In the Spring of 2013, meatballs served in the restaurants at IKEA stores in the Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal, were found to contain an unadvertised ingredient - horse meat. It made headlines all over the world. But the problem wasn’t just IKEA’s. Within a short period of time, it was discovered there were other global companies selling beef products containing up to 40% horse meat. The names were very familiar; Tesco, Birds Eye, and the international fast food chains, Taco Bell and Burger King.
Europe’s “Horsegate” as it became known, shocked an unsuspecting public around the world, but didn’t shock those in horse-related industries. That’s because those working horse racing, rodeo, and other equine industries are privy to a disturbing underground pipeline of which most of mainstream society is still completely unaware.
Fact-driven and without gratuitous violence, From The Kill Pen exposes the pipeline that brings tainted horse meat into the food supply, whether it is sold to unsuspecting customers who do not know of its origin, or used illegally as a "filler" for products labeled as other species. Through undercover video and expert testimony, From The Kill Pen investigates how and why unregulated horse meat is getting into the human food chain, along with the inherent dangers to the people who who might consume the product, whether knowingly or unknowingly.
The film includes in-depth interviews with some of the nation’s leading experts on the subject, including: Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico; Keith Dane of the Humane Society; Journalist Vickery Eckhoff; and Reps. Patrick Meehan and Jan Schakowsky, who are authors of the Safe Act, a bill that would install a permanent ban on horse slaughter in the United States and the shipping of American horses elsewhere for slaughter. From The Kill Pen also includes interviews with horse slaughter advocates, including Rick De Los Santos, the owner of the horse slaughtering facility Valley Meats (in Roswell, New Mexico), his attorney, and Charlie Stenholm, former member of Congress who has been an advocate for the agricultural industry for decades and who supports horse slaughter on U.S. soil.
From The Kill Pen asks the essential questions: Can the power of the pro-slaughter political forces be overcome? Can methods to safeguard our horses survive in an economy that profits millions by exploiting them? Will American culture do what is right, and end horse slaughter here and abroad for good? Can our government come up with a legal solution?
Or … is government itself the core of the problem?