Why is it okay to eat cows, but not horses?

Posted on the 16th January 2013

It was today revealed that beef burgers being sold in four British supermarkets were found to contain up to 30 per cent horse meat, causing shock and disgust amongst the British public. But Animal Aid, the UK’s largest animal rights organisation, asks ‘why is it okay to eat some animals and not others?’

Animal Aid Campaigner Ben Martin says:

‘People all over the world eat different animals. Whilst in the UK we find the idea of eating horses disgusting, in France they have no problem with it. Similarly dog meat is eaten in a number of countries around the world, as is whale meat. The distinction between what animals are pets and what animals are food is a purely artificial one. Pigs, horses, cats, chickens and dogs all feel love, fear and pain – the reasons for not eating one kind of animal applies to all of them. If people are uncomfortable with the idea of eating horse meat, perhaps they should stop eating cow, pig, sheep and chicken as well.’

Around 1,000 million animals are slaughtered in the UK alone each year, and that number does not include fish. Animal Aid has secretly filmed in 9 different slaughterhouses in recent years, footage from which can be seen on the Animal Aid website. It reveals the grim reality of the meat industry; that regardless of species, all animals die in fear and pain. In 2011 this included 8118 horses who were killed in British slaughterhouses. These were mostly ordinary riding ponies, but 1127 were thoroughbreds discarded by the racing industry.

Mr Martin adds: ‘There is only one way for people to make sure that their diet does not include suffering to animals they care about, and that is to adopt an animal-free diet.’

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