Eating Black Beauty

It's reportedly healthy, has half the fat of beef and contains loads of Omega 3. It's savoured in France and enjoyed as afar away as Kazhakstan, Japan and Sweden, where sales exceed those of lamb and mutton.

So this week's news that in the UK Tesco's Economy Frozen burgers tested for 29% horse meat and the media frenzy that surrounded this, made me wonder what do SFNers think about eating horse meat?

Personally, I think the big issue in the UK for Tesco should have been the fact that their customers and the Food Standards Agency cannot trust their suppliers to be correctly labelling the contents of that food item but it actually ended up being a whole debate about whether British people are revolted at the thought of eating horse meat.

In Pezenas there is a Boucherie Chevaline but I've not yet ventured in there...What about you? I know there are many horse lovers out there (but I imagine this is love as a pet) But - do you enjoy a tasty horse steak or do you prefer to decline to dine equine?

If you have eaten canned tuna, likely you have eaten flipper before.

At least its horse meat 29% and not say cat ? or something more revolving...

If you didn't put a catchy name on your post I probably would not have read it, so thank you.

I haven't watched the news in over 12 years, and unless its important, these types of stories miss my attention all together. Note to self, do not buy pre ground meat... grind your own.


I heard about the meat supply in the UK and the situation with horse in the 'economy' brand meats. I agree with you on what the issue is: customers should know what they are buying. This type of meat and food problems occur too often, the public shouldn't close their eyes and think that the label is always accurate and the products they eat are what is on the package.Sometimes the label is ambiguous, who could imagine what is in there, the treatment with some of the animals that end up inside. If we knew I think we would all eat less meat.

I do think that a lean piece of equine meat , coming from a good source, can be healthy (like other lean meats which originate from good sources), but like rabbit meat, we decline to eat it at home. Have never bought it neither. Perhaps a cultural thing, but just cannot do it.

Have eaten Skippy, Bright Eyes, Bambi, (whats a cartoon Ostrich?) and enjoyed horse...even had Songbird in Corsica...not eaten Dolphin....(some people think Horse is too domestic to eat...we give horses names!) but not sure I would eat Dolphin, I was going to say because they are so intelligent..but then so are pigs. I really need to go back to vegan ways for a year or two and think hard...I enjoy meat, but I was shocked rigid when I read some of the stuff on Finn's site about abuse of animals....truly heartwrenching...when some throwbacks in charge of pigs decide for a laugh to cut off their snouts to see how they react...and far worse...and their punishment is laughable.....a £200 fine.... Morally I feel guilty about eating all meat and fish....

I entirely agree - I don't have a moral problem with eating animals but I think we owe them a decent life and death; certainly not an awful scary journey to a frightening abattoir. Paradoxically in the Middle-East my neighbours used to take sheep around with them on the lead like dogs (waiting outside shops etc) and when they did cut their throats later on (in the street) the sheep didn't see the blade and didn't have a clue what was happening and weren't frightened. It seemed a lot more humane although it would have horrified the public in Europe much more because they could see it. It's too easy for us, here, to take the out of sight out of mind attitude to meat production.

And don't get me started on pig-concentration camps and the horrors endured by battery hens.

If horses have to be slaughtered (Im not saying I agree, just being realistic) it is better for them to go to a local abbatoir rather than being shipped abroad where they endure horrendous travel conditions.

I agree Catharine part of the problem comes from irresponsible breeding.

Sorry Suzanne, I think I maybe over reacted about the title.I didn't quite get the "humour".Maybe I've been in France too long..........

Actually one of the biggest issues is the lack of slaughter houses. There are far too many horses in the UK (esp. given that there is very little demand there for horsemeat); this along with indiscriminate breeding and "rescuing" of equines that need to be PTS is a huge welfare issue.

The USA is even worse - they have banned equine slaughterhouses with the net result that horses are taken across the border to Mexico. I have seen footage from a Mexican slaughterhouse that makes this latest video look like Bambi. Horses were being stabbed to death and cut up whilst still alive.

