Is Eating Horsemeat Wrong?

Horse Meat: Why So Controversial?

I have nothing against tucking into a delicious steak every now and then. I like it almost rare, and adore the juices and the taste of the meat. I also eat a lot of (organic) chicken, some lamb and to a lesser extent pork, though I love salamis and sausages and other pork products. Oh, all hail the bacon sandwich!

Yes, you could say I was a big meat eater, although I strive to have at least two or three days a week meat free.

But when I was in Belgium recently, I was horrified to see horse meat on the menu. There can’t be any logical reason for this – if I can eat a cow, why not a horse?

horse meat

Image by shu tu

Horse meat supplements the diets of millions of people around the world every year, so why in the U.K. are we so weird about it? I decided to look into the history of eating horse meat, and try and understand where our fears come from.

Where do they eat it?

Eating horse is a culinary tradition in many countries, mostly in Central Asia, but also in parts of South America and Europe too. The top eight countries actually eat over 4.7 million horses a year, which is a lot!

The meat itself is said to be low fat, high protein, super lean and has a tender and sweet flavor, and it has been hunted for its meat since mankind’s early beginnings. Horse and donkey meat was actually eaten in the north of Britain up until the 1930’s – so what happened to make us stop?

The answer lies in both historical and cultural complexities.

Image by jetalone

The Pope and the Pony

We have to go back to the 8th Century and to Pope Gregory III to seek out the religious reasons for this taboo. He instructed St Boniface, who was on a missionary to convert the Germans, that he should make the eating of horse flesh forbidden, as it was previously associated with Germanic pagan rituals.

When they tried to spread the similar message to the Icelanders, they were met with reluctance, but over time they did relent, and finally rejected horse flesh in exchange for Christianity in the year 1000.  (Interestingly, horses are still raised and slaughtered for their meat in Iceland today, so they must have had a change of heart at some point).

eating horsemeat

However, this Roman Catholic prohibition has ensured that the wide consumption of horse meat did not again become as prolific as it had been.

Friendship is Magic

The horse has also sentimental connections to humans, much the same as a dog. Firstly, this was as a working animal. Horses were seen as a show of wealth by land owners and farmers, and they were valuable because of their ability to tow, and they were so fast on their feet as a mode of transport.

They basically had other uses more valuable to men than just eating.  As time went on, the horse became more of a “pet” and we have a conception of the horse as an intelligent creature, and it has gained popularity in modern literature (Black Beauty for example), many films, children’s programs and songs.  Who could imagine eating My Little Pony??! Barbaric!  Friendship is magic my friend.

Let them eat horse

There was also a snobbery around eating horse meat, too. It is seen in some parts of the world as being “what the poor eat”, those who couldn’t afford to eat beef or lamb.  It was also believed that the horse did not convert the grass it eats into meat as well as other animals such as the cow or sheep, so it was not worth the grazing to feed it.

Would you eat horse? Have you eaten it? I would be very interested to know!

Louise Blake is an excited first time mum to be, and spends most of her free time nesting and getting the nursery ready! She works as a design account manager and loves all aspects of architecture and home design. She’s a huge animal lover, and when not out taking her dog for nice long walks, she enjoys blogging for Petmeds and other animal sites.

Crazy Bets

5 Crazy Bets That Paid Off

crap table

People have gambled since currency began and will continue to do so as long as the world is still here. Some play cards, some roulette, others mahjong and other games of chance.  It can be an addiction as serious as alcohol or drugs and has lost many people their fortunes. There are a few people however, who have been extremely lucky, or been extremely skilled and whose gambling has actually paid off. Here are some of the most amazing lucky gambling stories ever.

Risk Taker

Ashley Revel from London, was so desperate to win big that he sold all his possessions, including his furniture and his house to fund one last bet at the casino. Armed with $135,300, he flew to Vegas to try his luck at the big time and placed all his cash on red at the roulette wheel. His parents were with him, fingers crossed for their son and in an unbelievable stoke of luck, Revel’s bet came in. He walked out of the casino with double the money he entered with and said he planned to ‘party and buy some clothes.’

Prophetic Dreams

It is never a sensible idea to put on a bet with very unlikely odds after having a dream about it, but that is exactly what Adrian Heywood did in 2006. At odds of 125–1 Adrian placed a £200 bet after dreaming that Liverpool football player Xabi Alonso, would score an own goal during that football season. Paddy Power bookies were rubbing their hands together and wondering why on earth this man was wasting his money. That was until the football player did exactly that during a FA Cup match and the father of two walked away with £25,000 pounds.

