What's Wrong with Eating Horses?
Photo by TAKA@P.P.R.S
If you're reading this, it means you have the internet, which means you'll no doubt have seen the story about Tesco, Iceland, Lidl and Aldi using horse meat in their burgers, the public outrage that followed and the barrage of memes that came after. The thing is: who the fuck cares? It's more than likely you're eating mostly minced offcuts and gristle if you're buying any burger from any supermarket, anyway. Fine, it's got horse in it and that's weird because horses are weird – like the unfortunate result of interbreeding between dogs and giraffes – but mashed with a load of beef, are you really telling me you can taste the difference?
We wanted to see whether the public do really care, or if papers and websites have been fabricating outraged quotes because they read better than, "I'm not too fussed, to be honest." So we went and hassled some strangers with a question: What's wrong about eating horses?
Andy, graphic designer: I think it should at least be what it’s advertised as, for a start.
Okay. So, say they advertise it as "delicious horse meat" – would you try it then?
Well, I wouldn’t buy it, no. But only because I’ve already tried it and I didn’t like it very much. I didn't like it very much at all.
Oh, so you're not opposed to it? What about cats and dogs?
I think it’s a cultural preference.
Derek, student: I think if they include horse meat in their burgers, they should label it.
Right. And if they labelled it, would you eat it?
Probably not, no.
What’s your favourite meat?
Do any other less conventional animals take your fancy? Have you ever looked at an animal and thought, 'God damn, that looks tasty'?
No. It's not really the way I look at animals, to be honest. I'm not a weirdo.
George, office worker (left) and an unnamed vegetarian.
George: Apparently it’s got a lot of protein, so that’s a plus.
So horse meat is a bonus?
Not really, no. I'd rather know what was going into my burger, you know? Maybe if I knew I'd be fine with it – hell, maybe I'd even order one for a laugh. But it weirds me out a bit to not know what I'm eating.
What about cats? Would you eat a cat?
Unnamed vegetarian: Oh my god.
George: No, I don’t think it’s ethical to eat cats. We don’t eat rats and dogs, do we? But horses are part of this country, so it’s OK.
That doesn't really make any sense.
Sam, AKA DJ Wire: Apparently it’s safe, so it’s all good, if you ask me.
So you'd be fine with eating it?
Yeah, mate. If it’s tasty and not life threatening then I’d eat it. Of course I would.
Apparently it's a staple meat in the Czech Republic. Would you eat it there?
Yeah, well, like, they eat kangaroo in Australia, so I’d eat horse on holiday. I don't see a problem with a bit of horse on holiday.
Are there any other animals you'd eat on holiday?
Yeah, I reckon a hamster would make a good snack. Pocket-sized and easy, you know?
Christina, art student: Nothing's wrong about that – eat whatever you want to eat.
What if you don't know that you're eating horse?
Look, I don’t really care about people who eat meat, to be honest. They don't mean anything to me.
Oh – you’re a vegetarian! Do you think meat eaters should stick to cow, or are they free to eat whatever they want?
You can eat jellyfish for all I care.
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