I was saddened to see the letter “Fourth of July” by Kevin Thompson in the July 9 edition of the Daily Journal touting the Woodside Jr. Rodeo. Be aware that rodeo is condemned due to its inherent cruelty by nearly every animal welfare organization in North America. Rodeos were outlawed in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales) back in 1934. The U.S. should follow suit. For most of the unwilling animals involved, the rodeo arena is merely a detour en route to the slaughterhouse.
Most of rodeo has nothing to do with life on a working ranch. Real working cowboys and cowgirls never routinely rode bulls, wrestled steers, rode bareback or practiced calf roping (terrified babies) as a timed event. Neither did they put flank straps on the animals. And they certainly didn’t practice such nonsense as “pig scrambles” and “mutton busting,” dangerous for all concerned. Some “sport.”
Indeed, rodeo is not a “sport” at all. That word denotes willing, evenly-matched participants. Rodeo does not qualify. It’s a macho (and often blatantly sexist) exercise in domination. And it needs to stop. Follow the money.
A San Mateo County ordinance is in order, perhaps sponsored by the Peninsula Humane Society. Let your supervisors hear from you.
The letter writer is coordinator for Action for Animals.