Radio Hosts Eat Horsemeat On Air Despite Facebook Outrage


horse_butchering_map.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxWritten By:  Heather Clemenceau

Today’s post is dedicated to horsemeat propaganda,  courtesy of Canada’s famous slaughterphile Bill DesBarres,  who recently appeared on one of two radio episodes on horsemeat coming out of Saskatoon on the Round Table News Talk 650 CKOM.  DesBarres was interviewed by David Kirton in one podcast,  while Craig Silliphant and David Kirton sampled horsemeat in a second podcast, with Angela Hill representing the “pescatarian” abstainer.  Although their Facebook page was inundated with criticism and countervailing facts about horses, it was only a fraction of the outrage that was reserved for the hosts of “Top Chef Canada” which created a challenge featuring horsemeat in a segment two years ago.

Bill DesBarres - singing the praises of happy horse slaughterhouses

Bill DesBarres – singing the praises of happy horse slaughterhouses

When the show’s producers saw the posts on their Facebook page and realized that there might be humane issues with slaughtering horses, they  apparently mistookthe Horse “Welfare” Alliance of Canada as an actual welfare group advocating for horses and invited DesBarres to participate by providing awkward, one-sided small talk.  Both shows were very formulaic in that they glossed over the real issues and asked “not-so-challenging” questions of DesBarres, who invariably presented horse slaughter as a joyous theme park of happiness where horses willing go to be slaughtered and eaten, not unlike the pig at the Restaurant at the end of the Universe.

DesBarres did not fail to deliver his usual derp for the CFIA either, and steadfastly maintained that he has never heard of any Canadian horsemeat that has tested positive for phenylbutazone.  Unfortunately for the audience, host David Kirton wasn’t aware of any examples either, and so was unable to delve any deeper into the discussion.  And the audience was not served by the lack of commentary from a knowledgeable person or group such as the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, a true horse advocacy group.

DesBarres will NOT tell these radio hosts that his welfare claims of happy slaughterhouses and comfortable travel to them are almost meaningless. The Federal Health of Animals Act is not enforced, which would protect sick, pregnant and unfit horses, and prohibit overcrowding; the Recommended Code of Practice for Care and Handling of Farm Animals: Transportation of Horses. is not enforced. The CFIA does not enforce their own weak rules that slaughter bound horses must not be transported for longer than 36 hours straight and must be provided with feed, water and rest at required intervals. Double-decker trailers are still allowed in Canada. Horses are shipped in crowded trailers over long distances, and often arrive injured, sometimes fatally. Horses, unlike most livestock, do not travel well.

Mark McEwan was criticizied on Top Chef Canada for serving horsemeat

Mark McEwan was criticizied on Top Chef Canada for serving horsemeat

So, suffice it to say, they don’t always respond well when being transported from kill auctions in the U.S. to federally licensed slaughterhouses in Quebec and Alberta. Since 2007, inspectors have been banned from the kill floor for their own safety, since the adoption of firearms has been implemented to stun animals, so their role is basically an administrative one now. So how could inspectors intervene when humane incidents have occurred, as revealed by a CBC probe and in undercover video by the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition?

He also won’t tell anyone that the HWAC’s solution for the traceability issues in horsemeat will never be accepted by the general population of horse owners,  because we will not pay for any system for our animals just so the Europeans or Japanese can be assured of a bute-free gastronomic experience.  And he did not tell the hosts (at least not on air) that he is a paid representative of Claude Bouvry and his slaughter empire.  Nor will he acknowledge that HWAC has no real horse welfare programs,  and if he or the HWAC board members were genuinely concerned about horse welfare,  DesBarres would not try to discredit video evidence produced by the CHDC.  That speaks volumes.

