Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in US

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:31 pm UTC

Horses are very expensive to take care of compared to other animals. Since 2008 a major issue has been a loss of income in middle class horse owners, see this article for UK horse owners.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Dauric » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:36 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:
Falling wrote:There are also many rescue operations that will take horses that cannot be cared for. The whole "we have to eat them because we can't afford their care" sounds like a totally bullshit excuse to me.
I was listening to the radio last night (on CBC radio 1), and they had an interview with a proponent for this bill. He said that the rescue operations in the united states are currently full of animals as well, and they have no more stalls.

ninja edit for Triangleman: Hoarding.


I don't suppose you have the organization the proponent was from? If they're not from the/a Horse Rescue organization I'd take their claims with a hefty dose of skepticism.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Jessica » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:49 pm UTC

Oh, take that with the hugest grains of salt. It was Congressman Jack Kingston, a Republican from Georgia who was being interviewed on As It Happens on Wednesday
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Box Boy » Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:06 pm UTC

I...wouldn't be surprised if that was the case, actually, from my own experiences. In Ireland there's a big problem mainly involving the Traveller community, where horses are often sold for extremely cheap (I have actually seen a healthy looking Shetland going for fifteen euro at a market) because the owners cannot afford to feed them or transport them wherever they're heading next, which happens with the next owner, and the next and so on and so on until the horses are malnourished from being let out to feed solely on grass in public fields or near roads (which is itself a problem) and not given enough water, causing their eventual death. This also means horse shelters tend to be fairly overbooked.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby lutzj » Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:38 pm UTC

Triangle_Man wrote:But why do people accumulate so many animals in the first place if they can't take care of them?


Jessica wrote:ninja edit for Triangleman: Hoarding.


This, for people that keep horses as pets or for recreation. There's also the problem of people who get horses for breeding or other businesses. Having too many animals is a classic problem with livestock, and horses have the additional problem of being insanely risky investments.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby TheSoberPirate » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:04 pm UTC

Arrian wrote:
SummerGlauFan wrote:I honestly did not know it was illegal to slaughter horses. That said, I can't see many companies doing it, because frankly how much horse meat are you likely to sell in America?


I can totally see a couple famous French chefs in New York featuring "cheval" on their menus creating a fad. Or a report on the high levels of anti-oxidents or some such bringing the popularity up to somewhere like buffalo or ostrich. I don't see Cub selling horse flanks any time soon, but I could definitely see specialty stores or even Whole Foods selling it in the right circumstances.

I expect there might also be a small but significant market based around less-squeamish immigrant cultures. If there's enough demand to create a black market in the US for smuggled (and sometimes endangered) bushmeat, then I bet you can find people who would like to buy horse meat legally for the sake of tradition.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:26 pm UTC

I propose we refer to horse-steaks as "seabiscuits".
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Dauric » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:28 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I propose we refer to horse-steaks as "seabiscuits".


....

No worse than Rocky Mountain Oysters I suppose.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Plasma Man » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:19 pm UTC

My brother ate horse steak when he was on holiday in France. He reported that it was tasty and good value for money. I'd be willing to give it a try.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Telchar » Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:44 pm UTC

There was a case last year here in MT where a struggling horse breeding....ranch? I dunno....was hit by hard times and was being sold, but neither the people intending to buy it nor the people selling it were feeding the horses. I think it's because it went to county auction so no invested parties were allowed? I don't recall the details. Living in the rural area though, a bunch of people donated feed that was literally helicoptered to these horses. I think 20 or so out of 200 had to be put down by vets volunteering their services but the rest were okay.

In any case, I don't know if this bill would've helped this situation, but if it's endemic of the horse breeding industry then it seems like a reasonable solution. Obviously, making all meat proccessing more humane is an awesome idea, but that doesn't mean our personal feelings about eating pet animals (dogs, cats, horses etc...) should prohibit others from doing so.

Aside: Is there a big market for this? I can't believe this industry could even be mildly successful but.../shrug.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:16 am UTC

I'd imagine that the meat would only be used as a cheaper alternative to beef/pork. For <insert fast-food chain>.

Horses wouldn't be bred for their meat, it'd just be an extra bit of cash for the people/farmers that breed racehorses.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby buddy431 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:35 am UTC

Telchar wrote:
Aside: Is there a big market for this? I can't believe this industry could even be mildly successful but.../shrug.


