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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/16/09

Are Rodeos as Cruel as They Say?

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Message Suzana Megles

I find it so hard to understand how people can buy a ticket to a rodeo and enjoy watching cruelty to horses, steers, and calves.  Anybody who finds this "clean" fun and enjoyment should click SHARK'S You Tube account re this.  SHARK, an acronym for "Showing Animals Respect and Kindness" exposed in their undercover video the use of hidden torture tools used on these animals in rodeos.  They also even captured The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's top-level officials rigging the competition and violating the association's own rules at the National Finals Rodeo.     

SHARK'S VIDEO probably enraged PRCA so much so that they contacted You Tube to remove it -- claiming they were a copyright violation.  SHARK'S precious response: "Stupid cowboys, don't they know you can't copyright a live event?  In any case, SHARK sued PRCA for abusing the takedown provision of the Digital Milennium Copyright Act.  Since cowboys apparently can't fight anything but helpless animals, they agreed to settle to the tune of $25,000."  My humble response - Yea!

I'm hoping that people who don't believe that these animals are abused will visit this internet site: as well as view the SHARK You Tube video to see for themselves the heart-wrenching pictures of horses, steers and calves in moments of suffering and even pure agony.

I have read so many good things re the late Cesar E. Chavez and not surprisingly found this hard working Migrant Union leader was not only concerned about the mistreated workers he represented but he was also a man of compassion when it came to animal suffering. 

It has always been my belief that any religion which doesn't teach its followers compassion to animals is not truly reflecting the loving God of all Creation.  All that He created is good and all of it - people, animals, and the environment must be treated with great respect and loving care.   Sadly, in my three score plus years, I have not found this to be the case of the major religions including my own.  With the exception of the Buddhists and Jains-- today's major religions fail miserably in conveying love and compassion to the animals.  Of course, that's because they don't consider them worthy of their teachings.

I am proud though of individuals like Cesar Chavez who I believe had been baptized in 1927 a Catholic like myself.  In 1990 he wrote this letter to Eric Mills, Coordinator.

Dear Mr. Mills:

"Our society is becoming increasingly concerned about the welfare of animals, both wild and domestic, and rightfully so.  The area of animals used and/or abused in the entertainment industry deserves special scrutiny.

There is great need for legislation to ensure the humane treatment of animals employed in rodeos, and I would certainly support any such bills.  I understand that most rodeos don't even require that a veterinarian be present--this seems the very least we owe the animals, who are participants through no choice of their own.

Kindness and compassion towards all living things is a mark of a civilized society. Conversely, cruelty, whether it is directed against human beings or against animals, is not the exclusive province of any one culture or community of people.

Racism, economic deprival, dog fighting and cockfighting, bullfighting and rodeos are cut from the same fabric: violence.

Only when we have beome nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves."

Cesar E. Chavez  (Dec. 26, 1990)

For me this letter is an "I Have a Dream Speech" for the abused animals.  I admire greatly both Cesar E. Chavez and Martin Luther King, Jr. who I consider two of my most favorite people.  I am also proud to note that they were my contemporaries as well.  I am sure that God was pleased with their efforts to teach compassion and love to all His creatures.  My prayer is that more of their ilk will be raised up from the coming generations to assure that new voices of concern will be heard  for the oppressed and suffering --whether human or animal. 

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I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since
I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the (more...)
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