Obesity Strikes Horses!

It was inevitable. From UPI.

Not that I doubt that there are fat horses. But I love how the reporter  still can’t resist moralizing:

U.S. scientists say horses are inheritably [sic]  couch potatoes, with overeating, slothful horses suffering obesity problems just like humans.

If I were a fat horse I’d be stung by that characterization.  


Any day now we’re going to be reading about obese songbirds. You know it and I know it. What with all those modern Western birdfeeders allowing them to sit around stuffing their lazy gluttonous beaks all day.



8 Responses to “Obesity Strikes Horses!”

  1. Stef Says:

    And let’s not get started about the bears and the squirrels, running around stuffing their faces all fall and then just LYING AROUND SLEEPING all winter.

  2. spinsterwitch Says:

    Someone ought to have a talk with those sea lions as well. Not only are they fat, they just lie around all day on piers and beaches, sleeping and making disgusting noises. It must be stopped!

  3. Maggie Says:

    I hope the Fat Police don’t come after my guinea pig. He eats his weight in cucumbers and carrots every day, and he refuses to get a gym membership. I guess we’ll have to watch out!

  4. Cynth Says:

    Hey I saw an article last month complaining about “fat pigeons” they said people were feeding them fast food scraps and making “super pigeons” that were bigger and fatter than “normal pigeons” and poo’ed more! oh the pain.

  5. fat fu It has come to pass... « Says:

    […] Obesity Strikes Horses! […]

  6. mirror Says:

    Came over here thanks to Bitchphd’s link, thought I’d comment on this even though no one has in a while.

    As an actual horseperson, I can tell you it’s absolutely true that some horses are fat and lazy. Some horses are also thin and lazy. Or fat and energetic. You get the idea.

    That said, it is completely true that our modern American tendency to think of rich foods as “good” and the decreased workload of the average domestic horse have conspired to make horses susceptible to insulin resistance and some related diseases. It’s not exactly the fat that does it, but, just as in humans, some horses are predisposed to both fat and insulin resistance, so it appears that the two are cause-and-effect when in fact I doubt that that’s entirely true.

    In horses, IR and related diseases (Cushing’s disease, which is similar to diabetes) can cause laminitis. Basically, the hoof capsule can separate from the living structures in the leg that keep the bones from punching a hole in the sole of the hoof. It’s quite horrible, and understandably we like to avoid it, to the extent that people with lush pastures and fat ponies often resort to grazing muzzles to keep them from getting more than a blade or two of grass at once. Sugar intake (yes, there is sugar in grass) can, quite literally, kill some horses, especially ones who are not getting enough exercise to stabilize their metabolisms; IR still exists in fit horses, but it’s much, much easier to manage.

    So depriving horses of rich foods (grain, lush pasture, etc) and limiting them to low-sugar hay is really necessary in some cases, and it has the side effect of making most horses reasonably thin. It is considered by many to be abusive to let your horse get fat, but I think people are confusing fat with IR.

    Of course, I am not a veterinary researcher.

  7. fatfu Says:

    Thanks for the information! Yah, like I said, I don’t doubt there are fat horses. Everyone – humans, horses and even birds – need healthy food and exercise. As a parrot owner I know a seed diet is considered “abusive” because it’s high fat and non-nutritious and causes fatty liver among other problems. Supposedly – I’m not a veterinary researcher either :). But it’s the reflexive moralizing and the sense that fat is invariably derived from a certain set of “modern evils” that I find fascinating. I think the real issue is how fat is framed.

  8. Oh, the cognitive disconnect (pregnancy, this time) « Fat-o-matic Says:

    […] as a special bonus, now not only do we have cats and dogs and horses and birds getting in on the obesity crisis action,  now it’s the turn of inanimate objects. […]

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