If some good comes out of this story being publicised, it is that the British public might wake up to the live export issue. And it is not just the UK. In the Pays Basque, the hillsides are dotted with cute looking horses and ponies. In our house these are referred to as sausage ponies as they are all destined for the Italian slaughterhouses. So think about that next time you buy a pizza topped with "pepperoni" - I bet there is some pony in there somewhere!

Personally I don't think that any animal should travel long distances to slaughter. Every town should have an abattoir but people don't like confronting the reality of where their sausages come from. I always buy French beef rather than the cheaper Polish or Dutch beef that is available in all French supermarkets and try to shop ethically and locally but it is difficult.

And as a horse owner / lover - I'm fine with the title of the post. Hopefully it will help make some readers more aware of the issues involved.

I can remember a quote by Paul McCartney which goes something along these lines

"If slaughter houses had glass windows everyone would be vegetarian"............

Yes, read the report and saw the video this morning. Galling stuff. I love, really, really love horses and also other animals. I have eaten horse and won't go out of my way to do so again too soon. But then I do NOT like beef is just about any shape or form. Cattle are also brutally slaughtered. So are pigs that are highly intelligent and sensitive creatures, not as the stories depict them one bit, I have had one in a field I used to pass walking my dogs who became a friend who ran over to see me and did a lovely friendly snuffly grunt. Other people did not get the same from her. Pork is one of my favourite meats. I object to how they are despatched as well, half unconscious from the shock, hung and throats cut. I would be the first to wish this all different. With those horses, the slaughterhouse people were obviously lying, their vet turning a blind eye and the dismissed slaughtermen scapegoats. I have worked in places where people killed an animal for guests including me in front of my eyes. I have learned to live with it and not like it. The hamburger thing is typical of wool pulled over our eyes by food producers and so we are again reminded about choice. We eat meat or we do not. If we can do it and not turn a blind eye, then all the better.

As for the title, I also eat venison and have said to people 'here's Bambi' as I served it. I am not pretending that it is anything but bad taste, but then I certainly do not hide behind my disapproval and censure mild humour that essentially takes some of the edge off the nasty reality.

Okay.It was the title "eating Black Beauty" that shocked me.It's not really a subject that I think we should joke about.I have a horse,cats and dogs and they are ALL part of the family.The idea of eating horses revolts me as much as the idea of eating cats or dogs.Many of the horses that are sent to slaughter are horses that have spent a large part of their lives being used by people, being ridden for show jumping or racing or otherwise.They build up a relationship with "mankind" and then when they are injured or too old or they don't run fast enough or jump high enough their destiny is the abbatoir.Is that the way to treat a loyal being who has spent many hours doing what we ask for our pleasure or to earn money?

until suzie posted about the cruelty I didn't know anything about it. I haven't seen the video but I will watch it. i've watched pigs, sheep, chickens and cows be slaughtered on tv so I should watch the one about horses. Suzie thank you for raising my awareness.

I have never eaten horse meat and never (knowingly) would - simply because I've been aware of the slaughter issues for some time. Horses are large (and scary) animals and as a result get brutalised during the slaughter process to an extent that say sheep, don't. They are also highly intelligent and can grieve. I once saw a horse in a field mourning a dead badger and standing watch over the body.

Having said that, there is nothing wrong with eating horse meat in principle. It is just the manner in which they are dispatched which I object to.

hi Suzie, i'm not in any way advocating cruelty to animals by my post. I know there are strong feelings out there about whether horse meat should be consumed but my post is not meant to offend. I have a cat, I could post about Eating Garfield, if the inspectors had found cat in Tesco burgers, possibly in Asia this would not be so shocking but in the Uk it would be. I buy free range on principle as I don't agree with cruelty in our food chain, but whether that food includes horse or not is my general question.

Hello Suzanne

Quite frankly the title of your post revolts me.Sky news has just released a video of the treatment of horses in a UK abbatoir.If you can bear to watch it (I couldn't) you can find it on the sky news website.

oh yes Skippy has been enjoyed by my 3 girls and they love Bright eyes, we've not tried Flipper yet though - have you found Flipper on sale in France?

I will confess to eating Black Beauty occasionally. I have also eaten Skippy, Flipper, Bright Eyes....