An 18-year-old from Norway started receiving death threats when she revealed she cooked and ate her pet horse after it had been put down.
Pia Olden is an apprentice chef as well as an equestrian and she saw an opportunity to combine her hobbies when she lost her stallion, Drifting Speed, as a result of an illness in 2018.
The teenager took to Facebook to share her unusual plans for the pet, describing how her family kept fillets of horse meat in the freezer following its death.
She prepared some of the meat with chilli and mango and said her ‘chef’s heart said [she] had to’, adding:
If I’m going to eat horse meat, it’s going to be my own.
Along with the status, Olden included a picture of Drifting Speed next to an image of its meat, cooked medium rare, as if presenting some sort of gruesome before-and-after transformation.
Though Olden believed eating the meat was the best way to honour Drifting Speed, her post was met with backlash when it was shared to a humour page, where it received thousands of responses, with one person likening the meat to ‘eating your best friend’.
The teen chose to delete her original post but the 18-year-old and her family, who are farmers in Trøndelag, central Norway, still received death threats.
She spoke about the situation to Dagbladet, one of Norway’s largest newspapers, explaining her strongest critics were other female horse riders.
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.
The equestrian stood her ground in spite of the threats, arguing: ‘it’s not better for the meat to be buried and eaten by the worms.’ She said horse meat is a delicacy, and pointed out Drifting Speed had to be put down anyway.
Olden didn’t appear afraid to rile those who are angry with her, as she added:
It was some of the best meat we have eaten.
Olden believes growing up on a farm has allowed her to have a more ‘realistic’ relationship with animals, and as such she thinks she understands meat ‘differently’ to those who criticised her.
The teenager has attempted to get the humour page which shared her post to delete it, though it’s unclear whether her efforts were successful.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.