Horse, dog or beef - shoppers asked 'what's the difference?'

A campaigner in the 'dog meat trailer'

A campaigner in the 'dog meat trailer'

First published in News
Last updated
Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by

AN animal campaign group is asking consumers why people are so appalled at the thought of eating horse meat when they are happy to munch on beef burgers.

It is asking the question in the wake of the scandal which now sees Buckinghamshire County Council officials visiting food suppliers and butchers to test their beef.

In November 2010, national campaign group Animal Aid took to the streets of Britain in a trailer claiming to sell dog meat: Labrador steaks, ‘Real' hot dogs, leg of Greyhound and Afghan burgers.

The trailer was set up in town centres and at farmers' markets across the country in a bid to highlight what the group described as our “inconsistent relationship with animals”. It could very easily have been a horsemeat trailer.

Animal Aid said although people were assured that the dogs had had a wonderful life, and enjoyed running through fields, chasing balls, and were both ‘organic' and ‘free range the shoppers were angry – with some brought to tears – at the thought of slaughtering dogs.

This, the group noted, was in stark contrast to the meat usually bought, which often came from intensive farms where the animals would never have even seen daylight.

Kate Fowler, head of the group’s campaigns, said: “Anyone who has shared their home with a dog knows that each is a unique personality, with complex emotions and the ability to experience contentment, joy, fear and pain.

“This is also true for every animal confined in a farm. And that we choose not to think about them in those terms does not make it any less true. When confronted with the notion of eating dogs, the public was vehement in its opposition. It is equally appalled at the notion of eating horses.

"We hope that anyone who has ever loved a cat, dog, horse or hamster - and is appalled at the thought of killing them for their flesh - will extend that compassion to other animals. They really are not all that different.'

Comments (15)

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10:19am Wed 20 Feb 13

Ivor'sbestfriend says...

"will extend that compassion to other animals. They really are not all that different."

Very true, they all taste the same with tomato ketchup.
"will extend that compassion to other animals. They really are not all that different." Very true, they all taste the same with tomato ketchup. Ivor'sbestfriend
  • Score: 1

10:35am Wed 20 Feb 13

Kiwipuss says...

Let's all face up too the fact that we have been eating Horse meat for thousands of years, and only now are compalints coming in, in droves. What's the difference in eating any other animal, come a time when beef is not available we have a choice with numerous alternatives.
Let's all face up too the fact that we have been eating Horse meat for thousands of years, and only now are compalints coming in, in droves. What's the difference in eating any other animal, come a time when beef is not available we have a choice with numerous alternatives. Kiwipuss
  • Score: -1

10:37am Wed 20 Feb 13

Mr Totterdge Hill says...

Personally, I think people who don’t like eating horse meat are being
a bit blinkered.

Last night I ate a Tesco burger, an Iceland burger and an Aldi burger
to find out which had the best taste.
Tesco won by a short head.

Latest news in, traces of zebra have been found in Tesco barcodes.
Personally, I think people who don’t like eating horse meat are being a bit blinkered. Last night I ate a Tesco burger, an Iceland burger and an Aldi burger to find out which had the best taste. Tesco won by a short head. Latest news in, traces of zebra have been found in Tesco barcodes. Mr Totterdge Hill
  • Score: -1

11:13am Wed 20 Feb 13

Ivor'sbestfriend says...

Kiwipuss wrote:
Let's all face up too the fact that we have been eating Horse meat for thousands of years, and only now are compalints coming in, in droves. What's the difference in eating any other animal, come a time when beef is not available we have a choice with numerous alternatives.
I think you'll find most of the complaints are because food has been sold where no one seems to have a clue where the meat actually came from, or if it was actually fit for human consumption.

Put good quality horse steaks on sale in supermarkets or butchers and people will buy them.
[quote][p][bold]Kiwipuss[/bold] wrote: Let's all face up too the fact that we have been eating Horse meat for thousands of years, and only now are compalints coming in, in droves. What's the difference in eating any other animal, come a time when beef is not available we have a choice with numerous alternatives.[/p][/quote]I think you'll find most of the complaints are because food has been sold where no one seems to have a clue where the meat actually came from, or if it was actually fit for human consumption. Put good quality horse steaks on sale in supermarkets or butchers and people will buy them. Ivor'sbestfriend
  • Score: 7

11:50am Wed 20 Feb 13

miccles says...

I have no hesitations on eating horse meat, the only thing i found out when i did eat it in France once, was a bit sweet for my liking, but otherwise nothing wrong at at all.
I have no hesitations on eating horse meat, the only thing i found out when i did eat it in France once, was a bit sweet for my liking, but otherwise nothing wrong at at all. miccles
  • Score: 3

12:09pm Wed 20 Feb 13

listerps2 says...

The issue for me is not the fact that I have almost definately eaten horse meat but it is the fact that the meat has not had the necessary tests carried out. I am a horse rider so wouldn't go out of my way to eat horse, nor would I want to eat cat or dog as I have owned both of these and have more of an emotional attachment to them - sad, but true.

Bute is dangerous for humans to consume - if the meat was tested then there would not be such a huge issue. Although, when I buy something claiming to be beef it should be beef.
The issue for me is not the fact that I have almost definately eaten horse meat but it is the fact that the meat has not had the necessary tests carried out. I am a horse rider so wouldn't go out of my way to eat horse, nor would I want to eat cat or dog as I have owned both of these and have more of an emotional attachment to them - sad, but true. Bute is dangerous for humans to consume - if the meat was tested then there would not be such a huge issue. Although, when I buy something claiming to be beef it should be beef. listerps2
  • Score: 2

1:01pm Wed 20 Feb 13

gpn01 says...

