Pia Olden, an 18-year-old apprentice chef and equestrian, received death threats after posting a picture of her butchered horse she had already dined on, asserting it to be “some of the best meat” she had ever eaten, according to the Daily Mail.
Olden was preparing some of the fillets of her stallion, Drifting Speed, for dinner when she decided to take a photo of her preparation to post on her social media page. Adding chili and mango in her horse meat, she wrote, “A bit strange to eat my own horse, but my chef’s heart said I had to.”
The picture was accompanied with a side picture of Drifting Speed on the right, and how it looked on a plate for dinner on the left.
“If I’m going to eat horse meat, it’s going to be my own,” she wrote.
Soon the post was shared on a humor page where it received thousands of comments and death threats, one of which commented, “eating your best friend.”
In an interview on one of Norway’s largest newspapers, Dagbladet, Olden spoke about the types of threats she had received.
“Many wrote that I too deserve to be killed for eating my own horse … One wrote that I should lose the right to have animals,” Olden said, adding that her strongest critics were female horse riders like herself.
Olden, whose family are farmers in Trondelag, central Norway, told Dagbladet that she believed she has a more realistic relationship with animals and understands meat differently from the critics because she grew up on a farm.
In 2018, when Drift Speed became ill, her family had to put him down, she told Dagbladet. She believed that eating the meat was the best way to honoring Drift Speed.
“It’s not better for the meat to be buried and eaten by the worms,” Olden told the news.
According to CBS News, horse meat is largely despised in some countries including the United States and the United Kingdom. When a New York resident was asked why it was reviled, they answered, “people have horses and they love them and they’re part of their family.”
While horses can be compared to a family member for some, eating horse meat is the norm for some countries including Mexico, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Japan, Germany, Indonesia, Poland, Mongolia, and China.
In Norway, horse meat is commonly used in cured meats and less commonly as steak. In Pre-Christian Norway, a horse was seen as an expensive animal and eating it meant one had great wealth.