Friday, December 2, 2011

Meat Depress

Despite candidate Barack Obama's promise that we'd all be eating pie by now (with someone else picking up the bill for it), it turns out that the real menu in these days of disastrous unemployment is quite a bit less appealing.

As a case in point, the president just signed a bill which clears the way for horses to be slaughtered for meat and be federally inspected before heading to American's tables as a mane course.

Although many people are appalled at the notion, horse meat is commonly eaten in a number of other countries. For instance, the French delight in serving entire horses with vats of melted garlic butter. Of course, this is due in no small part to the fact that the French are only courageous enough to hunt docile domestic animals who come when their names are called or can be lured with sugar cubes.

The government is trying to put the best face on their decision to facilitate the production and distribution of horseburger, calling it a good "management tool" for horse owners who can no longer afford to feed their equine friends. They don't, however, say much about why horse owners have run out of funds, why cash-strapped but hungry consumers might soon be arguing over "who gets the hoof," or what the government will ever do about our declining economy other than having Michelle Obama visit "The View" to share recipes that use Clydesdales and yams. Lots of yams.

But for the time being, whether you own horses you can't afford or not, it might be a good idea not to complain too loudly about being saddled with Washington's ongoing fiscal irresponsibility.

After all, look what they're doing to other creatures who were saddled...

For kids hoping to get a pony this Christmas, it's a "good news, bad news" deal.


Angry Hoosier Dad said...

One of my favorite movie lines is from Caddyshack when Rodney Dangerfield complains that his steak still has marks where the jockey was hitting it. I can't have any coffee this morning (blood tests) so my mind isn't fit to even try to make jokes, but I fully expect the rest of you to have a field day with totally inappropriate references to Michelle Obama and Sarah Jessica Parker.

FlyBoy said...

So what's next, USDA certified rat meat? How about "organic squirrels" or free-range cats?

Earl said...

"Kids hoping to get a pony this Christmas." LOVED it.

Pete(Detroit) said...

AHD - Ms Parker should be fine, as long as she stays off all fours (hint - hire someone else to scrub the floor...)

As much as I LOVE Caddyshack, the opinion against Dangerfield's character WAS correct - "he was NOT Bushwood materiel"
Weather or not one would WANT to be is a whole other story. On the other hand, that guy (Al Czervik - just looked it up) seriously suffers from 'Groucho Syndrome' - probably does not want to be part of any group that would accept him...
Reminds me of an experience I had last winter. Went to a party, and realized quickly that I was the coolest person there. Sounds nice, right? Yeah - for about 38 seconds. A bigger collection of geeks, freaks, dweebs, feebs and overall dorks I have (fortunately) never seen. Imagine sifting all the D&D groups in the county, and selecting only the lowest hanger on from each group.
Then collect them in one place.
Fun, hunh?
Moral? Being the 'coolest person in the room' might not be TOO bad, so long as you're not the ONLY cool person there.
(and no, I have NO illusions of being all that particularly cool myself.)

Bobo said...

Looks to me that the horse on the table has two rear ends. One at each end of the table.

Earl said...

I missed the horse the first time. I was distracted by Michelle's pillow. Or is that Obama's Aunt Zeituni?

John the Econ said...

Well, on a ecological/resource management scale, this actually makes a lot of sense. As a PR scale, you're right on; it's depressing. Keeping horses is definitely a "rich man's hobby", and contrary to popular liberal rhetoric, there are fewer "rich" people able to keep up their hobbies. I have friends with a horse farm who have taken in all of the abandoned horses they can. The rest end up abandoned, and head for the slaughterhouse.

A note for the Progressives: These are the same people who you fantasize shifting more and more of the tax burden upon. If they're dumping their horses, it's a pretty good sign that they're not going to be paying the level of taxes you think they can either.

My fear is that after another 4 years of Obamanomics, it's won't just be horses showing up at the grocery story. But at least a lot of kids will be getting a pony! (classic)

@Pete(Detroit), Mrs. Econ has recently gotten us hooked on "The Big Bang Theory"; the sitcom about highly intelligent but socially awkward uber-geeks. Initially, I wasn't all that interested since I went to school and was friends with a lot of those people, and lived the reality. (Except back then, few played fantasy or computer games, and would not have been caught dead reading comic books) Last week, it hit me: I was the "cool" guy in the room. Very disturbing.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Angry Hoosier Dad- I had to go without coffee for the same reason about a week ago and couldn't believe the day-long fog I had to put up with. Hope you're caffeinated by now!

@Flyboy- The handy thing about raising a herd of rats for the dinner table is that after you use the branding iron on them, they're ready to serve.

@Pete- What were you doing at an Obama rally?

@Bobo- Hey, when you're right, you're right.

@Earl- You missed the horse?! That's a sign you need more coffee. On the other hand, good catch with Michelle's back pillow. Maybe she strained her back while watching schoolkids weed her garden.

@John- It's ironic that the "evil rich" have to divest themselves of horses they can't afford but are compelled to pay the unending stud fees for America's breeding class.

