Wait! Are you really going to eat that?

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July 13, 2013

Two articles are at the top of the reading list this weekend. The first article is the last stand against Valley Meat, brought about by Front Range Equine Rescue, HSUS and a few other groups (and I admire them for having enough money to pay attorneys to attempt to stop something that our own government should never have allowed in the first place. Just seems to me that if our government actually represented the will of the public, that animal organizations would be spending money on the welfare of animals instead of fighting in court to keep the animals alive, but we’ll save that argument for another time. Just be thankful for the efforts of Front Range, HSUS and the others, or the slaughter would have already started). 

Valley Meat suit now in N.M. court

ABQJournel,com, Charles D. Brunt / Journal Staff Writer

Valley Meat Slaughterhouse in Roswell, NM

Valley Meat Slaughterhouse in Roswell, NM

A federal lawsuit seeking an emergency injunction to overturn the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent permit approval for a horse meat plant in Roswell has been transferred from U.S. District Court in California to the U.S. District Court in New Mexico. The suit was filed July 1 by the Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue of Larkspur, Colo., three other groups and five individuals, four of whom live in Roswell.

Valley Meat Company, the former beef packing plant in Roswell that hopes to process horse meat for export, received its long-delayed permit for federal meat inspections on June 28. CONTINUED…. Click HERE


While the court ponders the lawsuit and those in DC keep putting off making a decision about anything, we should be pondering the wisdom of mixing horsemeat, fast foods, frozen foods and money-hungry people. It happened in Europe, Africa and Asia, but surely it can’t happen here in the good ol’ USA, right? 

But don’t limit the possibilities. If nothing else, those who think money is the world’s most important product can be creative in ways that fool all the rest of us who foolishly hold on to old fashion values, like honesty. Think about the possibilities of fake honey, fish, and – fruit juice!

But it would never happen here, so you probably don’t need to read this National Geographic article about food fraud. We know, beyond any doubt, that our government is looking out for us, protecting our health and welfare, perhaps much in the same manner that the BLM is looking out for the welfare of our wild horses. That should make us all feel really secure.

Food Fraud: Labels on What We Eat Often Mislead

Catherine Zuckerman, National Geographic

It feels as though a new age of food transparency has dawned.

But has it really?

As shown by Europe’s recent horsemeat scandal—in which scores of products labeled as “beef” were found to contain up to 100 percent horsemeat—and arrests last spring of Chinese traders who were allegedly peddling rat meat as lamb, there’s still considerable mystery around where a lot of our food comes from.

In many cases, that mystery extends to exactly what it is we’re eating.

“Unfortunately, controlling the amount of fraud that occurs daily in the food industry is next to impossible,” said Michael Roberts, a professor of food law and policy at UCLA and director of the Center for Food Law and Policy.

Inspectors look at meat in a supermarket in France. Photograph by Sebastien Bozon, AFP/Getty Images

Inspectors look at meat in a supermarket in France.
Photograph by Sebastien Bozon, AFP/Getty Images

“Almost anything can be adulterated in some way,” he added, “either to persuade consumers to buy something for their health, or by diluting it to save money on the supplier end.”

It’s a problem that spans the globe.

A recent study found that in South Africa, nearly 80 percent of products labeled “game” actually contained varying amounts of nongame animals, including giraffe, waterbuck, and kangaroo. The most egregious filler: mountain zebra, a species that is “red listed“—meaning it’s at risk for extinction—by theInternational Union for Conservation of Nature. CONTINUED….. Read the article HERE


Habitat for Horses is a 501.c.3 nonprofit equine protection organization supported solely by donations. As of today, we have 175 donkeys and horses under our care, plus one ornery, old mule. Most of them are here because law enforcement removed them from their previous owner. Our ability to rehabilitate and rehome them comes from the financial support of people like you. Please support us by making a donation for the horses we all serve. Click HERE to donate

AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • Unfortunately, I heard from some reliable sources that the slaughter had already started at Valley Meats, so I put out a call on my Facebook page for anyone that could perhaps “stake-out” Valley Meat and/or put a cheap infrared surveillance camera to try and catch trailers with horses going into the facility.

