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The Oatmeal

Why we should be eating horses instead of riding them

Why We Should Be Eating Horses

Instead of Riding Them

I'm not going to dance around the issue: I hate horses. I hate them.
Now, I know what you're thinking. Horses are kind. Horses are beautiful. Nations have been built on the backs of horses. All that.
You haven't seen the things I've seen, however. You haven't suffered at the hands of these terrible beasts. You don't know what horses are like because you've probably never owned one. Allow me to enlighten you.

Your typical horse fan

I grew up in Northern Idaho, where IQs are generally room temperature and it's socially acceptable to drink whiskey mixed with cough syrup for breakfast. My family moved there from California when I was seven and decided to buy a couple horses in order to embrace the Idahoan lifestyle. We didn't ride them, really, they mostly just stood outside like big dumb lawn ornaments. Over the next ten years I developed an unruly hatred for these God-awful pig monsters. Here's why.

The anatomy of a horse

A horse is the world's biggest shit pump.

Our horses ate a lot. When I say a lot, I mean all day, every day. They didn't nibble or peck - they vacuumed food up like a bulimic does after watching "America's Next Top Model." This resulted in a constant river of crap firing out of their asses. They'd also usually stand in the corner of the corral which was closest to the food supply, which caused the poop to all be concentrated in a single place. In the winter my brother and I were charged with the responsibility of cleaning out their trough. We had to wear knee-high rubber boots and wade out into the 4 foot deep mixture of mud, urine, and feces to reach it. The mud became so thick that when we tried to take a step our boots would suction into the mud and our feet would lift out of the boot. We then had to dangle from the fence and try to pull the boot out. It was like playing on the monkey bars except underneath you there was a deep, dark ocean of rotten horse shit.

Avoid lonely horses named Toby.

We owned a stud named Toby (I say "stud" meaning a male horse meant for breeding - I'm not professing a repressed attraction to him or anything). Toby was a lonely horse; we had to keep him separate from the rest of the animals because he was always trying to have steamy horse sex with them. One afternoon, I wound up inside of Toby's pen, probably doing some bullshit chore for my parents like sweeping up sticks or sawing something in half. I'll admit I was a bit careless when stepping into the pen, because I failed to notice Toby had a raging boner and was staring right at me. If you've never seen a horse penis, it's an awesome thing. Awesome in the "big bang exploding outward in universally cosmic proportions" way, not awesome in the "fuck yeah scented candles are awesome" kind of way. It's literally longer than your arm - between 2 and 3 feet. You could seriously fuck shit up with this thing - If I had a penis like that I'd use it to play badminton or maybe hang wind chimes from it. Anyway, I was in Toby's pen and we were making eye contact. I'll never forget the look in his eyes: completely vacant of compassion or romance. Toby didn't want to get to know me and discover all my hopes and dreams. He didn't want to grow old with me. Looking into those big brown eyes that day, I saw a pure, unfiltered desire to mate with me.

So Toby charged. Now, as I mentioned earlier these horse pens were thick with feces, so it was difficult to run. Luckily I was in the part of the pen where the mud wasn't deep, so I could at least manage a fumbling jog. By the time I reached the fence Toby was nearly on me. I tried to climb through but in my panic I touched one of the tension coils on the fence that kept the wire taught along the property line. Furthermore, I also touched the ground underneath the tension coil. This fence was electric and set at a voltage that could knock down an elephant, so when I grounded myself I got blasted with a shock that rendered me temporarily stunned. Fortunately I was jolted forward into the electric fence rather than backwards into the horse boner that was surging forward at 100 miles per hour. After a few more 20,000 volt shocks I managed to stumble into the opposing pen, half electrocuted but thankfully still a virgin to trans-species sex.

As for Toby, he continued to stare at me from his side of the fence, his aircraft-carrier-sized boner twinkling in the morning sun. I could see an undercurrent of sadness in his eyes, trickling somewhere below that massive desire to consumate our ordeal.

They'll eat more hay to punish you for your sins.

As I mentioned earlier, our horses ate a lot. So much, in fact, that after a few years I started referring to them as "the pigs." They consumed hay, mostly, which comes in bale form and weighs anywhere from 50-100 lbs per bale. This means we constantly had to replenish our supply, which involved driving to a farm somewhere and loading it up into a truck, then returning home and unloading it. We'd usually do this in the summertime when hay was plentiful and it was miserably hot. I was allergic to hay so I had to wear a respirator in order to breathe and I couldn't allow any part of my skin to be exposed to it - so I had to wear long sleeve shirts, pants, and thick gloves. Furthermore, I was a video-game-playing fat kid with tiny noodle arms that could barely lift my sega genesis controller, so over-dressing in scorching temperatures and lifting heavy bales of hay which caused my skin to break out in blisters and my eyes and lungs to burn for hours on end wasn't exactly my idea of a good time.


A horse won't let you sleep.

Every few weeks the horses would lose their shit and decide to charge the electric fence. This meant they would run at full speed into the fence, break through, and then go roaming around the forest all night. My parents, upon discovering this, would wake me up at some horrible hour and we'd have to get flashlights and trudge through the snowy forest looking for them. I don't know why the fuck they decided to have these little adventures, but I imagine it had something to do with either feeding, fornicating, or finding new ways to fuck me over.

Riding horses is fun if you enjoy getting owned by PorkBag

Porkbag: 1  The Oatmeal: 0
The last time I rode a horse I was 11 years old. I can't remember the name of this particular horse so I'll just refer to it as "PorkBag." I was on top of PorkBag sitting in the saddle, lightly "encouraging" the horse to move by prodding, pulling, screaming, and flailing the reins. We didn't ride the horses often so they were overweight, not to mention being arrogant little assholes who didn't respond to direction. After a few minutes of me barking orders, PorkBag lurched forward. Approximately ten feet later, PorkBag stopped, leaned against the trunk of a large tree, and stood motionless. Crushing my leg between her fat thighs and the tree, this was how she planned to get me off her back.

We sat there together, me in terrible pain and PorkBag quite content with not having to move. Eventually someone noticed, took the reins, and pulled us away from the tree. I dismounted that concluded my days of riding horses.


If you imagine a horse as a giant steak with hair, they're actually kind of pleasant to look at.

My brother and I used to explore the woods a lot when we first moved to Idaho. One day, we came upon a large open meadow that extended upwards into dark, heavily forested hills. Making our way through the meadow, we noticed a lot of animal bones on the ground. Some teeth here. A ribcage there. The occasional half-chewed pelvis. Coming around a bend, we stumbled upon a dead horse. Eyes wide open, its limbs had been chopped off and his gaping mouth produced a twisted tongue which dangled on the side of his face. The result was a bleeding, horrific stump of a creature who stared wide-eyed outward, frozen in the final moments of its demise. Upon seeing it, my brother and I screamed and ran. I found out later that the man who owned that meadow would slaughter his horses there for the meat and then coyotes would come down from the hills and pick apart the carcasses.

Despite incurring a bit of childhood trauma, seeing that animal in stump form made me aware of the sheer volume of meat on a horse. It's a large, muscular animal ripe for being turned into an enchanting HorseLoaf sandwich or McHorse with cheese. We're talking about at an entirely untapped market of delicious protein available for the taking. Silicon valley isn't the gold rush. Mobile devices aren't the future. China's population is not exploding. Horsemeat is our destiny, it's the next Web 2.0.

Who's with me?

Gimme ur tasty loins you awful beast

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