End the cruel practices of rodeos: Don’t patronize those events, let sponsors know how you feel (letter) | VailDaily.com

End the cruel practices of rodeos: Don’t patronize those events, let sponsors know how you feel (letter)

Imagine you're under the spotlight, you know when the chute opens you'll have to "perform," the audience is screaming, your heart starts to race, you just want it to be over — yet this is your life, the only one you know.

The chute opens and you try with all your might to get this thing off your back that doesn't belong there — you feel the spurs raking your sides and the belt that constricts you; the pain is intense. Finally, it stops … until the next time.

The front-page article in the Friday, June 29, Vail Daily was titled "The buck stops here," and the caption said "Riders endure a lot during the saddle bronc riding event …" Did you see the face and the contortion of the horse? I would say the animals are the ones who endure much more. The lack of sensitivity to that fact is appalling! The animals don't know why they are there, why they are being made to "perform" through acts of cruelty — how can we humans seek enjoyment out of infliction of pain and suffering?

In a letter to the editor, "Rodeos are cruel to animals," (Monday, July 2) Ross Woodward was right on target. There are many other more humane ways to celebrate our Western heritage. I was in 4-H and had a horse growing up, and the life lessons learned were valuable. That heritage is an important aspect of who we are; I'm appealing to each individual and family to support humane activities.

We have evolved to better understand the impacts of circuses and animal exhibits. It's time to end these cruel practices like bull/bronc riding, mutton busting, calf roping and burro racing. You can make a difference — don't patronize those events, talk with your friends and neighbors, and let the rodeo sponsors know how you feel. It is possible for everyone's interests to be met.

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" — Immanuel Kant.

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Jacci McKenna

Eagle