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Horse Meat Consumption Legality

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Which Countries Eat Horse Meat in 2024?

China

China has the largest population in the world and is also the world's largest consumer of horse meat. there are not very many laws that prohibit the consumption of many types of meat, as long as there is a market for doing so. Horse meat is typically dried in China to make sausage, or served alongside signature dishes. Rice noodles, rice, vegetables, and seasonings are applied to the horse meat to make it succulent and tender. The taste is described to be closely resembling beef if cooked correctly.

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is one of the largest consumers of horse meat, behind China. This comes as no surprise since Kazakhstan draws its influence and roots from its history, which is very closely related to Chinese, Mongolian, and Russian influences. The Mongolian empire, at the time, was one of the largest empires in the world - starting with the tale of the famous Genghis Khan - who had united various tribes together under one banner and went on to conquer large parts of Asia and Europe.

The tribes were nomadic people, and these customs formed their traditions, religion, and everyday life. Before creating large empires and ruling cities, the Mongolians and their descendants only knew how to live in yurts, tents, and on the move - which is still practiced today in many regions. This meant that the horse was a sacred animal that was used for various things. A horse was a mode of transportation, a connection with the divine, and the blood and excrement of horses were sometimes used to quench thirst and start fires. This led to the large breeding of horses, which were then used as meat. Kazakhstan does not have a large amount of arable land, meaning carnivorous diets are extremely common, especially with traditional horse meat dishes.

France

French cuisine is popular around the world for having exotic and luxurious tastes. Historically, France has based its economy on luxury goods, which can be traced back to the fur trade. Their production of raw materials could not keep up with other economies, so they decided instead to import the raw materials from more efficient countries, and subsequently turn these into high-priced and luxurious goods. This is why France, and specifically Paris, is known as the city of sin or pleasure - as the culture is very much focused on luxury and decadence.

Horse meat, by extension, is considered exotic meat in some countries- which would be a shock factor when added to any menu in France. French chefs describe the meat as very rich, closely resembling the taste and feel of beef.

Switzerland

Switzerland was included in the list as a statement against its scandal. In 2013, Swiss retailers issued a recall of certain products because they contained horsemeat. This got global recognition, and eventually ended with a widespread scandal. Despite this, eating horse meat is not illegal in Switzerland, and anyone can grow and prepare it with the proper documentation.

Notes:
- Countries listed are those in which it is legal for humans to consume horse meat. Several additional countries permit horse meat in pet products such as dog food.

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Country
Horse Meat Consumption Legality
ArgentinaLegal
BelgiumLegal
BrazilLegal
CanadaLegal
ChinaLegal
FranceLegal
ItalyLegal
JapanLegal
KazakhstanLegal
KyrgyzstanLegal
MexicoLegal
MongoliaLegal
RussiaLegal
showing: 13 rows

How many countries eat horses?

China and Kazakhstan are two of the countries that eat horses regularly, but the practice is also legal in other countries, such as France and Switzerland.

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