ketamine...so maybe getting stoned on a nice horsemeat pie might be quite a blast!)

As you say, plenty of other countries don't seem to be a bit squeamish about eating horse...which must make us UK'ers being so queasy about eating horses even more of a subjective and finicky thing.

I'd be the first to say that race horses do look just far too beautiful and magnificent to eat in a fricassee or burger. And old nags do look far too sickly and unappetising to enjoy.

Historically, in times of war, I can see that horses were needed as transport - and it'd be daft if your vital transport had disappeared into people's stew-pots just when it was needed to chase off the enemy. But I don't know if anyone has noticed but we use tanks and half-tracks and drones now which frees up horses nicely for more culinary destinies. But we still shun eating horse flesh!

I think it might probably due to the fact that horses still manage to retain an air of being Noble and Free and Wild - whereas cows and sheep etc seem destined to shuffle off to the abattoirs, almost as if sheep and cows were bred for it.

But apart from horses looking too beautiful to eat, I still don't get why we won't eat horsemeat so I'll ask again...

Have any other IA'ers ever eaten horsemeat? Would any IA'ers even consider eating horsemeat? Or would you puke at the idea of eating horsemeat?





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Offline siasl

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Re: Why are people so loathe to eat horsemeat?
« Reply #3 on: 28 March, 2017, 01:30:07 PM »
In my youth, I've been unwittingly fed it in France but I was too young for the memory to stick. Personally I wouldn't have any qualms about eating it, the objections I have to Findus et al that used it are more along the lines of honest labelling of product, plus querying the quality of horsemeat used given it's not commonly in the food chain (I believe nags were used in some instances).

The main issue in the UK is that horses are seen more as pets, not livestock, and so there is more emotional investment in the species. Equally, as it's not generally in our food chain there are less restrictions on the medication you can give it - e.g. I think we avoid some vaccinations in some species because that makes them ineligible for consumption

I've had zebra in Africa, which I presume would taste similar to horse (or donkey), but I wasn't that impressed. I much preferred eland.