Additional horse meat plants are expected to be approved by the USDA in Missouri and Iowa. While horse meat can't legally be sold in the USA for human consumption, it can be used in pet food. It may also turn up in the U.S. food supply despite its legal status because it can be sold to Mexico for human consumption, then re-labeled and shipped back into the USA for use as a low-cost meat filler. Horse meat has already been identified in a scandalous food operation in Europe, where meatballs sold throughout European grocery stores were found to be made with horse meat.
The USDA says, "it was required by law to issue the grant of inspection because Valley Meat met all federal requirements," reports Reuters, which also says that 130,000 horses are slaughtered each year in Canada and Mexico.
U.S. companies want a piece of that business, it seems, because horses can be acquired for virtually free.
Where horses really come from for meat production
Instead of having the courage to give their own horse a dignified death -- i.e. having the vet administer a lethal injection, saying a prayer and burying it on the land it enjoyed -- many owners call the slaughterhouse to have the horse hauled away and subjected to a terrifying, gruesome death in a meat packing plant, surrounded by other screaming horses who are in the process of being murdered.
Horse slaughterhouses are therefore able to purchase these horses for a dollar amount that's far below the actual cost to raise a horse. The horses are transported to the slaughterhouse facility (which is actually the largest cost of the entire thing due to fuel prices) and then their throats are slit to begin the "processing" of the meat.
Yep, Becky's little pony that she grew up with as a teenage girl ends up bleeding out on the floor of a horse slaughterhouse in New Mexico. When expensive family pets are no longer needed, they're just sold off for meat.
Keep that in mind if you're considering buying a horse for your teen daughter or granddaughter. What will happen to that horse once your daughter loses interest in raising horses after discovering that raising a horse requires a tremendous amount of physical labor?
If you're a horse owner, be a responsible one. Don't let your horse get slaughtered for food. Because if you do, you not only cause your horse to experience a terrifying ending; you also may end up eating your horse the next time you whip up some spaghetti and meatballs.