Horse Health

I’d Rather Eat Peanuts

Guest OpEd by Lisa LeBlanc ~ member of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation Advisory Council

Horse Meat is amongst the costliest meat marketed, world wide, for human consumption”

Here at SFTHH, the focus is nearly always on equine welfare issues. But every once in a while, some of us throw up our hands in disgust and feel Compelled to Refute. In this case, a pamphlet, (http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1103685263837-126/Americans+Eat+Horses.pdf) recently published for distribution to Washington power brokers to assuage their ignorance over horse slaughter issues compiled by one Sue Wallis, Wyoming State Representative and staunch advocate for the killing of horses for food and profit.

That is neither slanderous nor libelous; that is a Natural Fact.

It is her contention that the entirety of American Horse Culture is being systematically eliminated by the ‘radical vegan agenda’ and the cessation of the slaughter of American horses, and that the poor and starving of the world would benefit greatly from our overabundance. The pamphlet is replete with traditions – of other nations – nutritional information, recipes, even pictures of completed meals. But after reading through the pamphlet and its philanthropic theme of “Save the World, Kill a Horse”, I had an epiphany: if there is a true desire to save the less fortunate from hunger, there are better ways to go about it that have nothing to do with killing American horses for food.

Now, admittedly, I am neither a vegetarian nor a vegan (though I do hope my friends will forgive my slow evolution). But I am a consumer, and know first hand the vast differences in the costs of meat versus grains and produce. And for research purposes, I now know the approximate protein content of certain foods – discovered during the Effort to Refute.

If you’ll follow me please, we’ll proceed to the tables:

So, yes, meat does have more protein than most grains, and both grains and meat exceed fruits and vegetables for protein content. But its important to note that, per six ounce serving, horse meat is among the most anemic providers of that protein.
Grains, along with fruits and vegetables, are extremely cost-effective for grower and consumer alike, even when grown on a massive – and hopefully, responsible – scale. And far less detrimental to the environment than nearly every aspect of meat production. While fruits and vegetables, along with meats, have their limitations as far as storage and transport, grains and legumes, when stored correctly, have very long shelf lives, making them better choices for transport to wherever food is needed.
Oh, yes; then, there’s the cost. And we proceed, again, to the tables:

And there it is: Horse meat sells for at least $20.00 per pound – on par with other ’luxury’ meats and cuts like kobe beef, prime rib and lobster – among the costliest of the standard meats marketed world-wide for human consumption. Reinforcing the obvious, this movement toward the reintroduction of horse slaughter in America isn’t driven by altruism or concern for the destitute, or the preservation of American horse culture. The slaughter and export of American horse meat to European and Asian countries is exploitation in it’s lowest form – by referencing the poor & hungry, and in viewing discarded horses as money-makers – and nothing else.

Imagine: for around $1500 – far less than the cost of 100 pounds of horse meat – 800 pounds of moderate to high protein grains and legumes – with a longer shelf life and greater portability – could nourish more than a few hungry people. Combined with bundles of heirloom (read: non-Genetically Modified) vegetable and fruit seeds at a cost of between $20.00 and $40.00, we have the beginnings of recovery for the hungry – including sustenance they can grow themselves. Radical veganism? Maybe. But it is also achievable, charitable in actuality and far more practical in every way than building or converting a property to butcher horses for export to a foreign country.

Or we can wait to see if horse slaughter facilities will keep a couple of steaks off to the side to feed a family for one day.

Furtherance of an unpopular agenda by citing its benefits to the less fortunate, through vague implications of food bestowed and an end to unemployment via the jobs offered in a kill factory is reprehensible. It illustrates a general contempt, for both humans in economic distress and horses as a species. Our leaders and lawmakers can do better – for our citizens and our horses. The question then becomes – will they?

( Protein values – except for horse meat – were compiled from calorieking.com.Costs per pound for grains and legumes were calculated from bulk food items at Amazon.com. Costs per pound for meats were gathered from various sites offered by ask.com. and usda.gov)

19 replies »

  1. Awesome article. Many thanks, Lisa.
    Land and water are being used up by the livestock growers too .
    BYW I just finished a peanut butter sandwish using whole wheat bread. Yummy.

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  2. How many educated people would be embarrassed to list articles that they have written themselves as source material for another paper that they have written. Has this woman learned nothing at all or has she learned all she knows from the PR/lobbying firms that employ her. They aren’t always so picky about their sources.

    It breaks my heart this someone like this uneducated, disingenuous, cult leader has been granted entry into places that people far more qualified than she have had a hard time gaining entrance to.

    Her equine scientists are teachers with PH.D. in equine science, far less qualified than the veterinarians an physicians who worked on the report that revealed that US race horses are 99% contaminated with phenylbutazone. Dr. Marini is not only an M.D., but a Ph. D.

