Food Network Canada – Reality Check Required!

 Well, Food Network Canada has timed their ill-conceived Top Chef Canada “French Cuisine” horsemeat (foie gras and frog’s legs) episode (6) for Monday, May 16th, just in time for May Equine Awareness!

In their triple whammy food extravaganza they manage to insult viewers, align themselves with industries synonymous with inhumane animal handling and promote dubious food eating practices, all in one sickening episode:

Let The Food Network Canada know how you feel about the promotion and consumption of yummy, tainted horsemeat (and tortured duck livers): and/or at

Join Top Chef Canada’s Facebook group and let them know what you think:

The Food Network Canada comes under the Shaw Media umbrella:
Shaw Media
121 Bloor Street East. – 15th Floor
Toronto, ON, M4W 3M5
Tel: (416) 967-1174 or 1-877-345-9195

 Sponsored by:  President’s Choice

Customer Relations
1 President’sChoice Circle

4th Floor, NorthTower
Brampton, Ontario, L6Y 5S5
Toll Free 1-888-495-5111

Here is a template email or letter you can send, but for best effect, please personalize it:

In October 2010, NBC station WTHR in Indiana released an investigative report on horses sent to slaughter from the U.S. to Canada . The report can be found here:
Within this report is a 7:07 minute video, which includes a segment that should be of interest to you. At 4:58 on the video, Martin Kouprie, chef and owner of Pangaea restaurant in Toronto, states that he no longer serves horsemeat since it is unregulated, and there are no guarantees where the horsemeat originates from.

Since your network is promoting the consumption of horsemeat (Canada’s Top Chef on May 16th), I thought you should know about this startling information. You may be under the impression that horses are purpose raised for slaughter and safe for humans to eat, but horsemeat is sourced from horses that are shipped from auctions in the U.S. and Canada , and these horses all have unknown origins. Many are treated with banned substances not intended for human consumption.  Mr. Kouprie’s concerns are well researched and very real.

If you truly care about promoting meat with harmful agents and protecting the integrity of your network, then I urge you to re-consider airing any programming that promotes the consumption of horsemeat.  More information on this can be found here:

What the New European Union Requirements for Imported Equine Meat Will Mean to North America’s Horse Industry:

Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk

Yours truly,



  1. Animal Advocate · ·

    Since they aired the episode, I’ve been boycotting both Food Network Canada and all Loblaws chain stores (Superstore, Bulk Barn, etc). I contacted both and told them I would no longer be patronizing them. If they want my business, they will have to contact this group and apologize for the episode, agree not to air it anywhere ever again, and to promote awareness of food animal rearing and ethical procurement.

    There are also good reasons not to promote consumption of frog legs. I am aware that conservation authorities (CA) in Ontario have had problems with people harvesting frogs, turtles, wild onions and other plants and animals from their protected lands, which is illegal. The items are turning up at markets in Toronto and probably other places too. Some of the plants and animals taken may be endangered species. Without proper procedures for monitoring the sale of such items, I don’t think it’s a good idea to promote their use. Those caught illegally harvesting face stiff penalties, and anyone observing such activities is encouraged to take video and note details and contact the CA as soon as possible. Local police usually have the phone number for the CA security officers if it isn’t on their website.

  2. Interesting. When it’s a chicken, pig or cattle, no one has a problem with its consumption, providing it’s been ethically raised and humanely slaughtered. No, neither of those two conditions are oxymorons. Yet when it’s a horse, it bcomes a ‘companion’ animal. What condescending European centric tripe. Yes, it is quite possible that dog might be next on the menu. Friends of mine raised in the Phillipines would see nothing wrong with that, and would be ‘morally outraged’ should one of you sanctimonious twits try to lecture them about their dietary choice of protein. In the same manner, people in Europe have had horse meat as a mainstay of protein for well over 10 000 years.

    If you don’t want to eat horse meat, fine, don’t eat it. Just don’t lecture those who choose to do something that is contrary to your point of view.

    1. John,

      I encourage you to read more pages on this site. Or google “horse slaughter”.

      The horses used in producing commercial horse meat in north America are *not* raised for meat. These are peoples’ riding horses. While a peasant in Asia might eat dog or rat, is that really the same as YOU eating YOUR family dog?

      The horses are bought under false pretenses, bought with no disclosure of their fate, or stolen. Some people say “if you don’t like horse slaughter, just don’t send your own horse there”. It’s impossible. Stolen horses make up a good % of those being butchered. It’s easy cash in a system where *nobody* checks proof of ownership or stolen horse lists. When the state of California banned it, theft dropped 34%!

