Animal Rights and Rodeo
- Article courtesy Maci Meyer
Rodeo is at a disadvantage because we are being judged from a society that is 3 or 4 times removed from farm and ranch life. In today’s ever growing urban population, fewer and fewer people have had any experience with horses or cattle. People who do not understand large animals and their needs are vulnerable to the manipulation of the opinions of animal rights advocates and welfarists.
There are many organizations such as PETA and SHARK that would like to ban rodeo completely. In a few cities, rodeo has been banned and anti-rodeo organizations have held mass demonstrations at some rodeos around the United States. There is a difference between animal rights advocates and animal welfarists. Animal rights advocates want you to believe that any form of animal use is cruelty and that you should not use animals for any purpose. They believe that animals are on the same level –spiritually, mentally, and physically that humans are. The goal of animal rights activists is to eliminate all animal use. They want to ban rodeos, circuses, zoos, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, owning farm animals, the use of any animal for clothing or food, the organized breeding or ownership of any animal or holding an animal in captivity. If animal activists had their way you would no longer be able to eat meat, fish, eggs, or milk. Everyone would have to become vegetarians. No more leather shoes or wool products. You would not be able to keep a dog or cat in captivity or be able to go to the zoo. A rodeo patron at a California rodeo came to the announcer stand and complained about the “cows” in a pen of the rodeo arena having toothaches. She assumed they had toothaches because they were wearing leather straps around their faces when they were steers wearing horn wraps to prevent injury. Animal welfarists believe that we have every right to use animals as long as the animals are cared for adequately and are not abused.Friends of Rodeo is an organization to help promote the facts about rodeo and keep rodeo heritage alive in our changing country. To become a member or see how this organization promotes rodeo and to keep people informed about rodeo please go to their website at www.friendsofrodeo.com.
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