Letter: Against rodeos

To the editor:

I dread seeing the ads in the area papers announcing the “World’s Toughest Rodeo” in St. Paul in late January.  These “tough cowboys” will be jumping on the backs of unwilling horses, bulls, steers; all this cruel activity for money prizes. The used animals win no prizes and deserve their freedom.

Rodeo animals can suffer torment for American “tradition.” We are told that bulls are bred for bucking but take away the tight groin flank straps, the electric prods and the animals would never buck as violently. Yes, the riders do get hurt, but they choose to participate, not forced.

The horses, little calves, bulls, steers have no choice in what happens to them. If a rider gets hurt, there is medical care for him. What of an injured animal? There may be a vet present, but little he/she can do. Some animals limp out of the ring, some have broken legs and necks, and some die. Those still standing are loaded up on trucks and hauled to the next show. The rodeo is nothing but a cruel detour for the animals to the slaughter house.

Where are the family values in watching animals being thrown about, lassoed to “beat the clock” (little calves and steers) and some bucking wildly to loosen the straps (horses and bulls)?

These contests teach only that animals are here for us and that money and “tradition” matter more than animal suffering.

B.A. Stasz
Mounds View


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