Heleen Peeters: Horse
The Eriskay Connection, 2021
The human and the horse share a long history together. At first horses were working animals, serving as a means of transport in agriculture and in war. Nowadays, horses are domestic pets with a moral status: used for recreation, in competitions, and for medical therapy.
In 1948 the grandfather of Heleen Peeters (BE) began a business in what many now consider to be taboo: horse meat. At that time, people were poor, recovering from the struggles of World War II, and horse meat, being a high quality product for an affordable price, was in high demand. But now, 70 years later, the consumption and production of horse meat is disappearing.
Peeters broadly documented and investigated horse (meat) culture in Belgium, France, Italy, Poland, Argentina, Uruguay, Kyrgyzstan, the United States and Canada. Why is horse meat becoming less popular? What happens to horses if they are no longer eaten? How do we relate to animals in the first place? And what about the need to cut back on our meat consumption?