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 an award-winning journalist living in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington State. A former cowboy and adventure guide, Ryan is specialized in examining how agriculture impacts the natural world. He is a two-time National Geographic Explorer, traveling to Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. Ryan’s work has been published by NPR, Columbia Journalism Review, Bloomberg, Outside Magazine, among others.
  • 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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