      The horses are NOT ethically handled, transported, or slaughtered. I’m a riding horse owner. When I transport my horses, I put them on a trailer designed for horses with enough head clearance they can raise their heads. I would never cram 40 adult horses on a big semi trailer, as this is likely to injure some of them. (Horses are more easily injured than cattle) I would never put horses on a double-decker pig trailer. I would never put a stallion on the same load as other horses without a full height divider (as stallions can be aggressive to other horses). And I certainly would not be caught taking a box cutter to stallions eyes to get them to swell shut for the trip so I could cram a dozen of them on a load. Now imagine the overcrowded load: it had to go 1000+ miles without giving them food or water. They’re not unloaded to read. In extreme summer heat passing through texas, the horses are hauled in uninsulated metal boxes packed hip-to-hip. They’re left in high density “collecting stations” for sorting and the final leg of the trip. For example, like the big lots for the C-4 Cattle Company in Presidio Texas: they made the news recently for widespread ignoring of Coggins testing, having dead/dying animals, and tossing carcasses of horses into a creekbed. Or one of their suppliers, Three Angels Farm in Tennessee who put 38 horses on an overloaded semi truck driven by a man with a poor safety record; the truck flipped over on Jan 16th on the highway.

      The final product is being shipped to Europe and asia to feed people. Except, since these are horses NOT raised for food, they’re commonly given drugs that make them ineligible for slaughter. (Zero health / drug history paperwork is requested or kept by these slaughter brokers; they don’t’ want to know how drugged up the horses are when they drop them off). Bute is a very common drug that is toxic in people. It can cause aplastic anemic or death. By law, a horse given bute has *no* safe withdrawal time. We know 95% of racehorses are given bute. I know my own pleasure horses are sometimes given it. It’s a violation of EU food safety law to use a horse that’s given bute to make meat for people to eat. Yet it happens right now. And because it’s such a tiny specialty market and nobody is testing the cuts of meat, nobody is tracking the bad health effects of this product. For a whole list of drugs that by law make a horse ineligible for selling the horsemeat from:

      When finally killed, the horse is chased into a box while an unskilled worker tries to whack him in the head with a tool designed for the anatomy of cattle. The AVMA and AAEP (vet associations) state that for the captive bolt gun to be humanely applied to horses the horse must be (1) sedate (2) have his head restrained and (3) be used by someone trained in its use. However, in a commercial slaughter plant we know these high-prey-drive animals are not calm. They’re chased up a ramp into a room smelling like blood. Horses are very sensitive to human body language, and they can tell when people have an aggressive posture. Chemical sedation is not permitted in a horse slaughterhouse. The head is never restrained. So imagine the long-necked, fast-reflex scared horse flailing around in the knock-box for his life. The job has extremely high turn-over and low pay. There is no special certification required to use the captive bolt gun. So we have men who are told to knock down as many horses as they can or they’re fired. It’s trial and error. Some horses are hit over and over before they stop moving long enough to get a chain over the back leg. In an undercover video of the state-of-the-art Canadian plant, horses were often whacked 3, 4, 5 times before they went down. This is a weapon that punches a hole in the skull. Imagine that happening over and over and over. One horse was whacked 10 times before he was “stunned”. The shackled horse is lifted by a back leg. They neck is cut while the horse is still alive, breathing, and has a heartbeat. In a few cases there’s been undercover footage of improperly “stunned” horses who are able to react as their neck is cut open. This is clearly not humane by AAEP or AVMA standards, nor should it appear humane to any observer who knows anything at all about horses.

      Personally, I don’t eat commercially produced meat of any kind. I live in a farming area, and I am too aware of what life in a high-density (CAFO) commercial meat farm is like. Animals who live their entire lives in cages so small they cannot turn around (battery cages, gestation crates, veal). Poultry — 10,000 of them — locked in a dark windowless shed, breathing in fumes of their own excrement, and so stressed their beaks have to be cut off with a hot knife so they don’t hurt each other. Beef cattle on feedlots of thousands of animals, fattened fast on steroids and the unhealthy high-grain engineered diet; high grain diets in cattle are strongly linked to the most virulent strains of E Coli that sicken people. Dairy cows pumped up on rBGH and other drugs, in overdrive to produce milk that their own bones weaken in a osteoperosis-like way, skinny and kept constantly pregnant; when they don’t meet quota they’re shipped (with a FULL udder and nobody to milk it) to a livestock auction, where they’ll be resold, shipped, and hopefully killed in the next week or two. Add in the widespread antibiotic use (70% of all antibiotics used in America are used in livestock production). No thank you, I will pass on the Tyson, Jimmy Dean, and Hormel.