    These so called scientists do not understand the ethical considerations in research. It would be unethical to test various levels of bute consumed through contaminated meat, because some of the subjects would die or become gravely ill. This is a reasonable prediction based on the number of deaths that occurred in the two years that phenylbutazone was on the market to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Sometimes if a patient is already terminal, scientists might consider asking the patient to participate in a clinical trial, but medical and education science research are bound by principals that you do no harm. Of course, we can’t always control for everything; sometimes we don’t ask the right questions; sometimes our assumptions are wrong, but it would be unthinkable to test contaminated meat on human subjects.

    I am not even sure Sue understands what is meant by a residue or a metabolite. At any rate, if there were ever an example of a false authority on any factual matter regarding horses, it would be she.

    By the way, the AVMA has stated that horse slaughter is not euthanasia. It stated that euthanasia is when every step possible is taken to minimize the pain and suffering of the horse at death.
    The AVMA now says that horse slaughter is something entirely different requiring different methods for different purposes. Get ready, Sue. Get Olsson, Frank, Weeda, PLC to take you and the family over to Belgium where you can live happily as expatriates. Heck, I bet we could even find some donors to help with your one way ticket.

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  3. I know what you mean R. T. about the slow conversion to becoming vegan or a vegetarian. I like vegetarian dishes prepared with fresh herds and spices, and I am just about over eating chicken. I love bacon, but eat it less than once a month. I used to eat sausage, but I don’t that any more. I’ve never liked lamb, but have eaten graciously in other people’s homes. Hated mutton, venison, and wild turkey. So if it weren’t for this beef thing, I could give up meat. I had a moment while traveling over the holidays where you picked out your meat before it was cooked in a restaurant—I totally freaked because I though some of the cutes looked like horse. I asked the butcher, and he looked at me like I had lost my mind. He said, “We’d never do that.” Still I think I had a mushroom, swiss sandwich or something—just couldn’t do that. It didn’t help that I had a friend nearly die of e coli a couple of months ago.

    I believe on one hand that beef producers understand that their livelihood depends on producing healthy food, and I believe that most of them follow the regulations, but I have been shaken by some of Sue Wallis’s supporters who insist that food safety is not an issue when clearly the FDA, USDA, and the EPA have a different view point. The EU has a different view point.

    So what really bothers me about buying beef now is that the people who produce beef know that there are medications that they cannot use on food animals that are harmful to human health. They should also know that these drugs are used routinely on horses. If the drugs are too dangerous to be used in bovines used for food, how do these same drugs used in much greater quantities over a longer life span in a horse suddenly become harmless. Why are beef producers so unconcerned about the risks that American horse meat poses to the International Meat Market that the US wants to participate in.

    Unfortunately, it is hair brained schemes like this that have caused the Europeans not to trust us. They don’t want our GMO’s and they don’t want our contaminated meat. We don’t want our GMO’s, and we don’t want our contaminated meat, so why doesn’t the producer produce what we want to feed our families?

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  4. Hey WHOA there!!!! But Wallis and her _____ followers keep saying horse meat is healthier for you even with all the toxic drugs. According to your graph horse meat does not give the best amount of protein compared to other meats. So why do they say horse meat is better for you??? And how can horse meat feed the poor, starving of 3rd world countries at $2000 per pound??? Wallis can’t be fabricating how good it is for you, can she???? No tell me it’s not true??? Wallis, a BIG FAT LAIR????? You think!!!! Its about time that her followers get the real info on horse slaughter and just leave Wallis in the dust of her so called future horse killing plants with the good jobs and humane treatment of horses. Her followers are look just as crazy as she does.

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  5. Lisa, you make me smile (and empower a very important debate).

    The argument about food production and efficiency plus costs have been in the mix since the late ’40s/50s and ginned a lot of books like “Recipe for a Small Planet”, etc.

    Factor in environmental costs such as water, sewage, e Coli/salmonella outbreaks, waste disposal, soil viability, energy consumption, drug resistance for humans, obesity, heart disease….and meat proteins come in DEAD (pun intended) LAST!

    Excellent Ms Lisa…..now if only the trolls in Congress or the White House would read and comprehend.

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  6. This is a great piece! Vicki Tobin of the EWA has a great one too. I believe you have blogged it in a new post of yours, R.T. I got an email about that just a few seconds ago. 🙂

    I’ve been faxing the EWA pdf to the members of the Appropriations Committee. Now, if they will just read it. Maybe I’ll fax this piece too.