The thing to do would be to look at the situation before the ban (which was only enacted a few years ago). There were a total of three slaughterhouses, 2 in Texas, and 1 in Illinois, pretty much exclusively selling to people overseas.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/25/national/main2851685.shtml

Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he was proud to sign the law Thursday, calling it "past time to stop slaughtering horses in Illinois."


The question of course remains whether state laws allow the slaughter - It was Texas and Illinois state laws that shut down the previous slaughterhouses. Presumably, both of those are still in effect (but I really have no idea).
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Dark567 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:42 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:Horses are very expensive to take care of compared to other animals. Since 2008 a major issue has been a loss of income in middle class horse owners, see this article for UK horse owners.

I have never thought of horse owners as "middle class"....

The average costs seem to be about $6,000 a year for the first horse, subsequent ones cost a little less.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Tirian » Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:13 am UTC

Dark567 wrote:I have never thought of horse owners as "middle class"....

The average costs seem to be about $6,000 a year for the first horse, subsequent ones cost a little less.


My uncle played the horses on the side and did it more after he retired from being a high school teacher, and part of the game is buying horses in claiming races and managing them until someone claims them from you. I think he made some money at it, but it wasn't enough for him to leave his day job before the normal retirement package kicked in.

I'm a fan of this bill. We've got a global surplus of dead horses in the United States, but we're too righteous to export the meat? Screw that, let's have all those tanker ships take some American goods to be sold in China and put at least a small dent in our trade deficit.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby yurell » Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:25 am UTC

I don't see anything wrong with the farming & slaughter of any animal for human consumption, so long as they're treated humanely at both stages. Which is why I won't eat halal/kosher meat and am shying away from chicken (given the living conditions of many of the animals).
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:31 am UTC

Wait, how is halal/kosher not humane but the regular slaughtering is?

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Derek » Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:34 am UTC

Decker wrote:Rabbit I've heard of, but guinea pig? Is that a thing in America or just in everywhere else?

Guinea pigs were domesticated for meat in South America.

On topic: Yeah, I'm ok with this.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby yurell » Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:55 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Wait, how is halal/kosher not humane but the regular slaughtering is?


Regular slaughtering the animals are stunned first. Halal/kosher they have their throats slit while fully conscious.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:05 am UTC

Are you sure they are stunned, and not merely held down? And the animal is actually unconscious when it is killed? And that the stunning process is actually more humane than a knife sharpened so it hurts less when it cuts?

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby yurell » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:09 am UTC

I am sure the animal is stunned, and I'm sure it's still stunned when killed. And yes, I'm sure it's more humane, especially since they need to play the religious card to get out of it (which is why it was recently banned in the Netherlands).
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Cleverbeans » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:12 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Are you sure they are stunned, and not merely held down?

Yes, with a captive bolt pistol.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Verdantic » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:50 am UTC

The problem with euthanasia of horses by veterinarians is that it's rather expensive. Takes a lot of drug to kill a half tonne animal, plus vet fees, and then disposal fees on top of that. Even if you're lucky enough to be able to bury your horse on-site, the euthanasia drugs available persist in flesh after death and can be lethal to any scavengers that might get access to it, so to bury an animal as large as a horse that was killed by lethal injection is likely to require earthmoving machinery. Disposal laws vary from state to state, but for example Ontario requires deadstock to be covered by a minimum of 0.6m of soil with regular monitoring for a year and a weight of no more than 2500kg per pit (see here: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/info_euthanasia.htm). Not to mention that the euthanasia drugs can contaminate ground and surface water. So to kill a horse by lethal injection of barbituate solution and then dispose of it can easily run into the hundreds of dollars and has significant environmental concerns.

From a legal standpoint, horses are property (as are all pets) and it's acceptable to have them put down for no reason other than you no longer want them. Not all veterinarians will be willing to put a horse (or any pet) down for just that for moral reasons, but it's perfectly legal.

Yurell, some forms of Halal slaughter permit the use of a reversible (percussion) stunner prior to slaughter (which is apparently the more common form in Aus.), though not all. I find it somewhat concerning that meat slaughtered as Halal or Kosher does not have to be labelled as such.

