Monday Mirthiness BONUS edition: Waiter! There's horsemeat in my climate sandwich!

Josh writes: Roger Pielke Jr has a must read post on the link between the UK’s horsemeat in burgers scandal and Climate change, which is both timely and clever. And it inspired this cartoon.

Many thanks Roger! 


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February 11, 2013 1:25 pm

But it does draw circle flies.

February 11, 2013 1:27 pm

There is definitely some horse “something” in that burger, but horse “meat” it is not. 🙂

February 11, 2013 2:00 pm

Hmmm….maybe Karoly & co, could (should?) have dined on this instead…..

Dr K.A. Rodgers
February 11, 2013 2:13 pm


Myron Mesecke
February 11, 2013 2:33 pm

It’s what they put in the secret sauce that has me worried.

February 11, 2013 2:43 pm

Now here is a whole lot of nothing about nothing.
Horse meat is actually very good to eat and tastes nice too, I can’t see what the fuss is about other then the mislabeling of the product.
But that is no different then calling natural climate variability anthropogenic, mislabeling.
They should know all about it but if it is government sponsored it is ok, just don’t do it yourself.
Crocodile tastes quite similar to chicken, my opinion anyway, and the texture is not dissimilar at least once cooked, the next time you buy crocodile you should get it tested to make sure it is not chicken. Both taste good, I see no health concern here either.
So it is all a load of horse croc.

Bloke down the pub
February 11, 2013 2:46 pm

I had some of those horse burgers and they gave me the trots. It’s ok, I’m in a stable condition now.

February 11, 2013 2:53 pm

Complaints of the current rainy weather, and concerns about horse meat, make this extract from England in 1230 AD seem rather apt. It was taken from ‘Civil and Ecclesiastical History of the City of Exeter’ by Jenkins -printed 1841.
“The harvests having failed for two successive years, owing to continual rain which caused great overflowing of the river there was so great a scarcity of provisions that the people were obliged to eat horse flesh and to substitute bark of trees for bread.’
It appears that eating horse meat has always been seen as second best in this country. It also usefully illustrates –in conjunction with a great deal of other documentation-that the extended periods of prodigious rainfall and devastating drought endured in past centuries puts our current rather benign climate into a better historical perspective.

February 11, 2013 2:58 pm

Large Flame Grilled Dobbin sandwich please, bacon, extra cheese, large fries.
I object to paying for beef and getting something that once came in seventh at Kempton.

February 11, 2013 3:08 pm

Roy: “More hay, Trigger?”
Trigger: “No thanks, Roy, I’m stuffed.”

February 11, 2013 3:11 pm

I just had a nice turkey burger, or so I thought. Anyone know if there are any ready substitutes for turkey which I might be getting without notification or choice? Probably lots of highly processed “turkey parts” at best, and maybe something scarier….??

February 11, 2013 3:22 pm

I can’t help but wonder just how long the British have been fed horse meat.

February 11, 2013 3:55 pm

Hope they didn’t have to pony up $135.00 a head for that…

Steve from Rockwood
February 11, 2013 3:58 pm

Reminds me of the woman restaurateur who found her husaband cheating with another woman and for the next few days posted a sign in her restaurant which read “caution – may contain nuts”.

February 11, 2013 4:06 pm

The processed ‘beef’ imported to the UK contained several meats which are cheaper than beef. While mostly horse, the other meat also included pork.
This is a severe violation of consumer choice. Many people have strong feelings about what can be eaten. Most English people like beef and mutton but have never eaten horse and don’t want to. Some other peoples have similarly strong feelings about putting pork in the mouth. For example, the Indian mutiny occurred when soldiers who had to bite the ends off their paper cartridges learned the paper was sealed with pig fat.
The UK has adopted extreme monitoring of all internal meat supplies since the BSE affair . It seems that fraudsters have overcome this by misrepresenting meat imports The problematic meat in this case originated from Roumania, and the Roumanian government is outraged at the suggestion that the meat was not as specified when it left that country to be transported across Europe to the UK.
The affair may seem funny at this stage but it threatens to become a serious issue for the entire international meat trade.

February 11, 2013 4:14 pm

Would you like flies with that?

February 11, 2013 4:19 pm

The EU Referendum blog ( has been all over this story. Appears to be all sorts of horseshiite involved. Seriously, it’s a good blog for those of us on the American side of the pond to get European, esp British information.

Mike McMillan
February 11, 2013 4:26 pm

Added value, folks. Just like USHCN v2.

February 11, 2013 4:28 pm

No health hazard
But gives you the trots

Bruce Cobb
February 11, 2013 4:42 pm

You can’t see it, but the cheesiness is implied. Not unlike manmade warming.

