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Mmm, Horsemeat

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There’s a story on 9News.com that shows how everybody has their own political issues that take on greater importance to them. Apparently there is a bill in Congress that would make it illegal to sell horse meat in the United States for human consumption, either domestically or abroad. At the risk of sounding insensitive, my first reaction when I read the story was, Who cares?

Apparently the idea of a horse meat ban is not going over well in La Junta, Colo., either:

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On the last Friday of every month, ranchers from around the United States gather in La Junta, Colorado to buy and sell horses. Horses are bought for various purposes, including slaughter…

The proposed legislation is the talk of the town in La Junta. Many horse owners support slaughter, they say there are few cheap ways to get rid of unwanted horses. Opponents of the bill say paying veterinarians to euthanize horses can cost hundreds, and in some places especially on the Western Slope, there are few options for disposing of carcasses.

For now the auction house in La Junta will continue to sell horses, some for slaughter, at least until congress says otherwise.

First off, I don’t know why this would be the government’s business anyway. These are horses, and horses have been used for meat for centuries. Now, I certainly would never eat horse meat (not on purpose, anyway, though I do enjoy an occasional hot dog that for all I know is made out of Mr. Ed), but it’s a common practice elsewhere. People also raise and slaughter goats in Colorado, shipping the meat overseas to places like Croatia, and I don’t have a problem with that either. A large number of people throughout the world eat both horse meat and goat meat, and while you couldn’t convince me to follow suit, that doesn’t make it wrong.

Of course, that logic brings up the inevitable argument: if a lot of people ate human meat would that make it okay? Certainly not, and we should draw the line somewhere. I would completely oppose killing dogs for their meat, for example (but not cats — I hate cats). But horses…I really don’t care.

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The real problem with trying to get Congress and voters excited about an issue like this is that there are just too many other more important issues to deal with first. I want Congress to address the budget, the deficit, the economy, education and health care. I don’t want Congress to spend time debating whether or not we should ban horse meat. If the horse meat ban succeeds, great. If it fails, great. I don’t care. There are other problems in this country that deserve our attention first.

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