Cattle, horses aren't here to entertain us
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

Karen Dawn, DawnWatch.com
July 2015

[NOTE from All-Creatures.org: Please watch SHARK's video: Rodeo People Love Animals??? and for more about rodeo cruelties, visit SHARK.]

Are we humans so hard up for entertainment that we must amuse ourselves by watching events that can cause animals to suffer and die?

It is so heartening to see a piece like this in mainstream media! Please share it widely. You can also comment right below it, plus the page also has a spot that say. The columnist and paper deserve appreciative letters!

calf roping cruelty
Image from SHARK

The Calgary Stampede is a an annual event in Canada at which animals regularly die. A horse named Duke was euthanized on Saturday after breaking his leg in a chuck-wagon race. Animal rights activists have protested the event for years. It was therefore gratifying to see in Saturday's Calgary Herald, July 4, a piece by Herald columnist Naomi Lakritz titled, "Cattle, horses aren't here to entertain us." It is accompanied by a distressing photo of a calf in mid air, being tossed by a cowboy in a calf-roping event.

Lakritz opens with:

Every summer, the issue of animals in the Stampede and other rodeos comes up. The horses that pull chuckwagons sometimes drop dead of heart attacks, are killed or injured, or have to be euthanized, due to collisions or other accidents.

Tie-down roping involves lassoing a calf and slamming it hard to the ground so that its legs can be tied together. Calves can suffer broken necks and other injuries in this so-called sport. Steers and bulls can also be injured or killed in their respective events.

What any of this violence to animals has to do with western heritage is unclear."

Further down she writes, "Are we humans so hard up for entertainment that we must amuse ourselves by watching events that can cause animals to suffer and die?"

In a thorough and fascinating piece she gives details of the organizers' response to public concern. Then she closes with:

Horses and cattle are sentient beings whose lives possess innate dignity as members of another species with whom we share this planet. This dignity does not depend on some humanís declaration that bovines and equines must have jobs to help pay for their own keep. How very sad to measure their worth in terms of how useful they can be for our own entertainment purposes.

Yet, if you believe that these animals have an intrinsic worth in their own right that demands our respect, you often get slapped with the label of extremist. All that does is polarize the issue. I canít see that it is extremism to advocate for animals not to be hurt or killed for the purpose of human entertainment.

"We no longer think of cockfighting and dogfighting as legitimate entertainment, and weíve enacted laws prohibiting those activities. We have evolved. Itís time we evolve to hold in equal disrepute those events that cause suffering, injury and death to rodeo animals.

It is so heartening to see a piece like this in mainstream media! Please share it widely. You can also comment right below it, plus the page also has a spot that says, "Submit A Letter: Click here to send us your letters." That link is set to open for you an email addressed to [email protected] , which is the direct email address for letters to the editor. The columnist and paper deserve appreciative letters!


DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. Please go to http://tinyurl.com/254ulkx to check out Karen Dawn's book, "Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way we Treat Animals," which will give you background on any issue covered by DawnWatch. When it was first published in 2008 it was chosen by the Washington Post as one of the "Best Books of The Year!" The brand new, updated, e-edition just came out in 2014.


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