Natural or cloned, should we be eating horses?

Horse on a Fork graphic
Horse on a fork. This is where Wyoming's Slaughterhouse Sue wants homeless and cloned horses to end up.

Sue Wallis, aka “Slaughterhouse Sue,” may lose her seat as a Wyoming State Representative, but doubt she will shed too many tears over it. Wallis has carved out another career for herself — while she was supposed to be out representing her constituency — as a seller of horse meat.

“Slaughterhouse Sue is the Executive Director of a trade/lobbying ‘mutual benefit corporation’ called United Organizations of the Horse (UOH)”, points out Debbie Coffey in a blog post on the PPJ Gazette. She is also “working hard to get money for a [horse] slaughterhouse near Guernesey, Wyoming.”

Slaughterhouse Sue has many backers for her horse meat marketing plans says Coffey.

The UOH has an “Equine Assurance Program” which is supposedly about horse meat food safety.

A big problem with UOH’s “excess” and “unwanted” horse drivel is that UOH has taken financial contributions from the Biotechnology Industry Organization (www.bio.org). This is the huge, big bucks, powerful lobbying arm of animal cloning companies including ViaGen (which is actively cloning horses – genetic engineering companies including Monsanto, and pharmaceutical and chemical companies.

If UOH is so worried about unwanted horses and excess horses, why are they taking money from an organization lobbying for making MORE horses, and cloned ones at that? Does it make sense to develop ways to make artificial animals while killing off the natural ones?

Indeed.

Coffey adds the following list of supporters of Slaughterhouse Sue’s horse meat campaign.

About 249 associations have been throwing money at UOH, including Cattlemen’s Associations from about 23 states, livestock and stockmen associations, trucking associations, the U.S. Export Meat Federation and CropLife America (which represents members like Monsanto, Dow, DuPont, Sygenta, etc.)

Of course, cloning animals for food is not new, and the UOH backers come as no surprise. On March 27, 2007, Dan Rather Reports aired a segment called, “Cooking with Clones.” (transcript)

In it, Rather states:

The FDA has asked farmers who have clones to voluntarily withhold their meat and milk from the market. But that moratorium is just that. Voluntary. It is quite possible you may already have poured a glass of milk from a cloned animal or cooked a Sunday roast of cloned meat without even knowing it.

Senator Barbara Mikulski was concerned enough about this to introduce legislation stating that food from a cloned animal or its progeny must be labeled as such at wholesale, retail and restaurant levels.

Coffey’s post brings us up to speed on this.

Skewed studies were used by the FDA when it made the decision that cloned animals were safe to eat: “Not Ready for Prime Time: FDA’s Flawed Approach to Assessing the Safety of Food from Animal Clones.” pdf

Coffey also tells us:

Beefmagazine.com ran an article this year with “talking points” for horse slaughter, stating that there are millions of people starving in the world, and asking “From a moral standpoint, can we afford to put any viable protein source off limits?” They mention the word “moral” but they don’t bring up any moral or safety issues about eating cloned horses (or cloned cattle).

Whether horse meat comes from horses not raised for food, full of drugs potentially carcinogenic to humans, or from cloned horses where we have no idea of the risks — apart from the inherent cruelty and abuse of horse slaughter — is it morally safe or ethical to market their meat?

Sources:

1. Slaughterhouse Sue’s Big Fat Farce: Wyoming Faces Attack of the Horse Eaters, by Debbie Coffey, PPJ Gazette, November 1, 2010.

2. Cooking with Clones, by Dan Rather, Dan Rather Reports, March 27, 2007.

4 thoughts on “Natural or cloned, should we be eating horses?”

  1. Jane, I was going to leave a comment before I read yours – how eloquently you managed to put into words the horrors this topic encompasses leaves me without anything further to add to it. Well said.

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  2. I must admit that I am a proponent of genetic engineering but only for those procedures that are life-saving or life-altering and do not compromise the lives of the donors of genetic materials used to accomplish the intended response. Even then, there are moral and ethical issues to address before acceptance of changing the way our creator made us.

    Sadly, it is now common knowledge that virtually no “food-animal” is treated with dignity or lives a life as the definition of life goes. The abuse and torture these animals endure at the hands of factory farming venues is unthinkable, as is the cloning of animals for these purposes. If that isn’t enough to make you ill, think about cloning which further promotes the objectification and commodification of animals, treating these living sentient beings as mere machines for human manufacture; not that it isn’t so in any case but these animals tend to suffer from painful infections of the udder, lameness, and other ‘production-related’ diseases. More suffering, more pain, enough said.

    Genetic technologies have no place in the slaughter-for-meat business whether it be so-called “livestock” or horses which unfortunately are so classified in the eyes of the law, nor should horses be destined to serve nutritional needs of the populous.

    I think the unfortunate fate of the horse is in their size, their domestication by mankind and it’s ability to control. Long ago these were noble traits and these beautiful animals served and worked alongside humans to better the quality of life. Now, as the world spirals to its demise, it is easier for some to treat these creatures as disposable and a commodity to market for profit in the most grisly way. Would these connoisseurs eat their dogs or other beloved pets? It already happens in Asian countries. I ask whether or not there is respect at all for our fellow inhabitants on earth. What makes these creatures less than we are. They certainly aren’t in my mind.

    Whether it be drug-ridden or cloned horse meat it should never make it”s way to the human food chain. We are not higher beings, just prone to stupidity.

    Sorry for the diatribe.

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