Regarding being the only "cool" guy in a room, I sometimes wonder how many other people in the room think they're the cool one. And then I wonder if they might be right.

John the Econ said...

@Stilton, I think most people who "think" they are the "cool" guy in the room at the time usually are not. But having only realized it over 20 years later, I feel confident that I was. (It wasn't much of an achievement)

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@John the Econ- Oh, I can easily believe that you were the cool guy. And now look - thanks to Hope n' Change all of us "cool guys" can hang out together. Kinda sorta.

Andrew said...

Being 'the only cool guy in the room' reminds me of the classic warning about joining a poker game with strangers. Before you sit down, look around the table of faces to spot 'the mug', the dumb guy who's way outclassed by the rest of the players and is going to go home tonight a lot poorer. If you can't spot the mug...then, surprise... YOU'RE the mug.

John the Econ said...

@Stilton, I think it was a pretty low bar. In that room, all it took was having a life outside of a classroom and being able to talk to women. (Bonus points awarded for actually having a girlfriend) In most other rooms, I was the geek.

So please don't insult our roommates here by insinuating that I'm the "cool" one!

CenTexTim said...

Reminds me of 'we had to destroy the city in order to save it.'

Abandoned and starving horses are a serious problem in this part of the country. Hay is scarce and expensive. There is no natural browse because of the ongoing drought down here. The ethanol scam has caused the cost of corn to skyrocket. Animal care and rescue facilities are overwhelmed. So horses are turned loose to fend for themselves.

It's a case of being cruel to be kind. That's the kind of twisted logic that appeals to government types. Let's treat the symptom, not the cause.

Chuck said...

@FlyBoy - to answer your question about what's next? Soylent Green, of course. I'm sure it's in Ă˜bamacare somewhere.

pryorguy said...


Mike Porter said...

One of the arguments supporting the automobile over the horse was that it was so much cleaner in terms of emissions. Consequently, those who made their living 'cleaning up this one horse town' suddenly found themselves in the same camp as those who manufactured buggy whips... railing against revolutionary, game changing ideas in favor of the status quo... much like unions do today. It's a pretty safe bet that most folks weren't pining for the good old days of lurking piles of horse feces awaiting their best Sunday shoes. So here it follows that clearing the way for equine-o-cide seems entirely appropriate given the astounding amount of horseshit produced by this administration and likeminded sympathizers. Apparently, someone did the math and discovered that we would all be up to our eyeballs in crap if we didn't at least cap off one source. Problem is, a horse is an entirely legitimate source (of course), while the afore mentioned horses asses have no business soiling the American dream with what they consider fertilizer. One can only hope that come November, they will learn the true political meaning of the term 'slaughterhouse'.

Anonymous said...

My people were cattlemen, therefore, I would like to point out that there are a few things wrong with eating horse.
1. Cattle yeilds more meat.
2. Horses like to run and thus tend to be tougher.
3. All those "no longer cared for" horses tend to be OLD and tough.
4. Horses can be skittish and hard to control in the field. Cattle can be handled by someone on foot!
Several years ago, some actress bragged about eating horse and said it needed plenty of spices and TENDERIZER.

Emmentaler Limburger said...

@Pete: So, then, how did you get on that particular invitation list? You can engage in a little introspection before answering :o)

@Mike: Love the horseshit comments. Spot on. I suppose if they went after the TRUE source of bad horseshit, we'd all be having roast politician for dinner. Yes, they'd be tender from inactivity, juicy with fat, but the taste? I fear it would be much too bitter over the inability to do anything USEFUL in life...

My wife has two horses; kept at a boarding stable. We are not rich. Less so because of the boarding fees, which, hats off to the boarding house, are very reasonable but still a monthly burden. I'd love to off them to some meat market, but to She Who Must Be Obeyed, they are more like large, hoofed doggies. Or children. No horse-free future for this kid...

This is not really a new "venue" for horses. Horse meat could always be purchased, though I'm not sure it was ever USDA approved, for the dinner plate. It just didn't have much of a market, and only found its way into "specialty" restaurants - those that also serve emu, buffalo, etc. usually have horsemeat fare as well. Plus, they could always be sold for "utility rendering" - dogfood, mostly. Most that are being turned loose are being done so for reasons other than profiting from the horse, and will likely continue - though you might now see horse farms specifically for food horses, much like they have for venison (deer). Few and far between, but out there. Sounds more like some lobbyist out there has "won the day" (not surprising under this particular administration, what with their promise to reduce lobbyist influence over the nation's lawmakers and all...)

@FlyBoy: Rat is enjoyed in China. Their word for it, as I recall, translates to something like "small beef". Many of my coworkers have had it, and enjoyed it immensely - until being told what "small beef" was. Also, way back in culinary school, we reviewed a French delicacy: stuffed mouse. (No - I don't know how to prepare it. Don't ask...) Anyway: go figure! People will eat just about ANYTHING, and many current "delicacies" were discovered out of starvation/necessity - a state of being that another term of this Ă˜bamanation may drive us all to...

