I choose not to eat meat, so this horse-eating furore doesn't affect me directly - in fact, I feel a bit of an outsider to the whole performance. But it has made me think.
I think there are two issues here - and, in much of the reporting - they are getting muddled.
Firstly, it is important that 'it does what it says on the tin.' If something says it's beef, it should be beef. There are many people with food intolerances, or with religious dictates, who need to be able to rely on labelling. (Let's not get into the size of print on food labels - that way madness lies.) And if there has been an international conspiracy - well, that will keep the journalists happy for a long time, and maybe allow the politicians to distract us for long enough to bury other bad news.
Secondly - why shouldn't we eat horse? We've eaten cows and pigs and goats and chickens for centuries. At my local market, I can buy (should I want to) burgers made from kangaroo and ostrich. Why not horse?
Why not dog? Or cat? Or rat? Or scorpion? In the affluent west, we take for granted that we can pick and choose which animals we eat. We can throw up our hands in horror at the mere idea of serving up Dobbin for Sunday lunch. Of giving Rover a final pat before shoving him in the oven for a couple of hours. Of setting traps by rat holes and mixing a tasty sauce with tomatoes and a chilli or two.
We are privileged in being able to make the arbitrary decision that some animals are food and others are not. Hungry people find protein where they can. We might not fancy horse, but don't have a right to judge those who - through poverty, or tradition - make different food decisions from ours.
Or do you meat-eaters disagree?