Karin Hauenstein: Horse Crusader

Karin and I had a rocky start.  She thought I was a horse-killer.  She’s on a ride to stop horse slaughter, and when she first emailed me, she was using a smartphone.  Somehow, the wires got crossed (and since I can’t text while driving a car, I can only imagine what it’s like being in-saddle and negotiating a phone!).  Karin is a true crusader for our horses, and not just because she’s on a four-legged walkabout to publicize the cause, but because this is a woman who has done her homework…in spades…and all of it–the ride, the research–all of it comes from sheer love and respect for horses.

What really impressed me–once I introduced myself properly–was Karin’s research into the flight chemicals released in every head-shot horse.  I will let Karin explain it

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Don’t Let Harper Cut the CFIA

A dear friend of mine who observed and monitored feedlots and horse slaughter in Western Canada for years before the CHDC or myself or any other group that I know of warned me just recently that while we’re busy maligning the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the horsemeat industry is well and even thriving.  Her comments brought me up short.  One of my own chief arguments has been how absurdly understaffed the CFIA is, but it’s been too easy to pursue them and their shortcomings rather than the Government of Canada itself or an industry which closes ranks like a secret society whenever the public demands specifics–and gets away with it.

I replied rather sheepishly to my friend by saying that Canadians have every right to expect their own food safety agency to protect our health.  And we do, and it should.  But you can’t get blood from a stone.  That’s why the cuts to our food safety program that the Harper government is planning are so scary:

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Gazette Food Critic Enjoys Horsemeat

Lesley Chesterman, food critic of The Montreal Gazette, reviewed a restaurant in Montreal called “DNA”.  This is what she wrote about the horse filet dish served by chef Derek Dammann:

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Said the Spider to the Fly (Revised for the Farmers)

C‘est plus fort que moi…I just can’t help myself.  It’s been a very busy day (thanks to so many of you who’ve been in touch, expressing your support and love of horses).  In the interim, I’ve been trying to read the report mentioned in Where’s There’s Smoke…(there’s usually fire) .  I must say the report is well-produced, very professional.  So far…so far, one argument in favour of horse slaughter caught my eye.  I was impressed. It was just the kind and quality of argument I would hope to make (to a different end, of course).  It nearly stumped me…nearly.  And you may not know what my favourite colour is, but you know this much about me:  I never met an argument I didn’t want to arm-wrestle with.  

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Where There’s Smoke …

Since the CHDC announced the temporary shut-down of La Petite Nation slaughterhouse, their blog has been afire.  Now some time ago, I had heard what I thought were rumours about “drug-free” horse farms in Western Canada; in one case, I knew it wasn’t a rumour because the info came from an excellent source (“where there’s smoke…there is fire).  But, with all the other research I was doing, I didn’t delve in to the matter the way I should have.  I’ve got a lot of questions about such a practice,

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Know Thine Enemy

I‘m being inundated with alerts about today’s Toronto Sun article(s):  one on the horsemeat industry in Canada, and the other featuring the restaurant, La Palette, in Ontario complaining that “they just can’t fill all their orders…not enough horsemeat available to their horse-eating customers because the CFIA is more stringent about the food safety of horsemeat.”  How unfortunate.  And on so many counts:

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