In Kazakhstan, They Eat Horse Meat. Would You?

Kazakhstan has a breed of horse raised especially for the quality of its meat (and milk). PHOTOGRAPH BY RYAN BELL

Kazakhstan is a land where people revere, and eat, horses.

Meanwhile, in America (and much of Europe) eating horse meat is taboo.

In a blog post for The Plate, I explore these differing attitudes about equus caballus as a protein source.

Horsemen of Kazakhstan
A collection of images showing Kazakh horses. PHOTOGRAPHS BY RYAN BELL


Ryan Bell is a writer/photographer exploring "cowboy" cultures around the world. As a Fulbright-National Geographic Fellow, he traveled through Russia and Kazakhstan where farmers have been working to rebuild their cattle industries. Back in the U.S., Ryan works freelance and teaches as an adjunct professor of creative nonfiction at The University of Montana.
  • Mira Lea

    I have no problem with the idea of raising horses for slaughter – They are an excellent source of protein and iron and the meat has less fat than beef.
    Whether people want to admit it or not, horses are livestock, and in countries such as the US, horse meat was a common source of protein, before the Animal Rights activists declared that it was taboo.
    Feeder horses – horses that are bred and raised for slaughter – enter the food chain under the same rules as other livestock destined for the table, and are, in that regard, no different than cattle or sheep.

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