It wasn’t too long ago that I wrote about the wild horse problem that is plaguing western states. That particular situation has brought to light something that I’m well aware happens but still rankles me to no end.
First some background. Wild horses are accumulating in record numbers in the western states and there are now 50,000 of them held in pens and about 32,000 roaming free. Every year thousands of them are rounded up in often brutal chases and forced to spend the remainder of their lives penned up. Not such a great life for an animal used to running free.
I suggested that instead of penning up these animals we instead slaughter them and use their meat. There are a number of countries in the world that eat horse meat and currently the United States ships about 130,000 animals to foreign countries for slaughter.
The federal government refuses to allow horses gathered in western roundups to be part of those sold. The reason the federal government refuses to allow it is because a great number of people love horses. Horses are more than a domesticated animal, they are more akin to dogs. They are companions, friends.
Now, all of this is really just a prelude to the real point of my argument. The federal government has no business telling us what we can and cannot eat.
It might be argued that they should protect us from food that will poison us. Horse meat doesn’t fall into this category. Those against eating horse meat say that the animals are given certain medications banned for livestock and there is a modicum of truth to this argument, but it would be quite simple to apply the same rules to horses as to cattle.
Now to the thing that makes me angry. In 2006 the government decided that they didn’t want people eating horses. There was no actual ban on horse meat, there was no legislation to outlaw eating horses, this because such legislation would be far beyond what the Constitution allows the government to do.
Here’s how they did it. The U.S. government requires that all meat undergo a federal inspection before being distributed as food. The real purpose of this law is to prevent small farmers from slaughtering their own meat and sending money into the hands of feed-lot owners, but again, I’m drifting. What the government did to effect this anti-horse meat ban was pass a budget that had $0 for inspecting horse meat plants. Instantly it was illegal to produce horse meat despite the fact that no one actually made it illegal. Anyone in the domestic horse meat business went bankrupt. Destroyed by the government. Even if they were doing a thriving business providing horse meat to those who wanted it. Destroyed by a single line-item in a vast budget. Those who ran such operations tried to squawk I’m sure but they were in the minority.
This is the way the government operates today. They create legislation that pours money to those that help get them elected. All under the ruse that it is for our well-being!
I think the horse meat issue is an interesting topic but the point I’m trying to make is that our government is now in the business of picking who succeeds and who fails at the swipe of a pen. One tiny line of a budget, hardly noticed, and an industry is destroyed. This happens all the time. Business does not succeed because of hard-work, good ideas, being smarter than the other guy. It succeeds because someone paid of the government to wipe out the competition. Because someone in the government didn’t think we should eat horse meat, despite the fact that it’s none of their business.
That’s not good for this country and it’s not good for you, regardless of your opinion on eating horse meat.
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