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What makes horse slaughter so unpalatable a business model?
"Taking a step back from the legal wrangles in the state and federal courts," writes Pacelle, whose own group has been at the center of those legal wrangles, "I am amazed that the people behind horse slaughter continue to proceed with their thoroughly unpopular gambit, given the impossibly difficult regulatory and social environment they find themselves in."
Pacelle also likens horse slaughter to whale hunting, and concludes there are "too many practical obstacles—legal, political, and social" to make horse slaughter work. It appears to me to be slightly disingenuous for someone who erects legal barriers to and pushes for a total ban on a business practice to also claim that the business practice can't succeed because it simply faces too many legal obstacles and regulations.
"The issue of whether horses should be slaughtered for food is highly charged, especially given the reality that the country has an overpopulation of horses," wrote the Santa Fe New Mexican in a recent editorial opposing Valley Meat because, the paper claims, its re-opening would give the state a "black eye" nationally. "Killing the iconic animal for meat might be considered cruel, but so is starving to death."
That's true. But it's also true that this long, drawn-out dance, like the one at the center of McCoy's novel, must end. And I hope that end means horses make their way into America's slaughterhouses, which would leave both horses and people better off.