Do Not Touch: Forbidden Foods
Horsemeat is forbidden by all religions for the reason the cow is sacred: it is worth more alive than as steak. It gave nomads mobility for herding, fighting, fleeing. It was the war weapon that pulled chariots and cannon, and made fast moving cavalry possible. The Book of Job praises God for creating horses: “Hast thou given the horse strength?...The glory of his nostrils is terrible. …He goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear and is not affrighted….”
The Romans needed horses for their military triumphs, and in 752 AD when Christians were repelling the advance of Muslims beyond Spain, the Pope decreed a ban on eating them. Since the horse was the “most crucial instrument of production and most prized possession” of Genghis Khan’s legions who conquered Asia and half of Europe, the Mongols fed their horses before themselves, wrote them love songs, and never beat them. We also believe the horse to be too noble to eat, our word chivalry deriving from chevalier, man on horseback.
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