Sunday, March 4, 2012

And the Cruelty Award goes to...

If there's one thing that bothers me (besides people eating meat and testing on animals and trashing the planet, that is!), it would have to be rodeos. One rodeo, called the Calgary Stampede, takes place in Calgary, Alberta every year.
Aside from the inherent cruelty of forcing an animal to do one's bidding, animals are often made as uncomfortable as possible in order to make them "angry" enough to have to be driven into submission. For example, "bucking broncos" have had a girldle tied so tightly around their waist that they buck and run around wildly in order to try to get it off and relieve the pain. Calves get thrown around in contests. "Steer wrestlers" jump off racing horses and fling themselves onto the horns of frightened animals. And at the end of the show, injured animals may have to be euthenized. Remy Scalza, who attended a Calgary Stampede, watched as a bull rider clung on to a bull as part of the show.

"In the relative silence, you can hear the ominous clang of horn and hoof on steel as the bull rears and bucks in the tight confines of the chute.... The gate flings out and the bull launches a foot or more off the ground  in an apoplexy of rage and fear, its eyes wild and foam jetting from its mouth. Back legs rocket up and the animal's back bends so far it looks like it will snap. Then the bull plunges into a frantic spin-- around and around and around, launching clods of mud across the infield while its muscled neck whips side to side.... Then the horn blows-- his eight seconds are up-- and Thompson [the rider] is diving head first for the dirt.... Somewhere beneath his helmet and mask, he's smiling."
If this doesn't deserve a reward for thoughtless cruelty, what does?

There is also the fact that a lot of livestock events take place, which encourage people to raise livestock for slaughter. Another thing is that, as you can imagine, a lot of meat, steak, and ribs are served at the Stampede.

Photo Courtesy of

I highly discourage anyone reading this to attend any rodeo anywhere. But alongside an outright boycott, you can also:
  1. Spread the word-- tell your friends and family about the cruelty that occurs at the rodeo. Have them each tell two other people, who will them be asked to tell two other people, etc. You can always send them the link to my blog to make it easier!
  2. Contact the rodeo personally and tell them why you won't be attending this year. Polite complaints can go a long way, especially if we all do it.
  3. Find unique ways to educate others about animal cruelty at the rodeo (or anywhere else, for that matter!). Interesting media to try includes video, photos, audio (podcast), articles, speeches, visual art, blog posts, posters, etc.
  4. Go to the city that the rodeo is held in with a group of other people who care about animals. Hold up signs and hand out leaflets to deter people from going to the rodeo.
  5. Go to to learn more about the rodeo and to gather more information. (SHARK stands for SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness.)
Let's stand up to this cruel blood sport by educating the world! I think that the more people who understand, the more will refuse to support it.
Until next week!

1 comment:

  1. Do you know where I could find any leaflets against bull riding in particular? Thanks!