Mac the Knife
February 11, 2013 4:57 pm

Bloke down the pub says:
February 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm
I had some of those horse burgers and they gave me the trots. It’s ok, I’m in a stable condition now.
Ohhhh… I’ll bet it tasted like filly mignon!

February 11, 2013 5:03 pm

The upside….NO reported cases of Mad Horse Disease.

Robert of Ottawa
February 11, 2013 5:20 pm

Great cartoon and article, but the magical ingrediant has been overlooked – horseshlt.

Robert of Ottawa
February 11, 2013 5:21 pm

OK OK mods, Horsefeathers.

Gary Pearse
February 11, 2013 5:24 pm

Ship it to Belgium. How could they tell it was horse in the lasagna? What tipped them off?

Robert of Ottawa
February 11, 2013 5:29 pm

The French eat horse quite happily. Go into a restaurant and you will see such menu items as “stek” and “biftek” or “beef steak”. Without the “Beef”, it is very probably horse, and quite tasty too.

February 11, 2013 5:31 pm

Based on how some alarmists act, is there any doubt as to which end of the horse provided the meat?

February 11, 2013 5:43 pm

Re Richard Courtney.
No, it was not “Indians” who objected to pork sealed cartridges but only Muslims. The majority of Indians are Hindu. The assertion that pork fat was used inthe cartridges proved very effective at alienating the soldiery from their officers. It was effective semiotic warfare: the use of symbols to influence behaviour, directed at driving a wedge between Muslim soldiers and their non-Musllim officers.
Whilst I am sure zealous Muslims are liable to go ballistic over pork contamination, as they do over anything the agitating minority in their community can target, we dont hear much about the fact that almost all lamb and chicken sold in the UK is Halal. To please Muslims previously long established humane slaughter requirements were relaxedand and a ridiculous ritual of cyclically playing recorded prayers inserted into a large scale industrial process.
I will be frank and say the animal rights issues are not forefront in this for me. Whether we should be obliged to participate in Muslim rituals irrespective of our religious beliefs is not even the real issue. The real issue is the stench of hypocrisy and fear-driven appeasement of a radical hard-core minority within a minority who use such issues as these to drive a wedge between that minority and the wider community. As far as pork goes, references to pigs, their depiction or allusion to them has been ruthlessly expunged from British public services. As illustrated by the banning of a Piglet mug from a council offices. To cite one celebrated case. The hypocrisy and cowering appeasement in this is evident when we reflect that nobody hitherto, or even latterly, cared one whit about offending Jews with porcine references or even thoughtlessly giving them pork to eat at school. What we see in modern Britain is the very same use of semiotic warfare to drive a wedge between the Muslim community and its non-Muslim neighbours that was exhibited in that earlier instance in 19th Century India..
Clearly, thje English are especially sentimental about horses. Its not eating horses they find upsetting, its horses being eaten. Hence the immense uproar some years back about exports of horses for slaughter.
However, were the English to not give a hoot, we can be . sure the pork aspect would be exploited by some for all the mileage they can extract from it. To them, like pork sealed cartridges, its ammunition.

February 11, 2013 6:27 pm

The mane issue I see here is that I’ll have to hoof it down to the market to get some pintos before they’re all gone.

February 11, 2013 10:41 pm

One of the stories in Lawrence Durrell’s collection, Stiff Upper Lip, deals with the over-reaction of a Britisher who accidentally eats horsemeat in a Paris restaurant. He exiles himself to Kenya and goes native in a big way.

February 11, 2013 10:54 pm

Outtheback says February 11, 2013 at 2:43 pm
Now here is a whole lot of nothing about nothing.
Horse meat is actually very good to eat and tastes nice too, I can’t see what the fuss is about other then the mislabeling of the product.

The real concern seems to lie in the fact that some horses ‘rendered’ at the slaughter-house may have been administered phenylbutazone (simply known as ‘bute’ in some circles) that would then make the ‘meats’ questionable for human consumption as the tissue may still contain said bute.
Symptoms of bute intake in some humans include severe adverse effects such as suppression of white blood cell production and aplastic anemia.
Good … no?
Now, would you like fries to go with that horse-burger or a reservation at the local hospital’s emergency ward for a quick blood transfusion?
Robin Hargreaves, from the British veterinary association: “Horsemeat containing phenylbutazone should ‘never be used for human consumption”. Link to story w/video:

February 12, 2013 1:37 am

Next up, hot dogs….
I have to wonder when I can’t get a can of chili sent to me (here in Germany) from the US because
the European customs authority say it may have contaminated beef (!) but these clowns can
ship questionable meat with impunity….At least with canned chili, the meat/beans/etc. have
been cooked beyond all recognition.
After about 20 minutes of back-and-forth with the food inspection veterinarian and my wife
(educated as a food scientist), he finally said there was more to it than just the possibility of
hoof-in-mouth or other organisms….yep, politics…. Somehow that seems to trump
science just about everywhere….sad…
So much for a gap-free supply chain…

Adam Gallon
February 12, 2013 1:37 am

I popped into my local burger place, the server asked me what I wanted on my burger?
Five pounds each way!
OK, I’ll get my coat.

wayne Job
February 12, 2013 1:54 am

That the AGW cause has descended into something that can be held to ridicule with impunity tends to suggest that it was all horse feathers in the first case.

