When I was 16 and visiting my family in Europe I had the opportunity to try horse meat. As was standard with my meals there I was to try a bite of the food before I was told what it was. Not because I was a particularly picky eater, but more so that I could first make up my mind about if I liked something or not before knowing exactly what it was. And also because I think it was fun for my family to watch my reaction.

So last night, when the Top Chef Canada contestants were asked to work with traditional French proteins, one of which being horse, I didn’t think twice… except to wonder where they purchased it. Certainly not at the Loblaws where they do the remainder of their shopping. But then came the little tidbit before the episode would come back from commercials letting everyone know that the meats were all purchased from licensed and regulated sources and the fish was sustainable. OK I thought.

Fast forward to today when there is apparent backlash over the use of the horse meat. According to this article on the Toronto Star the issue is with the way that the horses are treated before they head to slaughter.

Why such an uproar over horse? Is it because they are pets? Shouldn’t we care just as much about how ALL our meat is transported and treated before slaughter? Also the way it is cared for, slaughtered and handled from that point forward as well?

Cows and pigs aren’t treated much better on their way to slaughter – and sadly regulations are making it worse, not better. Only very large facilities are able to keep up with the regulations and cost there of. Meaning that animals have to be shipped greater distances. This puts more stress on the animal, costs more in shipping and more CO2 into our air.

So now I ask you: What do you think about horse meat?

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