By Kasey Joyce
St. Louis (KSDK) - Horse meat to eat? Sound unlikely? It could soon be a possibility, as the developers of a horse slaughter plant have set their sights on Missouri.
The Wyoming-based company is considering their first horse slaughter plant in Mountain Grove, in the Ozarks.
Unified Equine wants to get in the business of horse slaughter for human consumption. A company spokesperson believes Missouri is the perfect place for a plant. But many in the horse community are outraged.
Elizabeth Parker's pastures are full of horses with stories to tell. In past lives, they've pulled carriages, been race horses and show ponies.
But at some point, they were neglected, starved, deemed worthless and forgotten about. That is, until Parker stepped in.
"She doesn't deserve that. Her life is important. She deserves our respect. She's noble," said Parker.
Her mission and passion is to save the horses that others say aren't worth saving. So the thought of someone wanting to slaughter horses for food makes her stomach turn.
"It would be as if someone took me to dinner and said my best friend is on the plate," she said.
But plans are in the works right now that could make that a reality.
In November, Congress lifted a five year ban on horse slaughter for human consumption.
Wyoming-based Unified Equine is planning a new plant in Mountain Grove that will slaughter somewhere between 200-400 horses per day. Only a handful of states allow the plants. Missouri is among them.
The plant would bring 50-100 jobs. And some supporters believe that the plant would actually help horses that are starving and suffering by putting them out of their misery.
But Parker believes slaughter is still not the answer. She says those horses still deserve a chance.
"Should I have given up on them? Absolutely not. That would be like giving up on myself," said Parker.
The Mountain Grove plant is still in the planning stages. The meat produced would primarily be shipped overseas, but some would find its way to specialty stores in the United States.
If you want to find out more about Elizabeth Parker's horse rescue efforts or learn more about her farm, visit her Facebook page.