It would seem that PETA and SAFE’s next target on animal welfare is Rodeos. Now I am just going to state that I am not sure where I sit in terms of the benefit of rodeos to society, but I do know the animals are vetted before and after to ensure they suffered no harm. I also know that those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it. Like it or not, what happens at a rodeo, particularly calf roping and bucking horses were a way of life for many. It was the only way of catching an animal and four horse hooves beat two human feet in terms of the amount of distance to be covered. Cattle and horses have been roped, ridden and/or led for centuries as well as being harnessed into carts to carry people and freight.
One rodeo recently made headlines because a bull had be put down following an accident where it broke its leg. Tragic as it may be, it did spark a conversation at the breakfast table in our house. Rodeo animals are on the whole treated very well because a rodeo wouldn’t exist without them. In fact, the bulls used would most likely have been killed as bobby calves or when they are only 2-3 years old for burgers so this way they have a much longer life…….
There are many sports that carry elements of danger and people die on occasion. Should we ban rugby? Only last year or maybe the one before there was a very sad run where a couple of people died following separate head collisions in rugby games. Olympic sports carry danger, especially ones involving speed and vehicles where people race down slopes or round tracks.
Other events that people enjoy such as ballet or figure skating can be dangerous too if those involved, particularly girls, are forced to eat little or only certain foods so as to maintain the light weight and sleek figure needed. Girls have been hospitalized for being underweight and collapsing due to the energy used which they simply don’t have. Should this be banned as well? As someone pointed out, the vet arrives faster to help an animal down in the rodeo arena than an ambulance crew arrives to help a cowboy who is injured.
Another sport that involves a lot of injuries is horse racing with animals breaking their legs or being run to the point of exhaustion and having their wind broken which they don’t recover from. Should this be banned also? No government would be brave enough given the amount of money made, rather there is a focus on safe practices to reduce the likelihood of injury. Perhaps the same should apply to rodeos as well.
It is also worth mentioning that animals can break their legs just in the paddock, either fighting with each other (bulls especially) or slipping down a muddy hillside. These animals may not be discovered immediately, leaving the animal in pain for that much longer. At least at a rodeo the animal is treated within minutes.
The question then becomes whether we should ban anything and everything where someone, human or animal, can be injured. So goodbye all contact sport- definitely results in bruising, sprains, the odd broken limb…. Goodbye speedway and motocross, the latter especially since someone tragically died after crashing into a concrete wall. Goodbye any kind of activity on hilly terrain because you could slip and fall and break something- that wipes out the vast majority of our farming land and also tourist operations. I’ve been known to twist an ankle on flat ground so I guess we pretty much should never leave our houses. On that note, no multi-level houses because stairways can lead to accidents.
You get the point. Yes the list is ridiculous, but just how far will people go to protect something? Wouldn’t a far better approach be to educate people about the hazards involved and let them make their own decisions, and put safeguards in place for animals with vets on hand on the off chance a freak accident occurs?