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Horse Meat: Coming to a Table Near You?

Not a horse burger, a standard beef burger topped with a not-so-standard quail egg from Cafe Was.

Guzzle & NoshNot a horse burger, a standard beef burger topped with a not-so-standard quail egg from Cafe Was.

Since pork is "the other white meat," what does that make horse? Once a staple of the pioneer diet and a source of nourishment during wartime, horse meat may return to American tables.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management periodically rounds up and stores wild horses on federal land, a practice that's been criticized from both sides of the political spectrum. Animal rights activists decry it as wanton cruelty, while ranchers criticize the BLM, which spent $66.1 million in 2010 on these captured horses, for creating an equine welfare system. Almost everyone, except the BLM, thinks the policy is ineffective.

For ranchers, the solution is simple: revive the West's tradition of horse ranching and meat processing.

At the recent Summit of the Horse, a Las Vegas convention organized by ranchers who want to revive the nation's horse slaughter industry, former U.S. Rep Charlie Stenholm (D-Texas) said: "The Chinese are chomping at the bit to buy our horses. The Russians are chomping at the bit to buy our horses. Why can't we sell it to them?"

How would you like that black stallion slider? Medium-rare, cheddar on top, hold the pickles.