    2. DENNIS DAVEY · ·

      John Unlike Europeans we do not see HORSES as a food source.We do not raise HORSES under the strict guidlines that cover animals that are raised for human consumption and enforced by the C.F.I.A.., therefor under the very strict guidelines of the C.F.I.A. HORSES cannot be a safe meat for human consumption. Further they are administered drugs from birth that are confirmed to be unsafe for humans. If Europeans wish to consume HORSE meat then let it be HORSES they have raised. As far as slaughtering dogs and cats to satisfy China and Asia,. be patient Min. Ritz is busy transporting our dairy cattle thousands of miles to the Middle East ” GOD HELP THESE CATTLE. WHEN THEY ARRIV, Those who do not surive the trip should be considered the lucky ones. Oh, back to dogs and cats , Ritz is not beyond that either as he is simply a DICTATOR in a little mans body.


    i to see this as a cruel brutal industry,an industry that required federal govt. licencing before it could enbark on its mass brutal and inhumane slaughter of these seems the dept. of agriculture that is headed by a federal minister had no problem with this mass slaughter ,knowing full well the U.S. public shut this industry down at home and also knowing that an ipso reid poll indicated two thirds of Canadians clearly opposed the slaughter of horses.if you really want to stop this industry go to who approved it the head of the dept. of agriculture a minister in our own govt. SOMETHING WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE DONT YOU THINK i thought they represented the Canadian public. how could i be so silly to think this.

  4. […]…16865101666725 Food Network Canada – Reality Check Required! | Canadian Horse Defence Coalition's Blog There has recently been a huge controversy on horse meat caused by an episode of Canada's Top Chef […]

  5. Poor Ginger · ·

    The Care2 article: “Top Chef Canada’s Horse Meat Episode Sparks Outrage” was #1 (the most popular) early this morning. It’s now fallen to #3. I’d like to see it stay in the top spot fas long as possible. The longer it stays, the more people will see it and, hopefully, understand and investigate for themselves. It may also prompt Care2 to write more on the subject. I don’t know if the ranking is based on “hits” (visits), votes, or comments. IMO, doing all three would be best.

    This is the Care2 News page:

    In case the article drops out of the 5 most popular, this is the direct link:

  6. […] legs, foie gras and horsemeat to be prepared on Top Chef Canada. The CHDC responded on our blog:….  Outraged citizens and horse welfare supporters alike spoke out quickly against Food Network […]

  7. I will never turn the food network on again! What’s next on the menu? Dog? Cat? For Chinese cuisine. I am disgusted!

  8. Doreen · ·

    I am completely disgusted in your use of meat that comes from animals that are tortured and abused so you may get what you want. The use of horse meat is absolutely appalling to say the least. These animals are tortured and abused and then sent to the slaughter houses where they suffer even more. I will NEVER EVER watch you show again!!! Consider yourself banned!

  9. It seems to me that promoting a poisonous food product that could poison hundreds of thousands of humans should be considered an act of terrorism!

  10. Hilary Woods · ·

    I have seen, horses that are intended for slaughter. These poor beautiful creatures are in such rough shape, wounded, bleeding,huge gaping holes in them, lame, thin as can be, blind some with foals(babies) by their sides, some full of parasites external and internal. Majority of the horses are starving to death. I’m sure that the population who consume horse meat have no idea nor do they care. I do CARE…I think all people who wish to consume , the chefs who prepare horsemeat take a tour of the slaughter houses, the feed yards where these horses come from. Cattle are bred for food, they have guidelines, these animals are looked after…Majority of horses used for food are not looked after. I have been a horse woman all my life and this just disgusts me beyond all reason. Hope you all choke or get some sickness from eating the meat that hasn’t been inspected or tested for drugs.

  11. Horrible…horrible…Horse is such beautiful animal. I will never watch food network again!!!

  12. I emailed Foodnetwork about this issue yesterday and this was the response I got
    “Staying true to the original show format, the Top Chef Canada competitors are tasked with battling through a series of food-related challenges to avoid elimination. The challenge you are referring to was for the chefs to create a traditionally French menu. One of the most traditionally French foods is horsemeat. While we understand that this content may not appeal to all viewers, Food Network Canada aims to engage a wide audience, embracing different food cultures in our programming.”
    Now I am even more mad. They are so willing to dismiss the horrors of horse slaughter with the simple expression that horse meat is cultural for the French. They didn’t even address the dangerous of consuming the meat. I may have written a rather angry response back. My horse of 14 years almost went to slaughter if I didn’t rescue him. He was my best friend right up until his death (@24 with me by his side). So this issue is so personal for me, I can’t express my anger that my favorite network is promoting something so abhorrent. /end rant.

  13. Teresa Wlosowicz · ·

    I wish there was a petition against animal cruelty!

