Horse of a Different Color

Horse meat finds its way into the food supply.Some prepared families keep a horse and burrow for work after the fuel supply dries up either temporarily or permanently.  The reality is that animals breed, that is if you have both male and female varieties on the farm.  These animals can be used for barter in a multitude of ways.

You can trade a day’s labor of horse and rider for supplies or services.  Selling or trading the animals for other items and services is a good option too.  Since they are expensive to feed and need space to live, trading them might be a blessing.

But, what if you can’t sell, trade or otherwise make them earn their keep?  You end up with too many of them and they are consuming your resources faster than you can get them.  They have to be maintained, shod, vet care, grain, and more.  Your preps only planned for a certain number of animals at a time.

In many countries around the world, they eat horses.  Yes, they do.  For some reason people in western Europe and North America find it distasteful at best and inhumane at worst.  But is it really?  These beautiful beasts have been dinner fare for centuries in countries around the world.  It has only been in recent history that horses have been elevated to pet status because of the relationship some owners formed with their horses for work and pleasure riding.

In parts of Europe, Asia, and South America horse meat is still served on a regular basis.  In Japan it is called Basashi.  Wild horse meat is leaner than beef, but also tougher.  Domesticated horse meat is lean, tender and sweet.

Regardless, in the United States, the government banned the slaughter of horses by refusing to inspect the meat.  No meat can be sold in the U. S. without being inspected by the USDA.  Under the Obama administration, the ban on inspections was lifted in 2011.  Horses may legally be slaughtered and served as food in the U.S.

People who don’t think eating horse is right usually also won’t eat cat, dog, rat, and monkey.  All of these animals are eaten in other countries on a routine basis.  But we eat cows, pigs, elk, deer and lamb.  What makes one animal suitable for food and not another?  Cultural habits and taboos mostly.

As prepared people, we need to be prepared to change our cultural taboos on meat consumption without worry of what others will think about our eating habits.  There might come a day when they will gladly trade services for a bite of horse steak or jerky.

Privacy is Important, but is Overlooked by Some Preppers

Facebook: The privacy saga continuesLet’s face it.  Some topics seem to be taboo.  Privacy needs for individuals and couples is one of those seemingly taboo topics among preppers.  Unfortunately, there is evidence that people design shelters that do not provide privacy even though it will house a certain number of family members and friends.

Designs are basic in nature with an open area for dining and such, a bathroom, and a large bunk style sleeping room that sleeps as many as 10 people.  In these designs the only privacy is the bathroom.  Therein lies the trouble in waiting.

Ask any mother if she ever locked herself in the bathroom to get away from the kids.  Honest ones will either say yes, or that they have a job outside the house so didn’t feel penned in.  If the only place to get privacy or alone time is one tiny bathroom, then the bathroom will be busy almost all the time.

Instead, shelters should be designed with a partition system between bunks.  Even if the partition is nothing more than heavy duty, ceiling to floor draperies, it still provides privacy for sleeping. dressing, spending time alone, or other necessary actions.

Everyone needs his or her space, even children.  Children spend many hours playing in the mud hole exploring their minds and the world.  If there is no place they can play uninterrupted, they can’t develop those thought processes that playing provides.  Playing is hard work.

How can you send your unruly teenager to his room if there is no defined space as his room?  Worse yet, what will you do when your angry teenager can’t stomp off to his room?  Instead he will sit right there and antagonize you since he can’t get away to some private zone.

Along this line of privacy, there is also the need for personal storage space.  And easy way to get some of that is to attach a storage box to the bottom side of the bunks.  In this way, everyone will maintain a sense of ownership of their space and all persons should respect others by not invading the private storage spaces of others.

Lastly, to help provide an appearance of privacy and alone time, consider implementing a “down time”.  This is a time when people will be engaging in only quiet activities and will not engage in conversation with others while inside their closed spaces.  This could be anything from a 30 minute reading period to drawing or painting.  Any quiet creative activity will refuel the people who are bugging in with you, but they need to choose the activity themselves.

Failing to consider privacy needs and personal down time of each person, regardless of age, will be a mistake that could cause emotional and mental distress during an already stressful situation.