CorruptUser, cattle maintain blood pressure to the brain for several seconds after their major arteries of the neck are cut due to the elastic recoil of these vessels, so yes, I am confident that stunning before slaughter to achieve insensibility improves the welfare of these animals. I am also confident that their is sufficient regulation and monitoring of abattoirs to ensure that legislation regarding determination of insensibility, handling and restraint is complied with.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby folkhero » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:36 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I'd imagine that the meat would only be used as a cheaper alternative to beef/pork. For <insert fast-food chain>.

No way a major fast food chain would do this. The word would get out, news stations and hacky comedians would label "Fast Burger Restaurant" "Horse Burger Restaurant"
Spoiler:
Jack in the Box -> Horse in the Box
Burger King -> Horse Burger King
McDonald's -> McPony's
Carl's Jr. -> Horse's Jr.
Taco Bell -> Pony Bell
Arbie's -> countless jokes about horsey sauce
White Castle -> Horse Castle
Wendy's -> pictures of Wendy eating horses

I can imagine Leno the Leno bit now, "Did you hear about [Restaurant X]? Their CEO decided they had to cut costs, so they replaced the Dr. Pepper with Mr. Pib and that worked so well that they replaced [iconic menu item] with Mr. Ed."

and the bad publicity would probably be worse than that one time "Jack In The Box" killed a bunch of people. Did you see that episode of "Mad Men" where people found out that dog food had horse meat in it?
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby caisara » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:38 am UTC

.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Derek » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:14 am UTC

Verdantic wrote:I find it somewhat concerning that meat slaughtered as Halal or Kosher does not have to be labelled as such.

I can't imagine this being a major issue. Aren't Kosher and Halal usually advertising points?

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Ulc » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:39 am UTC

yurell wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Wait, how is halal/kosher not humane but the regular slaughtering is?


Regular slaughtering the animals are stunned first. Halal/kosher they have their throats slit while fully conscious.


In the EU at least, flat out wrong. When slaughtering kosher animals are stunned until they are unconscious, then have their throats slit and are dead in moments. In fact, in most of the EU kosher slaughtering is now the standard, because it's easier to do all the animals that way, and differentiate. The animals doesn't suffer any more than they do by a bolt pistol, it's just slightly more work.

Again, I can only talk for the EU countries, but no where here are animals slaughtered fully conscious. And you certainly can't find chicken that isn't kosher, even if it isn't labelled as such.

The reason I know this? It's in the EU rules on slaughtering animals.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby yurell » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:47 am UTC

What part of "Location: Superposition of Canberra and Melbourne" made you think that I was talking about Europe when I gave my reason for not wanting to eat Halal or Kosher meats?
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby johnny_7713 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:05 pm UTC

Ulc wrote:
yurell wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Wait, how is halal/kosher not humane but the regular slaughtering is?


Regular slaughtering the animals are stunned first. Halal/kosher they have their throats slit while fully conscious.


In the EU at least, flat out wrong. When slaughtering kosher animals are stunned until they are unconscious, then have their throats slit and are dead in moments. In fact, in most of the EU kosher slaughtering is now the standard, because it's easier to do all the animals that way, and differentiate. The animals doesn't suffer any more than they do by a bolt pistol, it's just slightly more work.

Again, I can only talk for the EU countries, but no where here are animals slaughtered fully conscious. And you certainly can't find chicken that isn't kosher, even if it isn't labelled as such.

The reason I know this? It's in the EU rules on slaughtering animals.


Hmm, here in Holland there was a large outcry from the Jewish and Muslim communities against a recent law prohibiting unstunned slaughter as it would outlaw Kosher and Halal slaughter practises. So I doubt your statement somehow.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Ulc » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:06 pm UTC

Nothing, but the blanket "all kosher is evil" really ought to be corrected for being absurd and ignorant.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby yurell » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:10 pm UTC

Ulc wrote:Nothing, but the blanket "all kosher is evil" really ought to be corrected for being absurd and ignorant.


Who said it was blanket? It was in response to a question about my personal eating habits ... why would it be assumed my reasoning for my personal eating habits would be universal? It would be like someone from China saying they don't drink the tap water because it's unsafe and I ridicule them because here in Australia, at least, tap water is perfectly fine to drink. So should I attack his "I don't drink tap water because it's not safe" as being 'absurd and ignorant'?

