There is a question on Wikipedia: “Are horses meat eaters or are they vegetarian?”I’m no genius, but this sounds to me like a really stupid question. Meat? Horses are traditionally grass eaters. And grass is not an animal. Therefore horses are vegetarians. Right?
Seriously, although this sounds like THE most obvious statement ever spoken, a lot of people are feeding their horses meat products. For example, most of the Chondroitin sold in South Africa is derived from beef, sharks or shellfish. Yes, animals. Similar story for Glucoseamine. Protein supplements often use blood meal and meat scraps. Hoof supplements often contain gelatine, itself derived from animals’ hooves. And the supplements that contain omega oils usually use fish oil.
Clearly, the manufacturers of these supplements think that this is a harmless practice. Or they justify themselves by saying that the amount of meat product used is small. In comparison, say, to the amount of grass that a horse eats.
Personally, I think it is wrong. Horses are designed to eat plants. This is what they digest best. This is what they utilise most efficiently. We know a lot about the equine digestive system. But we know very, very far from everything. It is probably fair to say that what we know is a fraction of what there is to know.
Bottom line: we don’t know how the long term ingestion of animal products can affect a horse.
I have taken the decision to use only vegetarian raw materials. Even if they cost more.
I am very interested in your views on this. Please feel free to comment below.