Forbidden Flesh

Bottled horse sausage for sale in my local supermarket

I’ve become interested in the trade and tradition of horse meat consumption as part of my research. We ate horses for 90,000 years before we thought to ride them, and yet horse meat is a taboo substance in the Anglo world – very much a case of them vs. us, “civilised” vs. “barbarians”.  I have various theories as to why that is (more, I hope, in later writing) but meanwhile two morsels of food for thought.

1) Salon writer Luke Meinzen goes to Mongolia to eat horse:

Still, despite my hope to eat one there, horses do not want for respect in Mongolia. To see that firsthand, travel in winter on a bus, a Russian relic overfilled with sacks of meat and passengers in cocoons of wool, cashmere, nylon and faux fur. The temperature, vibration and cargo are absolutely numbing. On every trip, however, a child’s voice calls out. Passengers awake from a collective stupor and rub portholes in the ice-coated windows, point, appraise and come alive. Nothing — not five welcome minutes to piss into the snow, not a sacred tree streaming with prayer flags, not even the relief of the capital’s central heating and serviceable vodka — is as dependably remarkable to these travelers as a herd of potbellied horses on the plains.

2) The spectacularly named Orestes Gonzalez is arrested in Florida and charged with selling black market horse meat. It’s not clear if he was buying it from the roaming gangs who have been butchering peoples’ pet  horses in Florida fields.

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