One year ago today was the start of the great horsemeat scandal in the UK. Horse meat is actually eaten around the world and was eaten in the UK until the 1930s. Whilst there’s no more health risk in eating horse meat than other forms of meat the story did raise the issue of fraudulent practice (these were supposed to be beefburgers) and the public debate of the squeamishness of the British diet. There was also another little headline today in the BBC news magazine – “The Pun Conundrum”. So I thought there could be a way of combining these two themes in this poem!
horses for courses
We’ve eaten horse, we feel remorse.
What used to gallop is now escalope,
medallion of stallion, well done or rare,
fruits de mare.
Astride them we ride them,
we pace them, we race them.
They’re skittish, we’re British.
It’s just our way, say ay or neigh
that they should stay
in fields of green not wither unseen
from stable to dining table.
With hand on the halter we falter
and so we lag in eating nag.
It’s quite obscene, akin to murder,
no fitting end
for man’s close friend
to be a blend
of mince in a Tesco burger.
16th January 2013 – headline from the BBC
Notes: “Horsemeat found in beefburgers on sale in UK and Ireland”. Horse DNA has been found in some beefburgers being sold in UK and Irish supermarkets, the Republic of Ireland’s food safety authority (FSAI) has said. The FSAI said the meat came from two processing plants in Ireland, Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods, and the Dalepak Hambleton plant in Yorkshire. It said there was no risk to health. The burgers were on sale in Tesco and Iceland in the UK and Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland they were on sale in Dunnes Stores, Lidl and Aldi.