Before we get into this, check out this video clip below.
But as strange as this behaviour might seem, this horse isn't an anomaly. The internet is full of video evidence of herbivores in the wild chowing down on an unsuspecting bird or rodent.
But why? Let's explore:
Herbivorous animals like rabbits and deer have been observed supplementing meat through scavenging and even catching small animal prey during sub-zero temperatures.
Hippos have been observed chowing down on zebra when their preferred foods are scarce. Even those so called 'strict' vegan elephants have been seen plucking Weaver Bird nests full of chicks and eggs from trees like fruits and eating them.
Stressed herbivores like sloths have been observed eating their young, though how often this happens outside of captivity is another question.
A display of dominance
As far as we know, this behaviour is pretty much exclusive to Hippo's, but I have a feeling primates do something similar. One such display is stealing and sometimes eating the prey or fresh kill of a predator who got too close. Another display would be eating one of their own, usually a competitor or threat. From plant based to cannibal just like that.
A risk-free opportunity for a protein shot
Many herbivores have been seen eating small animals like mice and chicks, purely because they crossed paths when the bigger animal was feeling peckish. I'm talking cows, goats, sheep, horses, deer, anything that scales the unfortunate little critters down to nugget size.
A risk-free opportunity to be a predator
Like the last point, this phenomenon can be frequently observed on farms. Despite there being a constant abundance of appropriate nutrient sources available, some herbivores will still choose to snack on a chick if its on the menu and easily available.
There is a theory that because of the negative impact humans are having on wildlife, such as deforestation and trashing biodiversity, some herbivores are being left with little choice but to expand their diets with the inclusion of meat supplements. Because, survival.
It seems when it comes to diet, nature is far more fluid than us humans have grown to become.
The same is true on both sides of the spectrum too, for instance lions, one of Nature's so called 'obligate carnivores', have been observed seeking out fruits and plants to supplement their diets in the wild.
But unlike with us humans, the culinary diversity of animals starts and stops within the confines of nature, often choosing to avoid the synthetic and chemical foods many of us have grown to enjoy.
Throughout history, strict veganism in humans has always been reserved for moral, spiritual and magical practices. Left to survival alone, the most healthy natural human diet (meaning no artificial supplements allowed) is almost entirely plant based, with small amounts of animal produce.
But thanks to a variety of modern innovations, from highly efficient global trade to plant-based nutrient supplements, being a healthy vegan is entirely possible, and fairly easy depending on your predisposition towards discipline and delayed gratification. Science also supports it as being healthy for all stages of our life, from birth to old age.
The evidence has indeed left no room for doubt; increasing our intake of plants will heal both our state of health, and our environment - two things we are responsible for. Lowering our intake of chemical foods has the same effect.
But the next time you break your practice, remember its only natural and don't beat yourself up too much about it.
And the next time you see a vegan 'breaking their rules', remember it's nature, and nunya business.
Also, bush food over lab food any day.