Guest OpEd by Glenn Wilson of Waterfall Creek
“Making a horse (or bull) buck for our entertainment is like inducing an epileptic friend to have a seizure so we can watch…”
“Recently Glenn wrote a response to an April, 2011 post on the cruelty of horse tripping in rodeos…his vision had such depth and clarity that I asked if we could feature his comment, here. This may not make a lot of my kinfolk back in Texas very happy but the words, below, speak to a very basic and simple truth; exhibiting compassion to the other beings that are passengers on “Spaceship Earth” is long overdue.” ~ R.T.
Imagine this: In another world where the animals ruled, they select a certain type of human with a special characteristic we would call epilepsy (no offense intended to those afflicted). The animals would use these epileptic humans to entertain themselves in a show called a rodeo.
The animals had figured out a way of inducing a violent physical reaction, to certain stimuli, in the epileptic. Once the ‘right’ buttons on the epileptic were pushed, they would buck, jump, writhe, contort, thrash around and inflict wounds and injury upon themselves for a period of time.
This was all done for the entertainment of the animals. They even developed a competition based on the ‘quality’ of the thrashing display of the epileptic. A horrible thought really.
Making a horse (or bull) buck for our entertainment is like inducing an epileptic friend to have a seizure so we can watch, be entertained and have a laugh. According to my doctor, when an epileptic experiences an epileptic seizure, he or she expends a huge amount of energy and physical effort for a relatively short period of time. Post seizure they are totally exhausted. They need a period of deep rest for recovery. Compare this scenario with a horse or bull that is made to buck.
And then there is calf roping. Here’s where the real men get their jollies off. First they chase a very young calf flat out across the arena, then they hurl a rope at it and jerk it off its feet (a very real jerk on both ends of the rope), they then wrap the rope around its baby hooves to disable it whether it is conscious, injured or not. A definite contest of skill, judgement and absolute cruelty. The injuries often inflicted upon the calves are horrendous.
Some people call rodeos sport. The reality is that participants, spectators and sponsors are complicit in animal cruelty that makes the roughest Indonesian abattoir look like a picnic on the beach.
Perhaps, what is known as ‘judgement day’ is when we humans reflect upon and take full responsibility for each and every one of our actions in this lifetime.
- Call to ban calf-roping cruelty at rodeos (news.com.au)
- ‘Horse tripping’ video fuels debate over Oregon rodeo event (oregonlive.com)
- Cancel the Stampede rodeo, says Bob Barker (cbc.ca)