Consider this as just one of hundreds of potential scenarios. Your child has outgrown his/her pony. You think passing the pony, we'll call Truffle, on to another child would be the right think to do. After all, the pony is young, well trained and could be a fine ride for someone of the correct size. So you give/sell Truffle to a trusted friend, after all your child can still visit and hop on for a little ride. As the trailer containing Truffle pulls away your child cries inconsolably and begs you to her her keep her. You lovingly hug and hush the child and tell her you will be getting her another to take Truffle's place. She can progress in her riding skills on a more suitable horse.
Time passes your child does well as a rider, horses come and go, but there is never another Truffle. Some night she dreams of Truffle who comes and takes her for rides.
Truffle is passed from hand to hand as each child outgrows her until she is lost in the world. But your child, now a grown woman still remembers the pony who dried her tears in her mane. The one she sat with (or on) in the field as she did her homework, read a book, or just day dreamed. The one who was her constant, her very best friend.
Where Truffle ends up, no one knows.
As an adult, your child starts to search for Truffle. She wants to bring her home, no matter what the cost, she wants her best friend to live in peace with her for the rest of her life. You never outgrow your first pony/horse. There will never be another that you love like that.
The chances of finding Truffle are slim. But if you had the forethought of micro-chipping her before you sent her away, perhaps that might increase the odds.
I believe that the possibility of a very lucrative business could be on the horizon. If someone found Truffle anywhere, I believe your child would pay any price to get her back. You see love and loyalty is priceless.
A buyer strolling through a sale barn with a micro-chip reader could contact a person, name his price and deliver the beloved one to your door. They would be much more valuable to the finder than the few hundred they would get from a slaughter house. That person would be a hero, not a murderer.
What do you think people? Perhaps that is the way to go. We aren't going to stop people who have historically eaten horses, but at least we may be able to save our family members.