    I’m hoping that because of this lawsuit brought against them that until at least July 29th (I read somewhere that an injunction to cease the slaughter of horses was in force until then) that they will NOT be slaughtering horses, but seeing as the horse slaughter industry seems to be pretty much lawless, I wouldn’t put it past any of the horse slaughter “players” to still be slaughtering horses there.

    Can anyone that lives around there “stake out” that place or set-up a small hidden camera on something? I’d do it but I’m located in Northern Nevada………

    July 13, 2013
  • Valley Meats CANNOT start slaughtering horses until the lawsuit is over and the USDA actually HAS some inspectors.

    July 14, 2013
    • Daniel Cordero

      There is also the question about WHERE this meat is actually going to be sold in.

      The list at https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/sanco/traces/output/US/RM_US_en.pdf contains all plants in the US that are EU-approved to export meat. Neither Valley Meats nor the other faux plants (including the Tennessee one which consists on a non-existant plant with business address matching the home of some Sue Wallis’ pal) appear in said list. If they are not in this list, they simply cannot sell their output.

      Some could say, well they will sell it in China and Russia, but it seems far-fetched to me that people with typically lower incomes (specially for the chinese) will spend their little cash on foreign delicacies when they are better off with local goods. But what looks even farther-fetched is that a company that literally popped out of nowhere and that is managed by a clone of Cantinflas now pulls out of a hat an international distrubution channel in such remote and strange lands (didn’t know that Santos was fluent in Mandarin!!!!).

      Does this mean they won’t be slaughtering horses anyways? Frankly, I don’t have an answer for that at this time but what I do know is that as long as they are allowed by USDA to operate they might very well attempt to sell it off to the European Mexican plants which in turn will sell it off in Europe as genuine “EU approved” Mexican meat, hence bypassing all screening controls. So, having said this, expect some nice international fraud scandal to pop up soon. And remember, the stuff that goes down the border eventually ends up making it way all the way up through it.

      July 15, 2013
  • Judy Wendt

    Eating the typical American diet from fast food joints and low end supermarkets that carry primarily convenience foods is risking your health. You do not know what garbage is in those “tasty” products. Many contain addictive GMO high fructose corn syrup, the same HFCS that is fed to fatten cattle, (along with GMO soy, bucket loads of antibiotics – to combat the filthiness of the industry – and God knows what animal by product). Got cancer? Continue to eat like that and you will “load that gun.”

    Then there is all the pesticide use on produce. Different issue, but still based on “profit.” Interesting that they used apple juice as an example in the National Geographic article. Apples are #1 on the EWG’s (environmental working group)dirty dozen list for 2013. Store bought apples – that are not organic – or apple juice is NOT for children. Better to peel apples and make the juice yourself in a blender or food processor.

    Eat defensively. Read labels and try to just buy non-GMO (found in higher end grocery stores) when you need processed food, like condiments. Grow produce yourself, buy locally, support local CSA (community supported agriculture) boxes, talk to the vendors at the fruit stands, Farmer’s Markets, and local grocers about how they deal with pests. Most small farmers cannot afford to blanket their crop the way commercial growers do. My husband taught Ag. for 33 years and I know way more than I ever wanted about food safety and the trajectory it has taken in the past 30 years. We try to eat as fresh and clean as possible. We avoid “chain” restaurants, even (especially) when traveling in favor of unique local cafes.

    Fruit is loaded with pesticides (trees are sprayed indiscriminately), but tropical fruit has thick skin to naturally protect it from pests, so keep that in mind as a rule of thumb. Choose strictly organic whenever possible. The small additional cost will save you in medical bills!

    July 15, 2013
  • Sorry, but I heard from a kill buyer (who called me 5 days ago) in Arizona that said he had been shipping to Canada that he had been sending them to New Mexico…..I was somewhat taken aback when he said that so I said “you mean Mexico, right?” and he said “no, New Mexico”.

