December 14, 2011 - Gee. Horse meat. Really?
So it was with great restraint that I listened to the news that Congress was getting ready to lift the ban on horse meat for human consumption. I used restrain from turning the news off as I didn't want to think about eating my friend, Flicka.
Before you all stomp me for being soft, let me charge forward.
First, I know other cultures around this spinning mass of rock and water eat horse meat. I also know a lot of cultures eat worms, insect larvae and dogs, too.
And, though it's not publicized, I bet there are still small tribes in remote parts of the world that still eat people. In other words, across the globe, if it's alive it's considered a valid dinner option.
But, I live in America and the idea of eating horse steak just ooks me out. (As does the idea of munching on Fido, maggots and earthworms.)
Second, I understand the public outcry for Congress to act on this economy-stimulating act.
There is no outcry for Mr. Ed burgers. There just isn't. I reckon there are a limited number of ranchers out west who want to pad their bank accounts, but there is not a demand for horse flesh at Bueches, Meijer, IGA, Kroger, Farmer Jack, or any other grocery in these parts.
Come on, this is America. We don't eat sheep (much) and we don't eat dog and we don't eat horse.
I cannot picture Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, Julia Child, Gordon Ramsey, Wolfgan Puck or Chef Boyardee whipping up a horse roast and wild rice entrees to serve at a dinner party.
It doesn't make horse sense why Congress wants to open this can of worms.
Horses are a part of our history. From early on we learned of Paul Revere's midnight ride (do they still teach that?) and of the Pony Express. Horses are an iconic American institution, right up there with the Bald Eagle. Both represent strength and freedom.
When I think of horses, rightly or wrongly I think of the American Indian. I think of the Sioux, Cree, Apache and the finest light cavalry of the time, the Comanche warrior.
The American Spirit can be found in Equus caballus.
We even named one of our classic American muscle cars after the wild brand of horse, Mustang. (We'll leave the Ford Pinto out of this discussion).
Horses are a part of our romantic-past, too, made larger than life in dime-store novels of the American west from the 1800's to major motion pictures of the last century.
The story the trials and tribulation of the horse, Black Beauty, is both a classic novel and movie.
Would Roy Rogers eat Trigger? No.
Would John Wayne's Rooster Cogburn eat his tall horse, Beau? No.
Would Birmingham, Michigan's Bruce Campbell (aka Brisco County, Jr.) eat his horse, Comet? No.
Would the Lone Ranger eat Silver?
Would Tonto eat Scout? Hmm, well maybe if he had to survive -- but he'd feel bad about it later.
Horses, like our dogs are our friends.
We don't eat our friends in America.
And besides, I think it would be pretty tough and chewy. Blach!
* * *
It must be a political pay back for past support. Why else would we consider opening up the butcher shop for horse meat?
There cannot be that much constituent-want for this, and I bet just the opposite is true. I bet most folks would agree with me. It must be a conspiracy, yeah that's it.
Now, I just got to find it or invent it.
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: email@example.com