Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/819

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We English are great meat-eaters, and, as our home supply is quite insufficient, we have to import more than 000,000 tons every year. With the growth of our population, and the decreasing number of live-stock at home, the imports of meat from abroad have prodigiously increased in the last quarter of a century.

In a paper read before the Royal Colonial Institute, Sir Francis Bell, the Agent-General for New Zealand, stated that frozen meat in any quantity can be placed upon this market from the other side of the world at 6d. to 612d. a pound, leaving a good profit to the grower. "This," he added, "ought ultimately to make meat cheaper here, or at least prevent the further rise now threatened. Australia and New Zealand can, in fact, export 700,000 tons of meat a year, or 2,000 tons a day, which is not much more than you want in England even now, without reducing even the present capital number of their sheep and cattle, and we are able to send on sheep to Smithfield with greater ease to-day than the Tweed farmers could one hundred years ago, when meat was selling at a penny a pound in Scotland against tenpence in London."

Horses, although numerous in some countries, as in Russia and the River Plate states, have not been, commercially, very useful when dead. In South America mares are never broken to the saddle, and the carcasses are generally boiled down for their fat, the exports of mares' grease being considerable, while the hide is also useful. But, within the period now under our notice, horse-flesh has come largely into use on the Continent for human food. Its sale has become a legalized and recognized trade in many of the Continental states, especially in France and Germany. The published statistics of the Society for Promoting the Use of Horse-flesh show that, since its foundation in July, 1860, 100,080 horses, 6,690 donkeys, and 395 mules had been sold in Paris alone for food, up to the end of 1881, furnishing 67,809,460 pounds of meat. Horse-flesh is sold at half the price of beef. The innovation has gained ground rapidly in most of the principal towns of France, and the public sale of horse-flesh for human food is now general in Austria, Prussia, Bohemia, Saxony, Hanover, Switzerland, Belgium, and Sweden. In England, the hundreds of horses which die in the metropolis are sent, with other carcasses, to special firms, which utilize every part commercially. The skin is removed, and the bones are taken out with great expedition; the flesh is then placed in caldrons, of a capacity of 600 gallons. Upon boiling the flesh, the oil is separated, and used by soap-makers and leather-dressers. The bones are also boiled, yielding further oil and fat, and are afterward utilized for manure.

In the United States there was formerly a plethora of waste. The time was when, in Cincinnati, Chicago, and other slaughtering centers, the food of millions was cast out and allowed to be entirely lost by being thrown into the river, or burned in large pits. Now, such is