On most news outlets this week you will have seen articles and images of pony burgers and sausages being served to customers at Tavistock Market, in Devon. Posts have been put on social media channels with huge debate and emotive responses from all parties- some for and some against.
There is no denying, thinking of eating our best buddy; who most people spend their working life slaving away to pay for, makes for an aghast in-drawing of breath and responses of horror.
Here are a few tabloid reader responses to the articles being published nationally:
" As a culture, Brits generally do not their pets which includes horses. Sorry, it upsets me and makes me sick"- Metro
"I have had horses all my life, lived with, worked with and loved them and much prefer them to any people. I have also eaten them when in France.if it helps with these ponies conservancy I don't see an issue other than the fluffy brigade getting their knickers in a knot.its much better they are used this way than being sent off to auctions.these are wild ponies,not pets" -Daily Mail
It is a terribly emotive issue for all animal lovers- of that there is no denying. Most of us wouldn't eat of dogs so why horses? As one of the quotes above states: its is available in Europe easily the same as other meats; but we haven't seen it on our shelves frequently in the UK.
However, I want to put aside all the arguments re whether we FEEL it is right; but whether from a WELFARE point of view whether it is right. WHAT IS RIGHT FOR THE HORSE CONSIDERING ITS CIRCUMSTANCES. - not what we would like to happen but what should happen now for that animal.
Anyone who knows me (or has stalked on LI) will know I am en ex-animal welfare officer so have been in situations where judgement must be made as to whether an animal in distress can be saved. So for this article, I want to sit on the fence and hear back what you feel.
I have posted below all the details from the The Dartmoor Hill Pony Association for you to read to help gain more insight to life for the ponies on Dartmoor. There is also a podcast by Delicious which makes informative listening.
There is a #hastag poll on our Facebook page for you to voice #yesponyeat vs #noponyeat
Please keep it clean and be interested to hear responses.
Its September…the end of summer holidays and children go back to school. My youngest started at Nursery class this year at the same school as his sister; and he was ridiculously excited to be starting. It was the whole thing: the new bag, PE kit, lunchbox, uniform and the ubiquitous new shoes (considering he normally hates shoes it was funny to see him cuddling his new school shoes). So apart from tugging on Mummy’s heart strings that he was now a “big” boy, it did make me also feel so excited for him to be starting on a new learning experience.
I don’t think it ever leaves you: that feeling of a new school year (and I am sure it is down to the feeling of having new school shoes!). The feeling of getting the new timetable and the first lesson with a (probably) new teacher and a new subject. The lovely excited tummy flutters you get if it’s something that you love studying. And I still get it these days if I find something that is exciting to learn (currently revising behaviour and loving it!)
Our horse never stops learning: he is always moving and finding out where the new grass is in the field, looking at new experiences every time he out go out for a hack, his muscles keep learning new patterns when you ask for movement and he is stimulated. He keeps “viewing” his world and learning from it.
So why are you his, horse owner, not doing the same? Learning new ideas about his health, his behaviour, how he grazes and what he should be eating.
For me, learning more about my animals, understanding their behavior, working out what makes them “tick”, seeing them learn something that I am trying to teach them (I have a puppy in classes and it gets me a bit emotional when he tries so hard and gets it right) is my excited buzz that my children are now feeling starting school.
And I want everyone else to get this excited feeling of learning the solution- “the eureka effect”. This is one of the whole reasons for E-horse: to facilitate the transfer of information to you- the horse owner.
So even if you cannot make it one of our events (and we would love you to come of course!) … keep “viewing” what is going on in the horse world…keep learning for your horses’ sake. Never stop learning.