Horsemeat Scandal Prompts UK Consumers to Eat Less Meat
An Animal Rights Article from


Katie Vann, Compassion Over Killing (COK)
March 2013

While factory farmers, food manufacturers, and retailers play the blame game in Europe over the discovery of horse DNA in various beef products, a significant number of British consumers are responding by not just avoiding the possibly tainted beef, but eating less meat overall.

horse horsemeat
Image of horse slaughterhouse from Humane Farming Association (HFA)

According to a poll released Monday by Consumer Intelligence, one-fifth of adults in Britain are buying less meat as a result of this horsemeat scandal, and 6 percent of those polled knew someone who had become vegetarian in response to the scandal.

Another poll completed by ComRes reinforces these results. Their poll showed that 7 percent of respondents had completely stopped eating meat following the scandal.

The detection of horse DNA in “beef” products is an alarming reminder of the lack of transparency in our food production system. It also elevates a sense of distrust in the food industry, and has many consumers questioning what happens behind the closed doors of factory farms and slaughterhouses.

One of the most candid ways we can currently get a glimpse inside animal agribusiness operations, which prefer to remain hidden from public view, is through videos filmed during undercover investigations. In the US, undercover investigators have caught on film practices that are so cruel and shocking, some footage has led to meat recalls, slaughter plant shutdowns and criminal prosecutions against employees and managers of the facilities.

Former Compassion Over Killing intern and undercover investigator Cody Carlson recently discussed his experience as an undercover investigator. Watch the segment below, and then take a stand against animal abuse by choosing meat-, egg-, and dairy-free foods. The most effective way we can express our compassion for all animals is by leaving them off our plates. Get started with these delicious vegan recipes and vegan recipes.

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