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  7. Great information Lisa, and very clearly explained.
    And speaking of nuts (insert somebody’s name here), I am heading to the kitchen for a peanut butter sandwich too, although I like walnuts and almonds and ….. LOL

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  8. The problem in slaughtering American horses for meat, is that it doesn’t follow the usual formula of meat production. I believe I could raise a horse for less than 20 dollars a pound if I were raising them for meat, but it doesn’t cost kill buyers anything to produce a horse they have gotten for free by misrepresenting themselves. It also doesn’t cost even 1 dollar a pound to buy them at auction. Slaughterhouse Susie and her posse are counting on a continuing supply of cheap and free horses, that they can resell at a considerable profit. I don’t believe any of them are smart enough to actually produce anything. If any of them were willing to do an honest job, they would start raising beef, or chicken, or fish.

    As a beef producer, who takes pride in raising the healthiest cattle without steroids, drugs or antibiotics, I would be ashamed of selling meat that is tainted, or at best, questionable. I am appalled that some of the Cattleman’s Associations have been duped into supporting SW’s hare-brained schemes, and that they believe they must support horse slaughter or PETA and the crazy Vegans of the world will come after them next.

    Lastly, we send our beef to custom butchers who take the time to handle them humanely, with as little stress possible. I can’t imagine doing less for a horse. IMHO, Slaughterhouse Susie and friends don’t deserve to eat meat, let alone sell it to an unsuspecting world. I’m out of peanut butter, and need to take a quick trip to the store.

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    • That’s what’s become endangered, Redhorse: the ‘craftsmanship’ in raising food animals conscientiously. Animal husbandry is being replaced by the mindless, hands-off assembly line of the factory farm, rendering animals ‘units’, and housing them by the thousands. Why tend to a ‘unit’ past antibiotics and hormones when it’s gonna die anyway? It’s revolting.

      As silly and girly as it may sound, it is not an ‘honorable’ method of raising food animals. Like grabbin’ up the Freebie or $25 dollar horse with no thought as to where it came from – just the visions of dollar signs dancin’ in their heads.

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  9. Really good article – I’m not a vegetarian either – but seldom eat beef anymore – Used to love lamb, but no more – have never cared for veal & after seeing a whole barn full of little (& I mean little) calves – couldnt stop thinking about them… There are so many inhumane practices done to all these animals. But whats being done to the horses is beyond belief.
    Do love crunchy peanut butter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I dont think that hurts anything but the peanuts!
    Got an email from Animal Welfare Institute regarding removing the funding for slaughter – amendment by Rep.Moran, I think. So sent it to pretty much everyone on my contact list. I know a few will respond.
    Watched the trailer for Wild HOrses & Renegades – which was very good. Looked like it was well done by people who cared.
    Hope enough people see it to understand whats going on.

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  10. A very impressive and informative article, Lisa. To compile all these facts obviously took a lot of research, but making this available is extremely important and much appreciated. If knowledge is power, this report says it all!!!! Thank you from all of us who truly care about the treatment of our equines, the health and welfare of consumers, our environment, as well as; the huge cost to the American people.

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  11. We all know that they are a group of liars and thieves and that the EU doesn’t do their job like the USDA. Its all a big group of people who are being paid to put their stamp on meat whether it breaks food safety rules, humane handling rules or not.

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  12. Lisa, I JUST read your article….GREAT JOB, as always!
    I want to add something that I have observed about vegetarians (I know a few). They are, for the most part, quite peaceable unless antagonized. Once activated, they are quite a force to be reckoned with, as most have become quite disciplined in their quest for self-control and a humane and peaceful path to follow on this Earth.

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  13. Thank you for the great & informative article. It’s still, & will always be completely & totally sick, gross, disgusting, & horrifying to even think of eating horses! How can someone as stupid as Sue Wallis even think she’s “smart” enough to make any sense, much less expect anyone to believe her, unless, of course, they’re just as stupid, or ignorant, as she is??America has never considered horses to be a food source, why start now? There really aren’t any more “excess, unwanted” horses now, than there ever was. And, she wants to feed the poor & hungry with toxic horse meat? Really!! Such utter BS!! Sue Wallis & her band of idiots are all about money, the more the better. If horses are so costly, only the affluent, rich foreigners will be able to afford eating them, at the most exclusive restaurants. The world’s “poor & hungry” will never taste this “delicacy” (YUK, YUK, GAG, GAG!!!!). Sue Wallis & her foreign friends & investors stand to make some big money at the tragic expense of our beautiful, trusting horses! The evil witch must die! Oh yeah, not that it’s important, but I’ve been a vegetarian for going on one year by now, &, even though certain things still smell good, I’m not ever going back. But, I respect the choices of others, as long as they also respect mine, I do not force my ideas on anyone. If asked, I will happily tell why I gave up meat. What I eat or don’t, has nothing to do with my views on eating horses. I am a horse lover, & an advocate, always have been, always will be.

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