You can listen to the DesBarres Interview here

The eating of horsemeat took place in a second episode, where the hosts generally face-planted onto various issues, never quite getting it right.  For instance, they clung to the false notion that in order to justifiably complain about the philosophy of eating horsemeat, you must be vegan.  They didn’t truly grasp the notion of the “non-food animal” issue, instead choosing to

Anthony Bourdain - the bad boy of overindulgence. and food porn

Anthony Bourdain – the bad boy of overindulgence and food porn

ask why slaughter remains “acceptable” for the traditional food animals.  It’s a fair enough question, but one I’ve grown really weary of attempting to answer.  Indeed, some vegans I know have wondered why it seems to be so wrong to eat horses, because their beloved and much maligned farm animals are already being cruelly treated.  Much of the vegan message is “what about cows and pigs?” as if to advocate for horses somehow invalidates the suffering of other animals or makes us into some sort of animal “racist.” Again, in my opinion, this is the wrong question.  Instead, we should all be asking why it is necessary to add another animal to the food chain?  We must collectively resist the foodie movement, which has played a role in normalizing horsemeat, foie gras, as well as popularizing other non-traditional animals or worse – the consumption of non-inspected meat or live animals, as popularized by Anthony Bourdain and other wanna-be-known-for-sumthin’ chefs (caution – semi-graphic video – start watching at 3:00).

Gordon Ramsay has long promoted horsemeat to Britons

Gordon Ramsay has long promoted horsemeat to Britons

The hosts also assumed that deer and elk are not farmed (Bouvry and others are doing it), that all horses going to slaughter were old, and east Indians don’t eat cows.  They may also have assumed that horse slaughter is only cruel if it DOESN’T use the same process as with cows.  Using a process for cows is one more reason why it IS NOT HUMANE for a horse.   The hosts also bought into the false dilemma that, based on the relationship between predator and prey animals in the wild, the slaughter of an animal by us in a factory setting is humane by comparison. It’s a false dilemma because the horse that became their luncheon meat probably was someone’s pleasure horse at one time, and had no natural enemies to prey upon it.  And why did they assume that you must eat anything that is put in front of you, otherwise you’re being disrespectful of your host?  Is it rude to refuse alcohol if you’re abstaining?  Why then could it be rude for vegetarians or vegans to refuse animal protein provided by a host?  I guess one must never spoil a dinner party for mere religious or ethical reasons.  It was Anthony Bourdain who said, “taking your belief system on the road—or to other people’s houses—makes me angry.” The sight of vegetarian tourists waving away a Vietnamese pho vendor fills him with “spluttering indignation.” That’s right – apparently guests have a greater obligation to please their host, than vice versa. There’s really no civilized value left that foodies  (or radio hosts) cannot destroy.

You can listen to the horse-eating broadcast here

Bute poster august 22-2012

About heatherclemenceau

Hopefully as I've grown older I've also grown wiser, but one thing I've definitely become cognizant of is the difference between making a living and making a life. Frequently outraged by some of life's cruelties, and respect diversity. But.....I don't suffer fools gladly, and occasionally, this does get me into some trouble! I have the distinction of being the world's worst golfer - no wait, I do believe that there is a gypsy in Moldavia who is a worse golfer than I. Nor am I much of a dancer - you won't see a booty-shakin' flygirl routine from me! I'm also not the kind of cook who can whip up a five-course meal on a radiator either! And I've never figured out how to get an orchid to bloom a second time. I love to discuss literature, science, philosophy, and sci-fi , or even why Seinfeld is funny on so many levels. Words move me. I'm very soft-hearted about most things, especially animals, but I have a stoicism about me that is sometimes interpreted incorrectly. I do have a definite edge and an often "retro-adolescent" sense of humour at times. I'm a big advocate of distributed computing projects to advance science. Check out if you want to find out more. I'm an eclectic plant-based eater, and as such, it's a personal practice of mine to seduce innocent meat-eaters into cruising the (salad) bars at every opportunity. You would be powerless to resist. I was recently surprised to find that a computer algorithm concluded that I write like Dan Brown, which is funny because I didn't think Dan Brown could actually write. Check out your own style - Oh, and I love impractical shoes and funky hats.