The issue that needs looking at is why & how the situation of meat substitution has bee allowed to go on for so long. It's clear that this isn't a recent thing and that there has been systemic swapping of meat sources.

Why was it that the UK was only alerted to the recent problems because of the investigation by the Irish Food Standards Agency?

Animal Aid makes a very good point and we need to remember that all animals are made of meat. So why shouldn't we extend the range of options available to the consumer?
The issue that needs looking at is why & how the situation of meat substitution has bee allowed to go on for so long. It's clear that this isn't a recent thing and that there has been systemic swapping of meat sources. Why was it that the UK was only alerted to the recent problems because of the investigation by the Irish Food Standards Agency? Animal Aid makes a very good point and we need to remember that all animals are made of meat. So why shouldn't we extend the range of options available to the consumer? gpn01
  • Score: 3

2:44pm Wed 20 Feb 13

john_b says...

I don't mind! Just don't test my apathy and start selling human meat. Thanks.
I don't mind! Just don't test my apathy and start selling human meat. Thanks. john_b
  • Score: 1

4:14pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Cyclo says...

gpn01 wrote:
The issue that needs looking at is why & how the situation of meat substitution has bee allowed to go on for so long. It's clear that this isn't a recent thing and that there has been systemic swapping of meat sources. Why was it that the UK was only alerted to the recent problems because of the investigation by the Irish Food Standards Agency? Animal Aid makes a very good point and we need to remember that all animals are made of meat. So why shouldn't we extend the range of options available to the consumer?
When this kicked off in Ireland, UK government ministers were quick to point out that our standards are much tougher than anywhere else .... until of course the inevitable was found ..... In the age of globalisation and rising commodity prices all it needs is a few greedy traders or companies and we are all caught out. There will be plenty more food scandals coming our way.
[quote][p][bold]gpn01[/bold] wrote: The issue that needs looking at is why & how the situation of meat substitution has bee allowed to go on for so long. It's clear that this isn't a recent thing and that there has been systemic swapping of meat sources. Why was it that the UK was only alerted to the recent problems because of the investigation by the Irish Food Standards Agency? Animal Aid makes a very good point and we need to remember that all animals are made of meat. So why shouldn't we extend the range of options available to the consumer?[/p][/quote]When this kicked off in Ireland, UK government ministers were quick to point out that our standards are much tougher than anywhere else .... until of course the inevitable was found ..... In the age of globalisation and rising commodity prices all it needs is a few greedy traders or companies and we are all caught out. There will be plenty more food scandals coming our way. Cyclo
  • Score: 2

8:30pm Wed 20 Feb 13

J B Blackett says...

Horse meat was banned by the then Church because they decreed it was deemed 'pagan' food. And therefore you would be forever accursed if you indulge in horse meat.
.
Unless you are a worshipper of Odin or other pagan gods - but you're still considered cursed however by certain religions. Except in places like Japan , Khazastan etc.
.
Other faiths say similar things apparently ( and allegedly) about certain other animal flesh that the religion(s) considers unholy or unclean.
.
It's all in the papers - but with no chips apparently
Horse meat was banned by the then Church because they decreed it was deemed 'pagan' food. And therefore you would be forever accursed if you indulge in horse meat. . Unless you are a worshipper of Odin or other pagan gods - but you're still considered cursed however by certain religions. Except in places like Japan , Khazastan etc. . Other faiths say similar things apparently ( and allegedly) about certain other animal flesh that the religion(s) considers unholy or unclean. . It's all in the papers - but with no chips apparently J B Blackett
  • Score: 0

11:45pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Voyeur says...

What is the difference between beef and horse meat? About £12.00 per kilogram.
What is the difference between beef and horse meat? About £12.00 per kilogram. Voyeur
  • Score: 1

11:46pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Voyeur says...

Mr Totterdge Hill wrote:
Personally, I think people who don’t like eating horse meat are being
a bit blinkered.

Last night I ate a Tesco burger, an Iceland burger and an Aldi burger
to find out which had the best taste.
Tesco won by a short head.

Latest news in, traces of zebra have been found in Tesco barcodes.
I think zebra tasted a bit like giraffe.
[quote][p][bold]Mr Totterdge Hill[/bold] wrote: Personally, I think people who don’t like eating horse meat are being a bit blinkered. Last night I ate a Tesco burger, an Iceland burger and an Aldi burger to find out which had the best taste. Tesco won by a short head. Latest news in, traces of zebra have been found in Tesco barcodes.[/p][/quote]I think zebra tasted a bit like giraffe. Voyeur
  • Score: 0

9:17am Thu 21 Feb 13

readerabc says...

my issues is that of fraud- horse being sold as beef

i'll happily (and have) eaten horse, reindeer, and rabbit knowing what it was

i'd eat dog if it was safe and for human consumption

my issue is fraud, not what animal!!
my issues is that of fraud- horse being sold as beef i'll happily (and have) eaten horse, reindeer, and rabbit knowing what it was i'd eat dog if it was safe and for human consumption my issue is fraud, not what animal!! readerabc
  • Score: 3

12:52pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Flackwell says...

Ridiculous question

Its not the meat per se under question - its the FRAUDULENT labelling

geddit ?
Ridiculous question Its not the meat per se under question - its the FRAUDULENT labelling geddit ? Flackwell
  • Score: 1

11:01pm Mon 25 Feb 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

john_b wrote:
I don't mind! Just don't test my apathy and start selling human meat. Thanks.
Bafflingly sensible.
[quote][p][bold]john_b[/bold] wrote: I don't mind! Just don't test my apathy and start selling human meat. Thanks.[/p][/quote]Bafflingly sensible. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

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