In case you didn’t know, slaughtering horses for human consumption is legal in Canada (where I live), but illegal in the U.S. That’s not to say that eating horses is common in Canada. Far from it. But it is apparently legal, here, though some people would like to see that change.
See this story by Mark Schatzker, for the Globe & Mail: Why you should eat horsemeat: It’s delicious
Herewith, three facts about horses: 1) They’re cute. 2) They’re edible. 3) You probably haven’t eaten any lately because of fact No. 1.
If horsemeat is something you’re interested in trying, you may want to do it soon. Anti-horsemeat activists would like to put an end to it. Last October, activists descended on a Vancouver butcher shop, a Toronto restaurant and an Alberta abattoir demanding that the practice of killing horses and eating their meat be stopped. Since then, horsemeat has been disappearing from menus, and diners are becoming wary of this now-controversial meat. And a private member’s bill that would effectively shut down the slaughtering of horses for human consumption was tabled in Parliament in June….
The most likely explanation for the taboo (strong in the U.S., weaker in Canada, non-existent in many other parts of the world) against eating horse is that, well, horses are beautiful. But that’s a pretty weak reason, ethically speaking. And it’s weaker still as a reason to have a law against eating them. I don’t see any ethical difference between horses and cows. Although I appreciate horses aesthetically — I’ve owned and ridden them, and am generally fond of them — that doesn’t really count as a good reason for me to criticize other people for eating them.
FYI, here is the Wikipedia entry for horse meat.