11 responses »

  1. A radio show by a DJ that aired the live castration and slaughter of a wild boar in the station parking lot in Florida led to FCC fines for 4 Clear Channel stations and resulted in the DJ being fired by Clear Channel. The event was the station’s “road kill barbeque”. Massive boycotts by listeners followed. Outraged animal advocates filed numerous petitions and letters to Judge Herbert J. Baumann of Division F County Court House and to Mark Ober, the District Attorney of the 13th Judicial Circuit Court in Tampa Florida as well as to the Clear Channel Communications group and their sponsors. Some 30 sponsors dropped their advertising.

    “Clear Channel Communications discontinued Clem’s show on February 23, 2004 and two days later, Clear Channel CEO John Hogan testified in front of Congress, stating that the “Bubba the Love Sponge” show would no longer be broadcast on Clear Channel.”

    • OMG, that is so unbelievably outrageous! How anyone in the station management could have allowed that to go forward is beyond me. And to castrate an animal before slaughtering it in such a manner was a needless and cruel stunt that makes the whole episode even more horrific, if that’s possible. I think the most reasonable thing the Saskatoon station can do now is to offer air time to a individual or group such as the CHDC.

  2. Your article sums up my outrage perfectly and I’m so embarassed that this happened in our city (the horse consumption, not the castration!). Rawlco Radio has had the monopoly of radio stations here but there are now 3 other choices on FM (I don’t listen to AM) and have completely boycotted their stations since Rock 102’s DJ’s said that all the controversy made them want to try horsemeat and posed the question “can we get it here? is it even legal here?” at the end of their show so as to avoid the inevitable backlash! I decided to never listen to them ever again (even though I used to be a huge fan) because their comments were so ignorant and they seemed so unwilling to do any research! Shame shame shame on 650 for going ahead with this! Thank goodness we have people as well spoken as you assisting us in advocating for the horses! Good job!

  3. You obviously didn’t listen to the radio program or podcast. While they did discuss the horse meat issue from both angles (and had researched it well), they did NOT sample any horse meat on the air. If you’re making this up, how much other stuff are you fudging the truth about for your crusade? By lying about this, you are committing libel.

    • I listened to two podcasts on horsemeat coming out of that station. If I’m lying, get in touch with the radio’s lawyer and have him/her send me a Statement of Claim. For several days beforehand, the radio station itself promoted the show by saying they would eat horse on air. So I’ve simply maintained their initial message point. Is that your main criticism of the blog post? if so, your position is pretty weak. But feel free to elaborate on what else is a “lie” as part of this “crusade.”

      • Why would I care to get in touch with the station and their lawyer? All I’m saying is that you lose credibility when you make things up, which doesn’t help your cause. I’m not against what you are saying about horses. “Maintaining their initial message point” is NOT what you say in your post. You say that the two host eat the horsemeat on the air. You obviously didn’t even listen to the segment, yet your are pretending that you did. Yeesh.

      • It’s not my problem if they changed their mind about eating it on air. They ate it at the radio station, is that good enough for ya? Since I detailed specifically what was said in both segments, and refuted it, it’s quite obvious that I did listen to it. Now unless you have some new, pertinent info to add, you’re starting to become repetitive. And so another IP goes into the blacklist.

  4. 1. Horses are not food animals. 2. The cfia does very little to protect horses except for making it very difficult to take a horse into the usa from canada for colic surgery. 3. CFIA blames lack of funding for inspectors to actually inspect horses and slaughter plants. People from the pacific rim area have zero respect or compassion for all animals, fish, reptiles, sea creatures etc. 4. If people wish to have horsemeat on their dinner plate then they deserve aplastic anemia and any other disease caused by eating drug laced meat. 5. Breeders and horse owners should be required to spend a day in a slaughter plant before they send a horse to auction.

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