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Letters: Horses as companions, not food

Readers respond to Lane Filler's column about eating

Readers respond to Lane Filler's column about eating horses. Credit: iStock

While columnist Lane Filler's column is well written and refers humorously to many popular cultural perceptions of the so-called hypocrisy of carnivores who are moved by horses in literature, film or on the racetrack, he is missing many other aspects of the human relationship with the horse ["Horse . . . It's what's for dinner," Opinion, July 10].

From the beginnings of civilization, horses have been domesticated to work with mankind. The early explorers of our land knew this. American Indians learned and mastered the relationship.

Horses have carried us into battle, plowed our fields, and given self-confidence and mobility to those with disabilities. Horses were brought to our country not to be slaughtered for food, but to be working partners.

Agriculture would not have flourished without them, and the movement westward would possibly not have happened without the horse to pull the wagons and carry people and possessions across the continent.

In war, the horses have not only followed human directives to venture into battle -- which is frightening for any living creature -- but they have also carried the wounded and dead to hospitals or burial.

The pony express could not have worked with a cow, pig or a deer. Horses galloped sometimes until they died, giving communication and access to remote parts of our world.

Currently horses are bred for sport, pleasure and work. Police and forest rangers still rely on them to perform certain jobs.

If it were as simple as vegetarians versus carnivores, then your dog Rosie should be suspicious when you hand her another treat! This way of thinking might initiate the notion that other domesticated creatures also be aligned on the food pyramid.

"Moral outcry" is not always a mistake. It may cause us to think more deeply and continue to respect and preserve the lives of the creatures that have long been our partners in so many ways.

Connie Lacy-Rock, Manorville

Editor's note: The writer is a U.S. Equestrian Federation-licensed judge and lifelong horse owner.

Lane Filler does not have the whole story. Putting aside the morality of eating horses -- which are raised as companion animals, not as livestock to eat -- there is a very dangerous side to eating horses.

I have been a horse owner for more than 30 years. I moved from Long Island to North Carolina to have my little farm. Our horses are regularly given many drugs that are extremely harmful to humans.

"Bute," a muscle relaxant, is a very common drug given. If a cow is given bute even once in its life, it is not allowed into the food chain, ever.

Horses are dewormed several times a year with poisonous drugs. Most drugs we give our horses are labeled, "Not for use in animals intended for food." People are upset about possible hormones in milk and meat. Would you eat meat tainted with so many poisons and known carcinogens?

Linda Mondini Wall, Siler City, N.C.