Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Getting It Off My Chest...

As you may remember, my organization is hosting a conference in Dallas, Texas, in March this year. One of the proposed 'entertainments' is a trip to a rodeo, against which I spoke when the idea first surfaced. I really thought I had quashed it, but today it resurfaced with a post to our social networking site that read as follows:

"On the contrary, rodeos - just like hunting - actually have a net positive effect on the animal species involved. Think of it like a land animal aquarium. Unless we are going to kill and eat the actual animals while at the rodeo, I am fine with it. A bit of two-stepping with a genuine Texas swing band might also be fun."

So there you have it folks - animal torture for spectator 'entertainment' or the's all the same!

My response read as follows:

"I'm trying to understand this point of view. But I just can't see though how the tactics used to terrorize rodeo animals can be equated to those used in an aquarium. If you check into the facts behind rodeos, you will see that the level of physical violence used to manipulate the bulls' behaviour is horrifying and includes tail and neck twisting, beatings to the body and face and the use of anal electrocution to make them bolt out of the pens in that dramatic, crowd-pleasing way. Bulls used for rodeos frequently suffer from broken ribs, torn ligaments and muscles, punctured lungs, bone fractures and internal bruising and bleeding.

Moreover, the calves used in roping events are often slammed to the ground while running at high speed. This causes neck and spinal cord injuries, including paralysis, as well as broken legs and injuries to the calves stomachs when the lasso misses the neck.    

The horses used in riding events wear 'bucking straps' which are pulled tightly across the abdomen and/or genitals and are designed to irritate and hurt the horse until it bucks. This can cause injury to the rider, the horse itself and to anyone in the vicinity as it struggles to free itself from the device.     

I could go on but I think you might be getting the idea now. Unlike the animals often housed in an aquarium, bulls, calves, horses and goats are not endangered animals whose species benefits from their being bred for rodeos. In fact, within the industry they are considered to be 'disposable' and are simply used until they're sent for slaughter. This does not benefit the species nor the individual creatures themselves.

Please let's opt for a more compassionate entertainment?!?!"

Call me a bleeding heart liberal vegan if you like, but I believe I am right.

To read the whole thread, head on over to here and click on 'Forum' then 'TNO Dallas'.

On a positive note: I believe I have now made history. This HAS to be the first time that someone at my organization has ever used the words 'anal' and 'electrocution' in a sentence together.

Let's see if I have a job to go back to next week....

Stay Vegan (and away from rodeos), Friends!

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