One does not often think of a “horse lover” loving her animals the way a “pizza lover” loves pizza, but one Swedish equestrian started an Internet controversy this week after eating her own horse.
According to The Local, 24-year-old Helena Ståhl is a professional groom and an amateur harness racer. When her beloved horse was injured and had to be euthanized, she decided that rather than have him buried or cremated, she was just going to eat him. At least that way the meat would not be going to waste, and she considered it more ethical to eat the horse she had loved and cared for than to eat meat from an animal that was not raised and slaughtered humanely.
“For me there were no alternatives since I think the meat industry is going in the wrong direction, and to eat an animal that had a good life felt right for me. I told my mother that if I could not eat meat from an animal that had a good life, I will never eat meat again,” she said.
Ståhl posted about her decision to Facebook and was shocked by some of the extremely emotional responses she received. Some horse lovers said her act was akin to canibalism. She says she’s glad she did it and hopes the issue will bring attention to animal welfare and issues she sees in the meat industry.
“To eat meat from an animal that might never even get to see the sun, nobody thinks is odd. But to eat an animal that you, yourself, have taken care of is suddenly the oddest thing anybody has heard. I think that is scary," she said.
Ståhl said her horse was delicious, and that her friends were open to sharing the meat with her.
“Many of my friends claim it’s the most delicious meat they have ever eaten,” she said.