The difficulty in writing this is directly related to the starts I've made to do it. That would be four. The reason being, every time I think I have it done, the numbers change. And always for the worse.
My first draft was about four horses dying in the space of 24 hours. Since that time last Saturday, the number has risen to six. Which helps make my case, but saddens my heart further.
My grievance is about rodeos, generally, but the Calgary Stampede specifically—the annual animal abuse get-together disguised as a happy-go-lucky [sic] Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. Nothing could be further from the truth and this year it seems to be finally exposed for what it really is: a cruel cash cow for the city of Calgary but a bigger embarrassment to many.
What makes it a little worse is that it's being played out in a country which prides itself on compassion and peacekeeping. Canadians are quick to protest civil rights violations of humans in other countries around the globe. They protest dolphins being killed in a cove in Taiji, Japan and they protest whale hunting by Japan, Norway and Iceland. But apparently none of this extends to anything within their own borders, for their government condones the seal slaughter and it now appears they don't have much remorse over grinding animals into the ground at the rodeo either. Even when other countries try to shame them into changing, as Britain has just done by sending a letter to the Canadian government regarding the rodeo, they just turn a deaf ear.
Mind you, I am not broad-brushing the entire population of Canada. I know there are people there working diligently to make the changes needed. But they are too few and they are countered by those who either don't care 'because it's ours' ergo it's okay, or have bought into the rhetoric coming from the provincial organization and feel that 'gosh, it's too bad all these animals are dead isn't it, but hey! It happens'. Visiting the newspaper and television forums to get a feel for how Canadians feel about this is extremely disheartening. Their only real answer, when confronted with these facts, is to attack each other with remarks about homeless people and taxed gas. Like one thing really has anything to do with the other; they can find no valid argument.