Friday, March 1, 2013

The Horse Sense of Literature

I heard that the U.S. might soon authorize a horsemeat packing plant in New Mexico, despite recent news stories about alarm bells being raised because horsemeat was found in IKEA's Swedish meatballs and sausage. Americans, it seems, are less adverse to pink slime in their fast food than equine protein.

An NPR interviewee was asked why Americans are so against the thought of eating horsemeat. He gave kind of a lame response, saying, more or less, that we think of horses as pets.

Avid readers know it's more than that. Horses have always been an essential part of our most heroic and romantic stories. In our fantasies, princes come riding in on horses, not on cows or pigs.  The Charge of the Light Brigade would have been pretty silly on chickens.

There's a good reason no one ever wrote novels with these titles:

The Black Sirloin
My Friend Filet
The Red Pork
War Heifer
Sea Bovine
Porgy of Chincoteague
Black Beefy
The Holstein Whisperer
National Vealchop

So, New Mexico, why not consider packing some other kind of meat? You have rattlesnakes, don't you? I'd eat that.



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