Congress has lifted a five-year-old ban on butchering and funding horse meat, proving our love of money, jobs, and yes, horses are the very reasons they could soon be what's for dinner. As gross, taboo, and as cruel as horse-meat sashimi may seem, it may actually be a good thing. If it's any solace, the bill and ban-lifting actually wasn't an outright decision--it more or less snuck in--as the Star Tribune noted that the ban was attached to last week's must-pass federal spending bill which averted a government shutdown. Because of the ban, the United States had been sending horses to Mexico and Canada to get slaughtered, and The New York Times reports that it's expensive to euthanize and send the horses abroad--which we did to about 138,000 horses last year. As one, mildly xenophobic horse-slaughter expert told The Times, "The Mexicans are getting rich off us ...They’re buying these horses cheap because they can. We have no other options." The AP notes that
our hatred of outsourcing our love of job creation is what garnered Congress' support of the bill: "Sen. Max Baucus said the poor economy has resulted in 'sad cases' of horse abandonment and neglect and lifting the ban will give Americans a shot at regaining lost jobs and making sure sick horses aren't abandoned or mistreated." Baucus's slaughter-statement actually echoes what's driving the support of butchering from some surprising (vets and breeders) horse advocates. "A coalition of horse breeders, slaughterhouses, large animal veterinarians and exporters say lifting the ban will create jobs ... and, moreover, cut down on the number of horses abandoned or starved by owners who can no longer afford the upkeep," notes the Star Tribune. So sorry horses, this butchering thing is totally for our your own good.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.