@Stilton ...pony for Christmas SNARK! Love it - as well as the WH pic - though that kid in the yarmulke has to step away from the table. Horsemeat isn't kosher...

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Andrew- Good advice when playing poker!

@John the Econ- What?! You had a life and a girlfriend?! Duuuuuuuuude!

And actually I was implying that everyone here at Hope n' Change is in the cool category now.

@CenTexTim- Jokes aside, it's a really terrible time for horses and horse owners. And there really is a perverse "humane" angle to allowing domestic slaughter and sales. Until now, there were 100,000 horses a year being shipped alive (often in terrible conditions) to slaughterhouses in other countries. As long as they're destined to hit the dinner tables, it's better that their suffering isn't added to.

@Chuck- The government path to "Soylent Green" begins by establishing that the unborn are simply masses of protein. In fact, I believe on page 1738 of the Obamacare bill, the term "embryo" is officially being phased out and replaced with "veal."

@pryorguy- It IS so. And what's more, by Christmas Obama will put Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on the menu.

@Mike Porter- good comment! Also, the difference in regular horse manure and political horse manure is that one promotes growth (when applied to plants), and the other stops growth (when applied to Boeing's plants).

@Anonymous- I'm pretty sure that horse meat can be tenderized with the tears of children.

@Emmentaler- I believe that the primary reason for this change in policy is the "humane" consideration that I mentioned above; it's better for the horses to be slaughtered here than jammed into packing cases alive and be shipped to other countries.

Regarding rats and mice as sources of meat, I'm reminded of the very good (and beautifully shot) movie "Never Cry Wolf" in which a researcher forces himself to eat mice to see if it's possible for something the size of a human or wolf to get enough nutrition to survive. It turns out you need to eat a LOT of them.

JustaJeepGuy said...

The guy in "Never Cry Wolf" decided he had to try eating them just as the wolf did, too....crunch!
I once read somewhere that horse was sold in grocery stores for a while (I think it was during WWII, but I'm not sure about that) and it actually sold very well, being a lot cheaper than beef.

Pete(Detroit) said...

The Horse is the Source, of course, of corse
Unless the source just isn't a Horse
You've never heard of a Horseless Source?
Well listen to this -
"Hi, we're from Washington, we're here to help"...

Emmentaler - the invite went out to a couple of groups, to one of which I belong. I was FAR from the coolest person INVITED, just the coolest one that showed up.
Everyone else was cool enough to know better.
*Did* manage to effectively deal w/ the situation by drinking enough to become uncool. Not quite to the point of being 'that guy' but definitely more than was cool.

And yeah, Stilt, I don't recall it coming up, but I *do* suspect a large % of them were Obama voters, and will likely do so again.

Grizzly said...

Well if Pete is going to offer up a song, then I'll just have to save this ditty from an old LP recorded by a group called the Raintree County Singers, though the liner notes said that the song actually dates from the 1800's:

The Ballad of Cheyenne

Way out in old Wyoming lived a man
Who had an old sick pony named Cheyenne.
This pony was so old he could not stand
and he had every sickness in the land.

One day the people sent an agent out and
They paid thirty cents for old Cheyenne.
They said, "We'll send him off to pack in cans.
Well he may be sick, but he'll sure look slick
Packed up in a can.

"We'll can old poor Cheyenne.
We'll put him in a can ....... o-o-ohhh,

"Cheyenne, Cheyenne, you old sick pony,
We'll take you, and bake you,
And make you into baloney,
And the folks who eat you'll all know
You're that pony from old Cheyenne."

Emmentaler Limburger said...

@Pete: Ah! Strategic inebriation - much like the ink and the octopi. Very good! Well thought out and executed plan. The only caveat to strategic inebriation is I used to get many dates that way - on the bright side: every once in a while, I even wanted to go through with them. Ah! The good ol' days...

(Great Mr. Ed parody, by the way.)

Pete(Detroit) said...

Thanx! Was going to end it "My Name is 'Bar-ak O' to scan better, but that seemed just too limiting in scope. Could not resist dragging one of the '3 biggest lies' in...

Pete(Detroit) said...

Cheyenne in a can was pretty funny too - Thanx Grizzly!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers- I enjoyed the songs, too!

Reaganite Independent said...

Brilliant as always, SJ


Reaganite's Sunday Funnies

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Reaganite Republican- Thanks! Very good collection of cartoons you've posted this week (but then, that's true every week!)

Steve in Wisconsin said...

My understanding is that during WW2 horse meat was one of the few meats that was not rationed, so I've used a two-parter for years:
1) Little Tommy sits down for Christmas dinner and laments, "Mommy, when I said I wanted a pony for Christmas, this isn't what I meant!"
2) Older brothers being older brothers, two years later, little sister Mary wails, "Mommy, make Tommy stop saying we're having Black Beauty for dinner!" Of course, I didn't have photos...