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On the Edge of Common Sense: Cheer for horses

Baxter Black Published on 05 April 2011

As we horse owners and lovers struggle to find some middle ground in the tragic abandoned horse issue, maybe we need to look “outside the box.”

Most horse owners, horse associations, equine veterinarians and those of us forced to take the responsibility for dealing with the mess, are still optimistic that the new Centers for Humane Euthanasia and Equine Recycling (CHEER) will be built.



Opponents of CHEER object to the basic idea that horses are animals like buffalo, lobster, pheasant or whale that are, and have been routinely, eaten by civilized men for millennia. Their position recognizes neither history, economic impact or common sense as legitimate arguments in support of CHEER.

One causative factor that horse owners on both sides might agree on is that the explosion of abandoned horses, their subsequent abuse, their plummeting value and the increasing apathy of the public to their fate, is that the average horse owner has no reasonable, much less profitable, way to dispose of their unwanted horses.

Opponents of CHEER present either one or both of two big objections:

1. The process is not humane

2. It is not “right” for people to eat horse meat.


What if we had a plan that improved the use of natural resources, fed the hungry and eliminated the difficult need to bury, burn or otherwise dump the carcass in a landfill once you have humanely euthanized our horse?

Take him or have her delivered to an approved CHEER. Think of it as a local boutique abattoir. In return you will get him back as rump steaks, wither roast or dog bones. If you were uncomfortable eating your own, you could swap with another customer.

If you chose not to eat it at all, it could be donated to the millions of children that the government says go to bed hungry every night. Donate it to Africa, Italy, North Korea. The soup bones could go to the zoo or the local humane society in your community.

Your actions would be unselfish, charitable, ecologically friendly, recycling at its purest AND we would immediately solve the abandoned horse tragedy! It is as good an idea as making fur coats out of road kill!

In deference to those unsympathetic to CHEER, we must face the fact that we do not all have the same taste. Should I have the right to prevent you from eating eggs sunnyside up? Boiled okra? Raw oysters, goose liver, brie, mushrooms, lamb shanks, seaweed, broccoli, tofu, noodles and things that crawl on the sea floor?

Can you imagine if someone stood up and said, “you will not be allowed to import, cook, serve and otherwise eat bananas because I think it is immoral!”


I remind us all that there is no abuse in humane euthanasia and no law, moral or constitutional, that prevents you from eating cherries flambé, wild salmon or an Appaloosa filet served with latigo sauce and chopped reins. PD