For those who have yet to take sides in the dirty horse-eating foreigner vs. Patriotic American debate, pro-horse activist Andrew Cohen has some thoughts in the Washington Post:
This do-nothing Congress this week can finally do something about the shameful business of horse slaughter in this country. It can tell the foreign-owned corporations that kill our horses to grace the tables of the French and the Japanese—and pay little federal tax for the privilege of doing so—that we no longer will tolerate or permit the indecent destruction of the living symbol of American heritage.
It's unclear what's most unsettling here: (a) foreigners who own things, (b) the idea of Parisians eating rather than smoking, or (c) low federal tax rates. Then things get really scary:
Opponents of the measure also make an "owners' right" argument. They say that preventing the slaughter of horses deprives owners of a right to dispose of property the way they see fit. But Congress does that all the time… Can you imagine any right-minded person making an argument that a dog owner has a right to sell his animal for food and that the government cannot have say in stopping him from doing so?
If only the bounds of the human imagination could stretch so far! The weirdest thing about this debate is the focus on slaughter specifically for consumption. If the way horses are killed is as brutal as it sounds, shouldn't the practice itself be targeted? The way the bill is written, it seems like Barbaro Kabobs are off limits, but slaughter for pure enjoyment is A-OK.
Tim Cavanaugh identifies the seminal pro-horse meat text here.