I can’t think of any reason why it would be. If horses were consumed the way cows are, then horses would probably be farmed the way cows are, and the environmental impact that such a shift in consumption habits would have would be negligible, if it existed at all. The best way to curtail the negative impact that farmed meat has on the environment is to stop eating farmed meat…or at least eat meat from a local small-scale organic farm, or raise your meat yourself. Changing the type of meat produced is probably never going to have nearly as great an effect as changing the way meat is produced.
I don’t think it would make much of a difference. Horses and cows both approximately consume the same amount of water daily: a cow (non-milking) drinks 6 to 14 and a horse 8 to 14. Cows might eat a bit more (30-40 pounds a day) vs. horses (more or less 20 lbs. per day) but you’d probably get more meat out of the cow than the horse. You might need more land for the cows (2-5 acres per cow is suggested) though realistically not all cows who are raised for food get the recommended space. At any rate, it would take a natural disaster of apocalyptic proportions to get most Americans to knowingly eat horse, provided that there were still horses. Horses are very beloved.
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