Swedish jockey stands by decision to eat her beloved horse
Helena Ståhl was advised to put down the horse by vets after the mare was severely injured.
Ståhl told Swedish news site The Local that she felt there was no other alternative as the “meat industry is going in the wrong direction”, and it was important to her to consume an animal “that had a good life”.
“I told my mother that if I could not eat meat from an animal that had a good life, I will never eat meat again,” she said.
The 24-year-old competes in harness racing and earns her living as a horse groomer and carer.
Iffy was put down in May 2015, but Ståhl only revealed her decision in a Facebook post in December.
She wrote “Either I ate her up, or so the worms did it”.
Ståhl expected the backlash that was to come:“I understand that it comes as a shock to some people. That some choose to call me disgusting and callous. I blame myself for provoking that.”
“Call me gross. You judge me. I haven't said that you must do as I, but we all have to do something! Start with thinking one step further. Take responsibility and take care of the ones you love the most!
Iffy mant, thank you for everything! You're my bravest star! My bravest princess! I will always love you!”
And as she predicted, many jumped at the opportunity to criticise her actions.
I don't give a damn what anybody says, this girl is sick. Her and her friends can think it's cute all they want telling...Posted by Tammy Williams on
The Independent: Swedish jockey Helena Stahl defends eating her horse after it was put down. https://t.co/ENwOxXVq07 That's plain disgusting— American Patriot ن (@Lady_Lbrty) January 8, 2016
A jockey is defending her decision to eat her own horse https://t.co/oCsKI4npL8 Must have been a pedigree chum....— secret agent (@theagentsdiary) January 8, 2016
Others, however, applauded her decision and recognised her bravery in making it.
Why has this caused any controversy, seriously if the animal had a happy life then where is the problem, you... https://t.co/oC7vvFepDz— Steve Merrick (@stevesevilempir) January 8, 2016
Smoked/cured horse meat is widely available as a cold cut in Sweden.
After the 2013 horse meat scandal in Europe demand for the meat reportedly went up in Sweden
In June last year a Swedish riding club faced protests for eating horse meat at a local restaurant during their summer party.
They defended their decision saying they hoped more people would talk about meat production and break some of the taboos surrounding horse meat.