chapter  8
22 Pages

Surpluses and Rejects

Society often feels uneasy about the disposal of unwanted animals that we have deliberately bred for our use. A famous Punch cartoon of 1909, entitled ‘The Outcast’, shows a gaunt, elderly horse, probably once a valued hunter or racer, arriving at the customs post on the dockside at Antwerp in Belgium. His label reads ‘Hull to Antwerp’ and he has been shipped from England to be sold to a Belgian slaughterhouse for horsemeat. The customs officer looks into the horse’s eyes and asks: ‘Have you anything to declare?’ The horse looks back and answers, ‘Nothing, except that I’m ashamed of my country.’1