Horse meat is not what most omnivores would think of when they went to the grocery store. But, a surprising amount of people around the world eat it. Over 50 percent of the world’s population eats it regularly. It rose to prominence in the early 1890s. However, it was coined a “poverty food” and deemed “un-American” to eat. This was due to the integral part horses played in transportation in early America. The United States is in the top ten horse meat producers in the world, despite the lack of regulations around consuming them. Even famous chef, Gordon Ramsay, has shared information on how to cook horse meat.

Of course, racing horses is not exactly ethical, so eating them is certainly inhumane. On top of this, the way they are treated as they are taken to slaughter is not dissimilar to cows. Overall, horse meat is not only unregulated, but it is inhumane.

There’s No Such Thing As Humane Meat

Meat is never humane, despite what greenwashing may try to tell you. This fact is obvious when it comes to horse meat. First, there is no way to humanely slaughter a living being.

The loving animals are said to feel as much pain as humans, according to a study done at the University of Sydney School of Veterinary Sciences. The results indicated that there is no significant difference between humans and horses in the concentration of nerve endings on the skin. Professor McGreevy, who led the pain study, said,

“This was not surprising, as horses, like humans, need robust yet sensitive skin to respond to touch, say, from flying insects or other horses. From this, we can deduce that horses are likely to feel as much pain as humans would when being whipped.”

Additionally, there are a plethora of cruelty violations that are known to take place in the shipment of horses in the U.S. industry. Sometimes, they are shipped for over a day at a time without food, water, or rest. Then, they are placed in crowded slaughterhouses and trucks. Often, horses are killed and injured during transit.

Also, horses are known to have a heightened fight-or-flight response. Them being easy to startle can make pre-stunning slaughter difficult. From this, they will endure repeated blows. For the horses during slaughter, it is never a quick, painless death.

Unregulated By A Governing Body

In the United States, horses are typically raised as companion animals. This means that, as meat, they are not regulated. Additionally, they are injected and fed with chemical substances to make them suitable to ride. These drugs are not FDA regulated and can inhibit the animals’ pre-slaughter.

Primarily, Mexico and Canada export horse meat due to the USA’s limited regulations. However, Mexico and Canada have intense regulations on how horses are raised. But, the animals that are raised in the United States and then brought to Canada and Mexico to slaughter are not properly vetted.

In 2014, the EU halted North American horse meat imports due to chemical concerns. Of the horse meat they tested, 87 percent was of U.S. origin.

This inobservance of the horse meat industry has allowed the “food” to infiltrate more meat in America. Some are even passing it off as beef to save money.


Nearly half of all water used in the United States goes towards raising animals. Going vegan brings greater environmental benefits than buying a hybrid vehicle. Additionally, the impact of being omnivorous versus being a herbivore is staggering.

Stopping eating all meat can help end the needless suffering of animals everywhere, including horses. By doing so, and encouraging others to do so,  you can help the planet and the animals that live on it. Sign this petition to support Cory Booker’s Farm System Reform Act to help ban factory farms. While you’re at it, sign this petition to say no to horse meat.

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