The Illinois Leader

Friday Leader reader soapbox

Friday, February 20, 2004
Illinois Leader letters to the editor are pouring in at higher and higher rates from all parts of the country as our readership increases, and our hits per week approach the 3/4 million mark.

Alas, we only have five slots a day for letters, but there are so many great ones! So on Fridays we post the potpourri of high-quality surpluses from the week or new responses to older articles and columns....

We can, too, eat horsemeat

Regarding the February letter to the editor, "Outting Robert Meierhans and wife" (third letter), please have your readers go back to the Illinois Department of Agriculture web site referenced below and read the section cited. It has been corrected.

According to the state's information office, a webmaster made an error in attempting to simplify a description of the act.

The new description reads: "The Horse Meat Act outlaws the processing of horse meat for human consumption in Illinois."

It is not against the law, nor has it ever been, for humans to consume horsemeat in Illinois.

A slaughter facility may be operated in Illinois with a federal license; no state license is required.

You can read the complete "Horse Meat Act" at:

Nowhere in the act does is outlaw the human consumption of horse meat.

Thank you,

Robert E. Meierhans

Side benefit: Eating horsemeat deworms humans

Veterinarians probably see enough cases of equine cruelty in their day-to-day profession that it isn't any wonder that many of them are pro-slaughter. However, to believe that all horse slaughter opponents are activists and vegetarians, poised to subsequently turn on the meat industry, is absurd.

With all the speculative assumptions that banning horse slaughter will leave multitudes of unwanted, neglected horses standing in fields across the nation, I have yet to hear one shred of solid evidence to support horse slaughter for human consumption, which is what Cavel intends to do. They don't want tired, old, skinny horses - they want nice, fat, healthy horses!

Butchering horses in a state where it is illegal to consume horse meat, then shipping the meat overseas, is very similar to growing marijuana in Illinois and sending the harvest to Jamaica. True, unwanted horses are a tragic problem without an easy "fix," but education and industry support, while not instantaneous, seems a far better solution than slaughter.

Besides, I find it hard to believe that Europeans want meat tainted with so much medication. I wonder if they know just how much wormer is really in that equine steak?

Allana Kereluk
ReRun Illinois Director
West Dundee