Edit: And as it turns out, I'm not as "flat out wrong" as you'd like everyone to believe. From the European Convention for the Protection of Animals for Slaughter
Article 17

1. Each Contracting Party may authorize derogations from the provisions concerning prior stunning in the
following cases:
- slaughtering in accordance with religious rituals,
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Hawknc » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:31 pm UTC

yurell wrote:What part of "Location: Superposition of Canberra and Melbourne" made you think that I was talking about Europe when I gave my reason for not wanting to eat Halal or Kosher meats?

You've been watching too much Islamophobic rubbish on Today Tonight. Most halal meat in Australia involves stunning the animal prior to the invocation of Allah's name and slaughtering. Some slaughterhouses don't, and they should be shut down or forced to modify their processes to be more humane, but in general the Halal process in Australia involves stunning as per industry regulations.

I don't know much about kosher, so I can't really comment on it, but it's worth noting that they are two completely different practices.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby yurell » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:53 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:You've been watching too much Islamophobic rubbish on Today Tonight.


What utter garbage.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Angua » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:21 pm UTC

For a recent article confirming that the EU doesn't make Halal and Kosher slaughtered animals stun them first: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14779271

Also, I am going to defend Yurell here, because if you know that all other animals are definitely stunned, while not all kosher/halal ones are, then avoiding them anyway makes sense because you don't know which ones have or haven't been.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Hawknc » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:31 pm UTC

Sure, some halal slaughterhouses don't stun their animals properly, and if the possibility bothers you then don't eat halal (or, y'know, do research about where your food comes from). But the claim wasn't that it happens sometimes, the claim was that it is standard practice:
yurell wrote: Halal/kosher they have their throats slit while fully conscious.

Which it isn't.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Angua » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:52 pm UTC

If you read the article I linked - it certainly seems to be enough of an issue that people are campaigning against the ruling that you need to stun them first. Australia seems to be unique in that most Halal meat does seem to use stunning (though reversible as opposed to irreversible) while most other countries have non-stunning as main practice for halal. Kosher in Australia is definitely not stunned. So, maybe in Australia as a greater generalisation it doesn't hold true for Halal, but I would still not condemn Yurell as only being informed by Islamophobic media as it seems to be an easy mistake to make.

Sources:
http://kb.rspca.org.au/What-is-kosher-slaughter-in-Australia_117.html
http://kb.rspca.org.au/What-is-halal-slaughter-in-Australia_116.html
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:23 pm UTC

Out of curiosity, is there any evidence that halal/kosher slaughtered animals suffer more significantly than standard slaughterhouse practices? In the scheme of things, I don't really give a fuck, but I seem to recall halal/kosher slaughtering practices being centered around making the process as fast and painless to the animal as possible, while slaughterhouses are centered around making the process as efficient and hiccup free as possible. Stunning animals isn't a silver bullet, and slicing an animals neck from ear to ear results in a pretty immediately death.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Angua » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:14 pm UTC

You do realise that Halal and Kosher practices where made up hundreds of years ago - they may have been the most humane at the time, but that doesn't meant that they are now. The article I linked seemed to say that studies are inconclusive and subject to bias.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Telchar » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:18 pm UTC

Actually both halal and kosher require the animal be conscious. According to this animals who are stunned before exsanguination count as carrion. It seems there has recently been a method of knocking out animals using a hammer that is acceptable in halal due to the proof of revivability.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:03 pm UTC

Angua wrote:You do realise that Halal and Kosher practices where made up hundreds of years ago - they may have been the most humane at the time, but that doesn't meant that they are now. The article I linked seemed to say that studies are inconclusive and subject to bias.

Sure, I'm basing my statement on personal opinion of the two methods. Exsanguination seems a good way to stop brain function, preventing pain sensation, while I've heard of all sorts of awful mistakes happening in the stunning process. The two procedures are simply differently motivated; a slaughterhouse wants to move as many animals as possible through the works without any jams, whereas a halal/kosher butcher is going according to custom, the custom that emphasizes killing an animal rapidly, via a method that results in rapid brain death.
But yeah, I wager most studies on the matter are going to be pretty biased.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Thesh » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:01 pm UTC

On the topic of horse meat. I'd be willing to try it. I'd also be willing to try whale or dolphin. If someone put a piece of human meat in front of me, I might consider tasting it solely out of morbid curiosity.

Dog or cat meat, however, I wouldn't touch. That's just wrong. In other words, I personally would be seeing the faces of my kitties or the dogs my parents had when I was growing up.

But in the end, as long as the animals are being treated humanely, I have no problem with raising them for slaughter.
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