Monday, December 26, 2005

They eat horses, don't they?

So Kazakh nomads eat horse. (And so the article and accompanying photos have made me a vegetarian, at least for a week or two, as was surely the author's intention.) But you know where else you can get horse meat without too much difficulty? France. Not especially exotic. And you know which other detailed descriptions and photographs of the slaughtering of animals would be disturbing and disgusting? All would.

It's not entirely clear to me what about the Kazakh case is supposed to be so disturbing. Go to a market right in the center of Paris and you can see dead but still furry rabbits hanging upside down. Go to a butcher shop in NYC to see large cow carcasses. Meat is, when you think about it, really awful. But killing an animal is not the same thing as killing a human, eating meat is not necessarily wrong, and so on, or so I tell myself if an especially tasty-looking hamburger appears before me. So please, let the Kazakhs, the French, and the Maltzian occasional consumers of lamb chops be.


Anonymous said...

And tonight, for dinner, something equestrian.

Anonymous said...

One day, as I was leaving to teach the first class of the morning, I walked out of my house and saw a horse head lying on the floor of the outdoor kitchen. It was a cold day, so meat outside wouldn’t spoil—perfect weather for butchering and drying meat, though I confess to not being sure why drying meat is a good thing.

After seeing plenty of meat that still resembles the carcass from which it was carved—full leg of cow? sheep head toasted in a blowtorch?—I’ve decided that the more meat resembles the source, at least when I’m shopping for it, the more appetizing it is. The alternative is scary take-out Chinese: I’d rather know what I’m eating.

- Amanda, who used to live in rural Kazakhstan and who can attest that horse tastes like a rather better than average version of roast beef, and that horse fat is not tasty at all, and that fermented horse milk is atrocious

Sigivald said...

Amanda: Drying meat will help preserve it; bacteria and molds and such do better with moisture, so removing it helps prevent spoilage.

This is (partially) why jerky lasts a long time. (The other reasons being that the typical flavourings include pepper and salt, both of which have a preservative effect.)

I'm told one can often get horse meat in Canada, or at least in Quebec, though perhaps mostly in sausages.

Petey said...

The Borat jokes just write themselves on this one...


"I’ve decided that the more meat resembles the source, at least when I’m shopping for it, the more appetizing it is."

Damn straight. I'll eat chicken in France while I won't in America, because a chicken at the butcher in France actually looks like an animal.

Anonymous said...

what benefit is it to America to have such a story printed in a natinal newspaper . there are many custom in the world that are cruel and atrocious. I find the killing of the horses in Kazakhstan deplorable. If this is all CJ Chivers has to do is watch slaughter of horses , then he better get a new job.