Why are we so upset about horse meat in the burgers?








Horsemeat has reportedly been found in burgers at major European and UK High Street supermarkets.

The general reaction has been ‘Shock! Horror! Poor horse!”

But, let’s face it, this is something of an over-reaction. If you’re going to eat animals anyway – why be fussy? And (apologies to vegetarians and vegans, mostly because you’re missing an amazing experience) most animals taste pretty good too. Especially when served as part of a Polish bigos.

And so, enter the Polish kabanos – a very thin, peppered, dry sausage, which keeps for ages, is good on long mountain walks and was (still is, in some towns and villages) made of horsemeat.

These days, the kabanosy you buy in the supermarket are going to be almost exclusively pork or turkey. But why do we prefer to eat these animals? Are pigs, amongst the most intelligent mammals on earth, more easily digestible than horses? Are turkeys, among the most stupid birds on earth, more tasty than horses?

What, intrinsically, makes it bad to eat a horse but okay to eat a cow? You might need the horse later to pull a plough? A cow could do it too. And if you’ve just had a good horse sandwich you will probably have the energy to pull it yourself.

It’s one thing to be up in arms about eating dishes, such as shark’s fin soup, made from species that are dying out. And it’s probably okay to tut and hum about eating household pets. But horses? There are millions of them – and given that humans will eat each other in times of extreme crisis, the odd bit of horse in the burger shouldn’t be worrying anyone.

What do you think? Add your comments below.



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