Long Shot Bet

Fred Craggs from Yorkshire visited a bookmakers in 2008 and placed 50p on an 8 horse accumulator. None of the horses had high odds to win and he apparently chose the horses on their catchy names rather than their history and reputation. Over the course of a day, every single horse came in with a win and when Fred arrived at the betting shop on Saturday morning to see how he had done, he was informed that he had won the maximum amount a bookie will pay out, and he was the first ever person to win it – £1 Million!  You couldn’t make a bet like that on dwarf racing, that’s for sure!

The Suitcase Man

In 1980 William Lee Bergstrom walked into a casino in Las Vegas with £770,000 in cash. Thirty years ago that was worth ten times what it is worth now so you get the picture at how big Bergstrom was planning to go. He bet it all on the craps table and was so successful he walked out of the casino that same day a millionaire several times over. He went down in history as ‘The Suitcase Man’ because he had been so confident he was going to win that he had brought with him a suitcase in which to carry all his winnings home in.  He ended up pushing it home in an umbrella stroller due to the weight.

One Off

Twenty-four year old Jessica Agbunag from Hawaii decided in 2008 that she was going to visit a casino in honor of her late grandmother who had been an avid gambler. She put $16 on the Wheel of Fortune machine hoping that she would at least break even. She walked away with $2,436,465 on the Mega Jackpot and went home to celebrate with her friends and family. That is a story of luck if there ever was one!

When gambling, always play responsibly.

Gerald Celente 2013 Predictions

What are Gerald Celente’s Predictions for 2013?

Gerald Celente predictions for 2013 don’t seem to have a happy time in store for us.  Celente, is a famous trend forecaster and predictor of the future as well as publisher of Trends Journal and founder of Trends Research Institute.  In his Trends Journal predictions for 2012 he states the US will face revolutions, riots, and rebellions in 2012.  First, let’s take a look at some of his past successful forecasts from Trends Journal, as well as some reasons to believe he might be wrong. Then we’ll dive into Gerald Celente 2012 predictions in detail.

What is Future Trends Forecasting?

Forecasting is a new world analytical method of trying to predict the future. Before Gerald Celente makes his 2013 predictions, he looks at trends, analyzes the trends and tries to make sense of them and then comes up with his forecast and tells us what he believes is going to happen.  Trends forecasting is more of an analysis and estimation than a prediction. Gerald Celente estimates what will happen in 2013. He analyzes current and past trends and then estimates where they will take us in the future.

Gerald Celente Correctly Predicts The Future

There are many accurate accounts of Gerald Celente’s predictions, but time will tell how accurate his latest will be for 2013. Here are some his past successful predictions:

  • 1987 stock market crash:  Gerald Celente  is credited with accurately forecasting the 1987 stock market crash. Looking at trends that others ignored, he correctly described exactly what would take place in the future.
  • The fall of the USSR: Before his 2013 predictions, Gerald Celente predicted the fall of the Soviet Union. A remarkable example of excellent forecasting. He made the call  when few others thought it would ever happen.
  • 2007 banking collapse:Well before talk of Gerald Celente 2013 predictions, he correctly forecasted in Trends Journal the occurrence of some issues that were to happen in the banking sector. Seemingly he saw the future helped, to some extent, by trend forecasting.
  • Terrorist attacks: This is more a broad forecast from Celente’s Trends Journal rather than one with specific dates and details. Celente accurately forecasted an increasing number of terrorist attacks on the US. Maybe this gives Trends Journal 2013 predictions a little more credibility?

Gerald Celente Predictions for 2012

Gerald Celente’s predictions for 2012, like all doomsday forecasts, don’t paint a rosy picture. They are filled with doom and gloom. Here are Gerald Celente’s predictions for 2012:

  • The US will become an undeveloped nation: Gerald Celente predicts that the United States will become an undeveloped nation by the end of the year.  How this could possibly occur is difficult to imagine.  A developed nation doesn’t suddenly become undeveloped in the space of a year.
  • Food riots: Gerald Celente predictions forecast food riots for 2013. Food riots occur almost every year in some part of the world so this is nothing new, but perhaps trend indicate that food riots are increasingly likely.
  • Holiday shift: This relates more to the predicted food shortage than anything else, but Gerald Celente predictions for 2013 state that food will become an increasingly valuable commodity in 2012. The end of commercialized holidays as we presently know them may be near, according to Celente.
  • Tax riots: As long as there has been government there have been tax riots. The US itself was born out of a tax rebellion.  Is he wrong? It’s uncertain yet if his Trends Journal predictions are valid.

Can Gerald Celente be Wrong?

The fact that Gerald Celente was right before doesn’t mean he will be right in the future. A relevant example to Gerald Celente predictions – or those of anyone predicting the future, is the coin toss.  You flip a coin 9 times and it turns up heads each time. The odds of this happening are 1 in 1,024.  What are the odds it will land on heads again this time, after 9 indentical flips?  50/50 or 1 in 2, the same as the first toss of the coin.  Each flip has a 1 in 2 chance of turning up heads, the last flip falls into the 50/50 split. This doesn’t mean Gerald Celente predictions for 2013 are wrong, simply that past performance doesn’t necessarily predict future performance.