    In an industry that is full of criminals and lawless, and as much as I hate to believe it, I would NOT put it past the gutter-scum people to be shuttling horses in to Valley Meat in the middle of the night and if I lived closer, I’d stake-out the place myself.

    July 15, 2013
      • Really jfinch…… since WHEN does the media always post the FACTS (and I sure hope you aren’t relying on them to get your news and facts), and since when are all of we wild horse and burro advocates AND anti-horse slaughter advocates only supposed to believe something is true/fact if it’s reported on by the media and “all over the news”?

        So I guess we can all simply believe the BLM from now on when they say they MUST capture OUR wild horses and burros because they are “starving and dying of thirst” and if that weren’t really the case it would be “all over the news”?
        Or, if horse slaughter wasn’t humane and the horse slaughter industry wasn’t totally above board and legitimate in terms of being honest, ethical, etc (which it’s not but I’m obviously being sarcastic), THAT would also be “all over the news”, right? Then how come it’s not “all over the news” regarding the inhumanity, the unethical and criminal practices, etc in the multi-billion $$$ horse slaughter industry? That’s right, follow the MONEY and you’ll have your answer…….
        And I also will ask WHY isn’t all of the information regarding the ILLEGALITIES of the horse slaughter industry, the lack of rules, how full of drugs most/many horses are, how many/most horses are not old/skinny that go to slaughter and most are in fact in good weight, they are younger, many are not lame or have training issues, but some horses who are lame on 3 legs and can barely stand and barely walk but are shipped anyway which is illegal, how foals under 6 months ship, how pregnant mares whose foaling is “imminent” ship to slaughter, etc ….why isn’t all of that “all over the news”?
        Precisely, because the politicians, the media, and other outlets are NOT on our side, they are controlled (by MONEY usually) by players who are PRO-horse slaughter, etc.
        It’s scary if people really believe everything on the news as the gospel truth and/or think something isn’t happening if it’s not “all over the news”…….*shaking my head sadly at the naiveté of some/many people*

        Anyone who thinks bad, illegal stuff doesn’t happen in the horse slaughter industry which is full of criminals, no rules, a few rules that are not enforced, etc (hmm, kinda like the Tom Davis thing….pray tell, why wasn’t that “all over the news” before last year since he’s been doing it – shipping federally protected wild horses to slaughter – for years, and although it would have been better if there was more PROOF before that story came out, it hadn’t been “all over the news” at all before that story came out but I’m sure a lot of people knew EXACTLY what was going on with horses being shuttled out of facilities in the middle of the night) is naïve and foolish in MY opinion and it is the reason that the really naïve, general public who are NOT horse lovers and advocates like we are will BELIEVE the rhetoric set forth by our government and the pro-horse slaughter of why we “need” horse slaughter when we do not…IOW, if an anti-horse slaughter person like you jfinch doesn’t believe it’s happening, then certainly the general public who are often not particularly “horsie” will never believe it is happening and horses will continue to lose their lives because it wasn’t “all over the news” it was happening. I guess I’m also amazed at this point that you’re such a staunch supporter and believer in the mainstream media and their honesty in reporting.

        Apparently you’ve never been at a commercial feedlot (or maybe you have but just didn’t notice the illegal stuff?) and actually seen all the illegal stuff that goes on even though it’s against the law and the media should be jumping all over it because it’s illegal, but they are not for some strange reason. Why is that I wonder?

        Your combativeness saddens me more than anything else because if you think the media is on our side, I’m afraid that horses, mules, and burros are doomed to slaughter.

        And since you’re friends with the big wigs in the rescue “industry”, this comment probably won’t be published here, but I will publish it on my Facebook page because quite frankly, the comment you made (your one-liner) is kind of weird coming from someone that has been involved in the fight against horse slaughter for so many years, has been in the trenches, and should know from experience that not even close to everything illegal or bad related to horse slaughter and/or the eradication of our wild horses and burros is “all over the news”…… 🙁

