Next week, during what is known as Horse Week in Canada, the Food Network will air episode six of Top Chef Canada. They have come up with a timely way to promote horses during Horse Week. EATING THEM.
I have sent a letter to Food Network, as well as Presidents Choice since they are the sponsor. Oh, and Shaw Media. (Links to contact them are listed at the bottom of this article).
This is the letter I sent:
I am very disturbed to hear you are doing a show where people are going to cook horse meat.
While I understand it is eaten internationally, and in small pockets of Canada (mainly Quebec), I have to wonder if you understand fully about the horse slaughter industry in Canada in particular.
Do you understand that the horse meat is tainted with drugs perma-banned from the food chain? Phenylbutazone (or “Bute”) is known to induce blood dyscrasias, including aplastic anemia, leukopenia, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia, and deaths – and is given regularly to horses. (http://notabreed.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/interesting-article-proves-my-points/). No amount of “detox” time rids the body of many of the drugs given to horses.
Do you understand that the slaughter industry in the US AND Canada creates an ecological mess? (http://www.nashvillescene.com/pitw/archives/2010/04/09/former-mayor-horse-slaughterhouses-a-drain-on-taypayers-never-mind-the-ditches-of-blood) and from Canada (http://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/bouvry-slaughterhouse-temporarily-shut-down/) with video evidence (http://www.flixya.com/video/1554764/Natural-Valley-Farms-Illegally-dumps-horse-blood-i)
And finally, horses are not raised as food chain animals. They are trusting of humans, mostly treated as pets, and then go through the terror of inhumane treatment during transport (no food or water for days, over-packed stock trailers with not enough head room, etc.) and then the final, gut wrenching torture of the slaughter process that was designed for cattle, not horses. Horses have been equated with deer when it comes to their flight response. Cattle are nothing like that. Poor design of slaughter houses for horses increase the torture and inhumanity of the process.
Please read this report on a Canadian slaughter house: http://www.defendhorsescanada.org/pdf/envf0802.pdf
One last question: did you realize that Horse Week is June 4th to June 12th? Please know that this is going around on Facebook, and I do fully intend on publishing this letter along with a story on my blog. I’ll also link to the story everywhere I can. People are calling for letters and emails to PC, as well as your organization. The overall feeling from the equine community is one of disgust and outrage. I hope you think about this before airing your episode – ever. Horses are not food chain animals, and the promotion of them as such is ignorant.
Please write them a letter, and let them know you are NOT supportive of this sort of TV experience in Canada.