The horse-meat scandal peters on in the background here in the UK, whilst other news becomes more important. Maybe it will all be forgotten in a few weeks’ time.
However, it occurs to me that some people are disproportionately outraged that there is horsemeat in their cheap burgers, and lasagnes. As a butcher’s daughter I am aware that for burgers to be made and sold so cheaply, shortcuts are going to be taken; so surprise did not show on my face when this news story first broke.
Those who are outraged at the fact they have been eating horses, I feel are hypocritical. They are ok eating a cow, but not a horse. Both animals stand in fields, both have faces and tails and four legs; and both get ridden; haven’t you seen those rodeos in America?
So why is there this double standard about eating them? Is it because cow’s meat is called beef, so there is a certain degree of separation and you actually forget it is a cow? And horse’s meat is called horsemeat so you are more aware that it is a horse?
I understand that some of the outrage is focussed towards the companies for misleading their customers, which is valid. Companies should be more concerned about giving their customers quality food rather than making money, but let’s face it; money is everything in most companies, so they’ll do whatever it takes to hold onto it, even if that means selling a below-par product.
Personally, I feel that the consumers should shoulder the blame in this scandal as well. We are a nation of busy, sometimes lazy people who want food in an instant. Ready-made meals allow us to lead the lives we want and not have to deal with chopping veggies and cooking meat joints for a long time. So because ready-meals are a big seller, the company pushes for more to be made, but this is more expensive. They can’t afford to buy the quality products that go into their ready-made meals because they sell them so cheap in the first place and would not make a profit. So instead of risking the loss of customers due to raising the price of their goods, they resort to buying cheaper products. All morals go out of the window when a chance for profit is to be made, and the result is your horsemeat burger.
It is all cause and effect.