  14. Offended · ·

    Presidents Choice, a sponsor of Top Chef, has posted a statement on their facebook page:

    “Hi, we appreciate your feedback. We’re so sorry to read your concerns in the selection of meat on Top Chef Canada. By no means was it intended to offend anyone, we will share your comments with the Top Chef producers and with our PC team. Thanks, Carolina”

  15. Offended · ·

    Thank you for bringing this to light. We are mounting a growing campaign against the airing of this episode. I hope you don’t mind if I share the Facebook URL:!/pages/Boycott-Top-Chef-Protect-the-Horses/

    I personally have contacted the show and the network. I’m also contacting show sponsors such as GE Monogram to express my serious concerns about this episode. I hope everyone else will consider contacting the show and show’s sponsors.

  16. BTW, here is the PRODUCER for the show: You don’t have to be a friend to send him a note. 😉 But just in case that changes, here’s his email: and a story about him (–mintz-top-chef-canada-crew-guards-its-secrets)

  17. Hi all. Just so you know, the Food Network is not deleting comments on their FB page (if that is what you were alluding to). It did seem like that at first, but it is not going on. All comments are on the “most recent” tab.

    As for the story, I too wrote about my disgust. I’ve linked back here in the comment section on mine. I just can’t imagine why a Canadian show decided to do something like this. It promotes eating horse meat, which promotes horse slaughter – but will NOT (of course) detail anything about the drugs or inhumane treatment of the horses. There are so many people out here who just have NO idea about those things, and will go out and think it’s safe to eat.

    The Food Network should be ashamed.

  18. Promotiong the slaughter of horses for human consumption is a horrific thing that you are embarking on. Does this also mean that you will also promote the slaughter for human consumption the practice of pet dogs and cats as well?

  19. I think their email is … at least that is the address I got off their site – and the one I emailed my disgust to !

  20. Linda Horn · ·

    Vivian at Tuesday’s Horse crossposted this, and said they’re deleting Facebook comments as fast as they come in. They obviously can’t defend themselves, and don’t want to inform their readers – who have every right to offer their own opinions. I’d like to know who sponsors their show. Informing sponsors is often a good way to influence broadcasts.

    1. Shelley CHDC · ·

      President’s Choice/Loblaws is the main sponsor on the website.
      From the posting above:
      Sponsored by: President’s Choice
      Customer Relations
      1 President’sChoice Circle
      4th Floor, NorthTower
      Brampton, Ontario, L6Y 5S5
      Toll Free 1-888-495-5111

      1. Linda Horn · ·

        GE Monogram is another sponsor. There’s contact info at the bottom of their Home Page.

        You might want attach this: “Fact Sheet: Medications and US Horsemeat”:

        It begins: “Veterinarians for Equine Welfare (VEW) welcomes the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s new policy regarding equine health and medical treatments, but also remains cautious about its actual implementation and impact.”, and includes: “It is the strong position of VEW members that absent any formal regulation or structure by the United States with regard to medications and food safety withdrawal schedules for equines entering the food chain, horsemeat derived from any U.S. horse can never be regarded as safe for human consumption.”

        Will the horsemeat their chefs intend to use come from American horses, or Canadian horses that have been medicated? Can they tell the difference? If so, how?

        IMO, if they’re still going to air this episode, they should add a caution, statement, or opinion at the beginning so viewers will be informed. Then they can make up their own minds.

    2. Denise · ·

      Linda, President’s Choice (Loblaws) – see the info above for contacts (as well as Shaw Media)

  21. Holly · ·

    This is disgusting and I will refuse to ever watch that show again.. and i usually like shows like this.
    it makes me want to puke just thinking about it and i cant believe the show is doing this…
    I have been a horse person my whole life and they are my best friends, they are the most gentle caring creatures ever and NONE of them deserve this disgusting end… Maybe we should ask the contestants to cook up their own beloved dog or cat because that is what it feels like to me and I’m sure all horse people out there agree!!
    This is a really sad day to be canadian….. I thought we were better then this…

  22. Janet Macdonald · ·

    This is so disquesting ,,I am telling anyone and everyone not to get involved in this disquesting awful thing. You people call yourselves professicals ,ya right ,,more like murders. How can you kill beautiful creatures like these? Have you no heart! Yes please everyone pile the protests at these people ,pile them high! NOW!

  23. Appalling…let’s inundate them with protests.

  24. I am horrified and dismayed that your show has decided to embrace the barbaric notion that horses should be slaughtered and served up.
    Do you realize that horses are NOT livestock – they are bred and raised as companion animals, they are not meant nor should they ever be considered food.
    Animals who so willingly serve us are turned upon by those who say they love them.
    I am not going to even address the FACT that horses are not raised for food and are therefore treated with substances that are not legal to be present in the human food system.
    Horses are a gift from the creator.
    They inspire us.
    These majestic animals deserve better than this.
    I already boycott Pangea and tell anyone I encounter to do the same.
    Shame on you and all those associated with this disgusting episode.
    A horse would forgive you – I , however, will not.

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