Burger Me…It’s A Horse!


There can’t be many people who turn their nose up at the offer of a nice juicy burger. For some families they are a part of their regular diet.

Even at last years’s Olympic Games – that temple of human perfection – one of the main sponsors was Mc D’s who, despite all the talk of austerity and triple dip recessions, never seems to have a store that is echoing with emptiness.

Few of us even pause to consider what is in burger products before sinking our teeth into its all encompassing bun.

Up until recently, the ‘food police’ could only warn us of the dangers of obesity and the dastardly additives that are threatening to kill us all within minutes. For our part, we ignored all the doomsaying and just carried on as before. But, now they have found a more potent weapon to add to their psychological armoury.

UK Burgers are usually made from beef or chicken and we never give a thought about the poor cow or fowl that gave its life, without choice, for us to be able to salivate over it’s end product. We just don’t normally care.

Why then do we now have such a fuss over the claim that trace elements of horse meat have been found in burgers being sold by the major supermarket chains and, shock horror, by one of the major high street burger outlets.

Over 10 million burgers have been removed from stores and destroyed. TEN MILLION!

It’s OK for a cow to be eaten but it’s not OK for a sweet cuddly horse? Surely, both of them are constructed from prime tasty meat?

Perhaps, it’s because we have always sneered at those across the Channel who have, for centuries, appreciated a good juicy horse steak? They are, in our civilised eyes at least, nothing but unrefined peasants.

We think it’s far preferable to subject our own horses to the rigours of carrying overweight jodphur covered bottoms or to becoming the entertainment of those who bet on the winning horse, during the often cruel racing conditions of the Sport of Kings. It’s seen as a class thing!

Personally, I would prefer to be eaten.

Trying to justify the ridiculous overreaction to the claim, Shadow environment secretary, Mary Creagh, told the Commons last week:

“I am in receipt of evidence showing that several horses slaughtered in UK abattoirs last year tested positive for phenylbutazone, or bute, a drug which causes cancer in humans and is banned from the human food chain”

I may be alone in this, but I find the admission we are injecting our horses with carcinogenic drugs far more disturbing than the fact we are eating them.

Meanwhile, I am off to Burger King to think about it.