        July 16, 2013
  • Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, it’s “all good” because I’ve noticed over the years that when you don’t like people challenging you, you say absurd/ridiculous things that don’t make sense, but if something helps your position or argument, then something like what you’re saying here said by someone else would be totally attacked by you….. (and I kind of wish I had written your silly statement like the all-knowing media would certainly write about this if it were true, but it can’t be true because they haven’t said a word and then we would see the sh*tstorm of attacks on me and accusing me of being “in with the media who are against the horses” …I don’t have quite “the following you do”, so it would be kind of funny to watch me get attacked for saying dumb things….lol…..
    I still would love to hear your answer to my question of why the media didn’t report over the last many years that Tom Davis was shipping federal wild horses to slaughter……maybe it never happened and he really did find the proverbial “good homes” for them as he said? …. doubt it, but since it wasn’t “all over the news” for months and years preceding the article that came out, maybe that reporter who you didn’t like is also a liar and it never happened?) but I think we should all watch the next time something pertaining to wild horses and burros being eradicated AND regarding horses being slaughtered isn’t “all over the news” but then it comes out something has been happening for years and years and then we can turn to you and say “Jerry, this was happening for years and some people were even talking about it, but it wasn’t “all over the news, what’s up with that?” and we can hear your wise answer of WHY the media didn’t report on it “all over the news”…….

    And if you think the criminals and low life’s involved in the horse slaughter industry always follow the rules, broadcast what they are doing that is against the law, always have the correct paperwork and documents to shuttle horses across state lines and borders like we law-abiding folks are harassed about all the time, etc, then you really are naïve…… lol

    “And ranting and raving”?

    Nope, simply a woman expressing her opinion and having a mini debate with a man who apparently doesn’t have anything educational to say and is preferring to say silly things about the media and also an industry that is often lawless and operates in the shadows and dark of night…..

    July 16, 2013
  • Jerry, MANY of us checked out the stories of horses running wild in National Parks supposedly turned loose by owners who couldn’t afford them and knew and commented on how the stories were NOT true…..and that was obviously propaganda put out there by the pro-slaughter people to get the uninformed, naïve general public to agree with them that horse slaughter is “needed” when quite clearly it is not.

    So that brings me to my next question for you; I guess I could understand if I was talking about hearing from at least one kill buyer who clearly stated to me that “their horses are being shipped to New Mexico for slaughter” and I said “you mean Mexico, right” and he said “no, New Mexico” and knowing that info I instead said to you and others “there is no way that they are shipping horses to New Mexico for slaughter and expose themselves for operating illegally” as if I was protecting them…….
    However, in this instance, I would think anti-horse slaughter folks who are located in that area of where Valley Meat is located might want to check it out if they can do so safely because what if it is true Jerry, wouldn’t all of us whom are anti-horse slaughter want to know that to use in the favor of anti-horse slaughter and how scummy the pro-slaughter industry is?
    Now if it isn’t true (although, I have no idea why the kill buyer would offer information on criminal activities of slaughtering horses at a facility that has been under scrutiny and is NOT supposed to be doing that until at least July 29th…..can you think of a reason he would offer that information to a complete stranger (me) and for what reason would he do that and possibly expose criminal activities) then that would be a relief, but if someone actually videoed trailer loads of horses going into the facility after dark or whenever and then leaving empty, wouldn’t that help our cause?
    Doesn’t much matter at this point because the second kill buyer I spoke with said that they were processing horses at the New Mexico facility but have stopped temporarily, so probably nothing to see at the moment anyway.

    So perhaps I’m misunderstanding what you are trying to say (and my initial comment didn’t address you in any way and you felt the need to imply that I was spreading rumors when all I was doing was suggesting that it *might* be true seeing as I heard it from two kill buyers who don’t know one another other than by name and are also in two different states, and maybe someone in the area could try and safely check it out by parking nearby the facility as I have done many times outside the private BLM facility Indian Lakes in Fallon, Nevada trying to video if horses are leaving in the middle of the night as some of us have heard is happening), but what I am talking about is NOTHING like when the pro-horse slaughter people put out their bullsh*t stories that are designed to convince uneducated people that we “need” horse slaughter when we don’t.
    Guess no one feels like checking it out, so I certainly won’t give it another thought either.

    July 16, 2013