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Jordan Heron - The Vanity Card Series

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If you read these vanity cards (and gods only know why you would do that...) you know that I have horses. I am really fond of my horses. And some of my friend's horses. They are awesome. So, naturally, horses pique my attention when brought up in casual conversation or in print.

I was glancing through the commuter newspaper yesterday, when I caught a headline about the slaughter of horses for meat. There were some people protesting outside a bistro that had served horse meat, until they caved to the pressure of the protesters, and removed it from their menu. Then there was mention of a pending private members bill in the government to ban the slaughter of horses for meat.

I object to this bill, in the strongest possible terms.

This may get me in trouble with my horse-owning human friends. They may believe that I have betrayed our equine friends, those tolerant beasts that let us ride, and allow us to pursue our exhilarating hobbies with them. I don't buy this argument.

Preamble: I'm not going to argue with PETA. I'm not going to argue whether we should eat meat and utilize animals for our own benefit. That's for another time. Today, I'm simply going to assume it. So, assuming we get to eat meat...

Horses are animals. I object to classifying animals as good for meat or not good for meat based on our perception of their intelligence, or their aesthetics. I once stopped in at a rural hardware store on the way to a hunt camp. The girl asked me what I was hunting. "White tail deer," I answer. "Oh" - she lamented - "don't shoot deer. They're so cute. Shoot moose - they're ugly."

I was appalled. Killing animals shouldn't be based on cute or not cute. Because if that really is how we are running our world, I am going to seriously campaign to have all equal rights legislation around the world changed.

"You may not discriminate on the basis of race, creed or colour. But if they are ugly, feel free to treat them like shit..."

I also don't buy the "horses are our friends" argument against killing. Dogs are "man's best friend." (Well, according to some of you...) And there are many lands and cultures where eating dogs is acceptable. There are people with pet pigs, but I LOVE bacon. Guinea pigs are (or were) a livestock animal, and we give them to our kids as pets. I used to raise Angora rabbits, and show them. And then eat them. There are people, especially in rural areas, who make "friends" with their livestock - but still slaughter them. Just because YOU think it's a pet, doesn't mean that I can't eat it.

I fervently believe that if one is not hurting anyone (and by "anyone", I mean "anyone human"), one should pretty much be left alone, especially in terms of government legislation. If YOU don't want to eat horse meat, then don't. If I want to eat horse meat, it's none of your damned business. After all, I'm not eating YOUR horse.

Why aren't these people protesting the slaughter of cows for food? Is it because cows are ugly or stupid?

Don't force your moral outlook and outrage on me. If you eat beef, or pork, or chicken, you've got no right to protest horse meat. It's an animal. If it's not on an endangered species list, eating it should be legal.

Whether we should eat any animals at all is another argument. (Guess which side I fall on...)

Anyway, off to email my local politician and make my views known...

[For the record, I've eaten horse once, when served to me in a country where it is more common than here in North America. I will not seek out horse meat to eat. But I will not refuse it, if it is served to me.]

06 October 2010

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