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For Rodeo Lovers

For anyone who is on the fence about rodoes, apparently there was one this weekend in Okeechobee, Florida. Go to this Palm Beach Post page, and then click on the link to the slide show in the lower left corner under "Giddy Up."

While you are listening to the excited men, women, and children having fun, imagine for a moment, that you are each of the animals in the photos. Imagine you’re the horses and bulls struggling and in pain. Imagine the life you lead, being transported around the country to put on a show that includes your suffering as the entertainment. Imagine you’ve been forced to wear a tight leather flank strap below your rib cage that pinches you relentlessly (no wonder you buck!). Imagine the sores you’ve developed from the strap. Your tail is probably twisted and you’re prodded with a electrical hotshot so that your ordinarily docile self becomes terrified and aggressive. Which is exactly what’s so "entertaining" for the humans watching you. The more you writhe in pain, the happier they get.

Imagine you’re one of the horses, roped, twisted, yanked. Or a calf being roped and thrown over backwards (the "jerkdown"). Imagine being slammed to the ground and having your legs tied. And then imagine people cheering at the site of your wounded, bound body. How does that make you feel?

This "tradition" shouldn’t make anyone feel proud to be an American. It’s a disgrace.

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