Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Comment to The Southland Times RE rodeos and Non Veganism

Theres recently been a few articles about a local "rodeo", where innocent young animals are thrown about, or "ridden" in a display of fear and pain, showing how very "strong" and "dominating" we are to other "lesser" animals.

Google Images for "Te Anau Rodeo"


The Southland Times had a poll online, which I posted on my Facebook page, asking for votes *against* and to use the comments as an example to promote Veganism instead, it started off being nearly 50/50, but after my friends reposted it to their friends, we ended up with well over 80 percent against rodeos.

I'm glad that we're moving to a world where people can question our current practices, what we do to other animals, and am taking this as a great opportunity to promote Animal Rights, to add a third option of "I'm Vegan, lets not harm and kill other animals, its the least they deserve!".

An opinion piece was written by the newspaper after we displayed our dominance over the poll, which you can read online here:

"OPINION: Are rodeos a guilty pleasure?
That's really two questions. Are they pleasure and, if so, a guilty one?
It depends on how inclined you are to think like an analytical behaviourist, emote like an empathetic ethologist, fret like a liberal or reckon like a redneck.
A behaviourist accepts only the result of tests and isn't likely to be all that impressed by wailing exhortations to "look into the animal's eyes and see the anguish".
He would observe, dispassionately, that the flank strap elastic band is put around a horses' midriff to encourage it to buck – and that it keeps bucking once the rider is off.
The ethologist might substitute the word "encourage" with "torment" and would be open to wider questions about whether animals can feel not only physical pain but emotional distress.
The behaviourist might note that the animal injury rate reported from rodeos is less than 1 per cent and record the cowboy contention that the most use a bucking horse would get each year would total something like 64 seconds, if the riders were able to stay on that long. He might note some bruising, such as might also be observed at children's sports events.
(To the reproach that children, unlike animals, would be taking part voluntarily and would be free to express how they really feel, the behaviourist might have to defer to the liberal, who would retort that if you looked into the eyes of some of the parents on the sidelines, you'd conclude that such freedom is illusory.)"


I wrote in this letter, taking up two whole comments:

"Political affiliation doesnt come into it, you could be a money kissing ACT-er or an environmentally friendly Green-ie, the issue is about harming other animals.  "Keep politics out of sport" was the warcry decades past, but issues such as human rights and animal rights (animal rights *are* human rights, we other animals) transcend wanting to play some little game of "sport".

I've attended local "rodeos" before, and its pretty plain to see the distress and fear, as the other animals are being thrown about into the dirt.  A festival of treating other animals as things (indeed, as they are described as "its" rather than "he" or "she" here), we can do so much better in 2012.


"We are entitled to have mixed feelings about rodeos. Some among us just want to feel the adrenaline. Some just want the rest of us to cut it out and leave animals alone, period.

Most, surely, see a capacious middle ground that affords room for manoeuvre, giving rodeo a future based on appropriate controls on behaviours to be fairly expected of man and beast."

We most certainly cannot find a middle [way], either we are for harming and killing someone, or we are fully against it.  How would you "nicely" throw other animals about?  Drug them up so they feel nothing but "happy thoughts"?  A rink lined with cotton wool? (the best kind of wool!)  Soundproof glass around the braying and inebriated mob?  Even after the construction of this hypothetical hundred million dollar stadium in Te Anau, we'd still be left with the issue of seeing other animals as mere playthings, to be "dominated" in a public display of humiliation.

As the English Sociologist Dr Roger Yates might say, its a matter of societal norms, what we see as normal, and what we participate in ourselves.  If we grew up believing it were ok to harm cats and dogs, we would do so, while mocking "[fretting] liberals", "wailing exhortations to "look into the animal's eyes and see the anguish".

We have grown up otherwise, where we currently have a demand from mainstream New Zealand for "harsher penalties" on those who harm animals (as in Cats and Dogs), with some being so enthusiastic as to wish for a "death penalty" to those who would hurt a cat or dog!

Might these same people attend rodeos?  Quite possibly.

Yesterday I drove past four Southland slaughterhouses with a friend.  We live in a province where you'll find vet clinics next door to "meat warehouses"

where only a two lane national highway separates the community swimming pool and a gigantic slaughterhouse, and where we celebrate "Cardigan Bay", "the worlds first million dollar pacer", a horse forced into dragging around a little Napoleon, for the "athlete" (the human!) to receive glory, for the "owners" to receive exorbitant profits.

Right behind the sign is a slaughterhouse, aptly demonstrating the link between the two industries, exploiting animals for our "sport", of exploiting other animals weakness to stainless steel and violence, for our dinner plate.

We can choose not to harm others, human animals and nonhuman animals alike.

Deciding to be Vegan is a great New Years resolution! :-)

Jordan Wyatt
"all animals are equal"
http://www.invsoc.org.nz "

Never let a good opportunity to talk with Non Vegans about Veganism go by! :-)

Have a lovely 2012 :-)

1 comment:

  1. Mataura! Most depressing place in Southland, I use to play hockey there and we used the meat workers quarters as a changing shed. It was so dirty and desolate. You should have driven a submarine to stewart island, no farms or slaughter houses there!


Thank you for posting a comment :)

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.