Whoa, Nellie. Horse slaughter may be back in the saddle.
The AP reports:
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Horses could soon be butchered in the U.S. for human consumption after Congress quietly lifted a 5-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspections, and activists say slaughterhouses could be up and running in as little as a month.
While not kosher according to Jewish dietary law, equine meat is thrice attested to in our archive:
German author Heinrich Mann, in a 1934 essay touting exiled Germans as "the real Germany," employed horse meat in a metaphor describing the rise of Nazi ideology:
Behind all this nonsense of race, abolition of Marxist class hatred and equal representation af all professions, there is one proletariat and one capitalist. This is so. I am reminded of the well known sausage which during the war had ot be shared by officers as well as privates, half horse and half chicken meat. I think that many people in Germany today know who will get the horse meat and who the fowl.
Under Nazi rule, Jews were forced to consume horse meat, as noted in this 1940 report:
Added details of economic conditions in Nazi Poland were received by this correspondent in a report from the occupied area.
"We are on the way to a hunger of the kind not suffered since the Middle Ages," the report said. "Meat of dead horses is a luxury, while butter and other fats are disappearing into the interior of the Reich."
Along with a bulletin that Nazis were deporting Hungarian Jews in small towns to ghettos in large cities came this news:
STOCKHOLM, Apr. 30 (JTA) – The Stockholm Tidningen reports that special reduced rations have been announced for Jews throughout Hungary. Jews will be permitted to buy only one-quarter of a pound of beef or horse meat and three ounces of sugar weekly. They are forbidden to purchase butter, eggs, rice or other meats.
It appears the Jews’ relationship to horse meat is a tragic one.
Image: Owain Davies (CC BY 3.0)