The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Horsemeat Cake, Anyone?

By Laura Oppenheimer in Food on Sep 24, 2007 1:28PM

A new ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may finally put an end to the Cavel horsemeat slaughter saga that has been on our radar for some time. On Friday, the court upheld the Illinois Horse Meat Act, effectively shutting down the DeKalb County-based slaughterhouse.

The ever-prolific Richard Posner penned the 15-page opinion. In his trademark witty style, he writes,

But even if no horses live longer as a result of the new law, a state is permitted, within reason, to express disgust at what people do with the dead, whether dead human beings or dead animals. There would be an uproar if restaurants in Chicago started serving cat and dog steaks, even though millions of stray cats and dogs are euthanized in animal shelters.

You can find the PDF of the ruling here. As we read through it, it became clear the issue was not so much about the horsemeat itself, but more to do with interstate commerce laws, combined with a healthy does of equine love. Also in the report? Apparently horsemeat is all the rage in American zoos, and sometimes the very bored zookeepers feel the need to make horsemeat cakes for their animals. From the PDF of the opinion:


Not much we can say to that, except "ew." There is pending legislation in Congress that would prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption nationwide. Make yourself heard, if you like, by signing a petition on the Humane Society's website.

Image from the ruling Above the Law.