The fact is Celente and his Trends Journal publication may be right. There could very well be food and tax riots. We’re already seeing the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.  Perhaps they’ll grow in intensity.  The holiday shift has already occurred for many people, although not to the extent Celente predicts and holiday spending has been declining for some time.

Other Seers and Mystics

Gerald Celente predictions aren’t the only gloom predictions for 2013.  By now I’m sure most people know of that 2012 is the end of the Mayan Calendar and this is thought by some to mean the end of the world.  While it’s true that the Mayan Long Count Calendar ends on December 21, 2012, there is no Mayan prophecy.
Edgar Cayce, a well known seer of the twentieth century made several predictions about doomsday. Cayce did not foresee an extinction of mankind, but rather a new beginning.  Nostradamus, like Gerald Celente, is said to have made predictions for 2013. The difficulty is in looking at Nostradamus predictions and trying to understand exactly what he actually meant.


Despite the Gerald Celente predictions it’s probably not wise to quit your job yet but they do bear thinking about considering Trends Journals success in the past with Gerald Celente forecasting.  Time to check out a survival guide or begin prepping?  Doomsday theories and predictions abound that are interesting to read. Some predictions are based on science, others based on trends, some are merely frauds or fantasies such as Harold Camping and his infamous prediction of the world ending.  Only time will tell whether or not the Gerald Celente predictions for 2013 will come to pass.

The Finest Of Fictional Swords

Famous Swords in Books, Games and Movies

A man’s sword says a lot about him. It’s important to have something that really does the business when it comes to looking heroic and saving the day. Anything less and you’re not really going to cut it; you see what I did there! Cut, brilliant. Enough puns and on with the list!

Sword of Omens – Thunder, Thunder, Thunder… ThunderCats Ho!!! It got longer and shorter, fired balls of energy, sent out the cat-signal and reflected Mumm-Ra’s reflection right back at him.  He might not have night vision but he’s got a pretty awesome sword there bud!

ThunderCats Ho!

It’s power came from the Eye Of Thundera, which basically allowed the ThunderCats to triumph in any climatic sequence of fighting. The Sword Of Omens is a powerful bit of kit.

Ice – It’s taken the TV watching world by storm, Game of Thrones is dungeons and dragons goodness that is acceptable to watch for the masses as it contains graphic sexual scenes and particularly gruesome violence. It also has less important qualities such as a deep characterization and a cracking epic plot.

Amongst all this good stuff is a host of swords each one named fearsomely and significantly. Ice is the ancestral greatsword of House Stark made of Valyrian steel and wielded by Ned Stark, well until Ice was used by Ser Ilyn Payne to lop of his head. Oops, spoiler alert.


Lord of the Rings isn’t exactly light on impressive hunks of metal with sharp edges. However, Nasril is probably the daddy of the cast seeing as it severed the hand of Sauron that bore the One Ring. When this incident happened the sword was already in pieces having broken as Elendil carked it and the significant cut was made by Elendil’s son Isildur with the hilt-shard.

sword of Aragorn

The long and short of this meant that the shards of Nasril were pretty significant in Middle Earth. After finding their way to Rivendell the pieces were reforged and the sword renamed Anduril. It was then given to Aragorn the true heir to help him do a significant amount of butt kicking.

Excalibur Sword

The origin of this blade is somewhat confusing, it was either heaved out of a rock by, or presented from the murky depths of a lake to, King Arthur. In fact it may well have been both. Needless to say it doesn’t really matter, what does is that this sword is quite the tour de force in the world of pointy slashing offense.

Excalibur makes those who bear it basically invincible and throws in becoming ruler of Britain too. Not bad at all.

Lightsabre – It’s a sabre of light! That’s cool. Technically a type of sword rather than a specific weapon, the light sabre is used in the George Lucas created world of a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away by Jedi. Jedi are a sort of intergalactic battle monk that can bend ‘the force’ to their will.

skywalker lightsaber

Luke Skywalker went from farm hand to Jedi Master in one trilogy and did an awful lot of light-sabre wielding to great effect. It’s the weapon of choice for any self-respecting geek. If only they existed!  Oh well, just put on your Ninjago Hoodie and sulk in a corner like Andrew Weil when served a hunk of ham injected with water and nitrites.

Val Davis named his favorite steak knife ‘Sawtooth: The Cutter of Meat’, he watches way too much fantasy drama. Thankfully he does break up his viewing habits by researching geeky goods for Find Me A Gift, the online emporium.