In the 1935 novel They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, by American author Horace McCoy, a dance marathon set in Southern California amid the desperation of the Great Depression drags on for more than a month. It ends with a set of murders—the latter of which gives rise to the titular question. These days, writes Baylen Linnekin, another tedious dance has dragged on for even longer. And it, too, centers on an end-of-life question about horses. Can we slaughter them for food?
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