The Horsemeat Saga – it is our fault!

I rather suspect that this scandal will run on for quite a long time so I may as well put my views down in writing now.
The horse is my favourite animal. I worked with them for years. I bred them, rode them, raced them, cared for them and generally loved them. But I also had to personally euthanise two and watch others leave my yard alive to be transported to France for the dining table there.
I went to France many times as a child and to be perfectly honest, I am unsure as to whether I have eaten horse meat or not. Either way – it wouldn’t bother me. I’m also unsure as to exactly how bothered the British general public are – I’ve not discussed it with my friends or heard it being discussed in supermarkets etc either. I’m more irritated that unscrupulous people have deliberately put horse meat into the system with the sole aim of deceiving making money. It starts with the abattoirs (they know exactly what they are killing) and moves on to the processing plant (they know the difference between beef and horse meat)but to blame the general public and or buyers like councils is NOT on. I heard one bloke from the food company Iceland saying that if buyers like councils etc stopped driving the price down then this wouldn’t have happened. Excuse me? If councils want to buy beef at cheaper prices that is fine – the wholesaler shouldn’t swap it for horse meat just because they make less money on beef. And the best comment came from some woman in a government department bemoaning that the general public should buy more expensive cuts of beef because that way we would know that it is 100% beef and not a poorer quality of beef. She said “The general public are just getting what they pay for”. How dare she. If the general public can only afford a cheap pack of beefburgers then that is what they should get – Beefburgers not Horseburgers. She obviously doesn’t realise that the poorest amongst us are paying the price in this current recession and we actually DON’T have a choice – we HAVE to buy the cheapest. Heat or eat or cut down and buy cheaper alternatives. It is called “trying to survive”.

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