The Troubled History of Horse Meat in America
Classic Trump solution: Too expensive to feed? Just kill ‘em.
The White House wants to reinstate the sale of horses for slaughter, but eating horse meat has always been politically treacherous. An Object Lesson.
President Donald Trump wants to cut a budget the Bureau of Land Management uses to care for wild horses. Instead of paying to feed them, he has proposed lifting restrictions preventing the sale of American mustangs to horse meat dealers who supply Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses.
Horse meat, or chevaline, as its supporters have rebranded it, looks like beef, but darker, with coarser grain and yellow fat. It seems healthy enough, boasting almost as much omega-3 fatty acids as farmed salmon and twice as much iron as steak. But horse meat has always lurked in the shadow of beef in the United States. Its supply and demand are irregular, and its regulation is minimal. Horse meat’s cheapness and resemblance to beef make it easy to sneak into sausages and ground meat. Horse lovers are committed and formidable opponents of the industry, too.
The management of wild horse herds is a complex issue, which might create difficulty for Trump. Horse meat has a long history of causing problems for American politicians.