February 12, 2013 2:26 am

If you’re prepared to commit fraud by selling something as beef which is not beef, are you likely to be the sort of person who is going to worry about whether the animals were raised according to the strict standards that apply to animals raised for human consumption? That’s the worry.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
February 12, 2013 4:47 am

You in the US should be aware that a large part of the English population teeters on the edge of vegetarianism. Lots of teenage girls turn to it and I’m pretty sure we have more veggie restaurants than anywhere else in Europe by far. The benefits of a veggie diet are obvious, and the English can easily take a dislike for something which isn’t ‘right’ – like eating snails; something our nearby cousins have no trouble with. Eating horses is just not right to 99% of the people here, even though it’s no different to eating any other animal. We’re a sensitive lot, really.

February 12, 2013 5:19 am

Shame! It looks like the end of my “Donkey Burger” jokes.
The scandal has been going on for years. About 80,000 horses have been bought by the processors from Ireland alone. The economics was just too much. A horse bought as “unfit for human consumption” for £5 can be sold on to a meat processor for £500. All it takes to make the conversion is a form which can be faked for pennies and a microchip costing less than £25. The real concern is not about horsemeat but the drugs injected into the horses which are considered harmful to human health.

February 12, 2013 6:07 am

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley,
“The benefits of a veggie diet are obvious”
Which version of vegetarianism? Vegan diets are not healthy without the use of vitamin supplements. One of the B complex vitamins (12 I think but I am not sure off the top of my head) is only available from animal sources and a deficiency in that particular vitamin can be fatal.

February 12, 2013 6:52 am

DaveF saysFebruary 12, 2013 at 2:26 am
If you’re prepared to commit fraud by selling something as beef which is not beef, are you likely to be the sort of person who is going to worry about whether the animals were raised according to the strict standards that apply to animals raised for human consumption? …

Probably not (does the mafia have a conscience when it comes to money?)

Horsemeat scandal blamed on international fraud by mafia gangs


Organised criminal gangs operating internationally are suspected of playing a major role in the horsemeat scandal that has seen supermarket shelves cleared of a series of products and triggered concerns about the contamination of the UK’s food chain.

Experts within the horse slaughter industry have told the Observer there is evidence that both Polish and Italian mafia gangs are running multimillion-pound scams to substitute horsemeat for beef during food production. There are claims that vets and other officials working within abattoirs and food production plants are intimidated into signing off meat as beef when it is in fact cheaper alternatives such as pork or horse.

‘Intimidation practices’ … hmmm … where have we seen ‘mild’ forms of that in climate science?

February 12, 2013 6:55 am

Oops … one stuck in the spam bin … must have been the ‘fr**d’ word in the quoted text … _Jim

Jeff Alberts
February 12, 2013 7:12 am

Horse meat is actually very good to eat and tastes nice too, I can’t see what the fuss is about other then the mislabeling of the product.
But that is no different then calling natural climate variability anthropogenic, mislabeling.

Looks like it has other effects, too. 😉

Tom in Florida
February 12, 2013 8:27 am

The second big lie on the label is that it is “Lasagne”. Only the Brits could make lasagne using cheddar cheese. Lasagne is made with ricotta cheese, correctly pronounced “rigaught”.

Chris R.
February 12, 2013 11:13 am

To Wamron, richardscourtney:
What makes the whole comparison of the Great Indian Mutiny being caused by
both Hindu & Muslim troops refusing the new cartridge rather sad is that the
rumors were WRONG. The Minie cartridge used by the 1853 Enfield rifle was
normally prepared with bullock fat. However, only one unit was even issued the
cartridges. Their cartridges were specially prepared, so that there would be no
risk of the native troops having to bite a portion of the paper that had been
greased–but the rumors that had been started were effective.
Really, the rumors that had spread over all India that the British were going to
force the entire population to convert to Christianity. The idea that the new
cartridges being issued would be greased with pork fat–offensive to Muslims–
or with bullock fat–offensive to Hindus–seems to have been started as part
of the same whisper campaign. See The 1857 Rebellion, edited
by Bisamoy Pati.

Alan Bates
February 13, 2013 6:06 am

“Horse feathers” have come up several times.
If you read Animal Protein on the label the chances are that you are not eating horse or chicken but chicken feathers. So, if the texture of the burger is a bit fluffy, you know why.
(The info came from the BBC so it must be true …)

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