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redhen

The morality of cattle sports

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Just days after a massive flood that inundated Calgary, Alberta, the annual rodeo is underway. The mayor promised it would go ahead "come hell or high water".

The Calgary Stampede is certainly a big economic windfall, that I'm sure politicians and government managers count on. Apparently, tormenting animals for fun and profit is A-Ok in Calgary. The latest unnecessary death was a steer that was wrestled to the ground, had it's neck broken and was euthanized. The only thing unusual about this death is that normally it's horses that suffer, especially in the chuck wagon races.

Meanwhile in Spain, 3 people have been seriously gored. Again, all of this pain, suffering and death is totally unnecessary and therefore by definition, cruel. Both in Spain and Alberta, the defense is that these are long held traditions that bring in needed tourist revenue. All of these arguments are logical fallacies.

I thought about posting this under Nature, but it really has nothing to do with it, except in so far as homo sapiens are part of nature, although we do not behave like it. So I'm dumping this here as an issue of moral philosophy.

""Whenever people say "We mustn't be sentimental", you can take it they are about to do something cruel. And if they add, "We must be realistic", they mean they are going to make money out of it." - Brigid Brophy

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Every so often, the animals get their revenge. :devil:

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Just days after a massive flood that inundated Calgary, Alberta, the annual rodeo is underway. The mayor promised it would go ahead "come hell or high water".

The Calgary Stampede is certainly a big economic windfall, that I'm sure politicians and government managers count on. Apparently, tormenting animals for fun and profit is A-Ok in Calgary. The latest unnecessary death was a steer that was wrestled to the ground, had it's neck broken and was euthanized. The only thing unusual about this death is that normally it's horses that suffer, especially in the chuck wagon races.

Meanwhile in Spain, 3 people have been seriously gored. Again, all of this pain, suffering and death is totally unnecessary and therefore by definition, cruel. Both in Spain and Alberta, the defense is that these are long held traditions that bring in needed tourist revenue. All of these arguments are logical fallacies.

I thought about posting this under Nature, but it really has nothing to do with it, except in so far as homo sapiens are part of nature, although we do not behave like it. So I'm dumping this here as an issue of moral philosophy.

""Whenever people say "We mustn't be sentimental", you can take it they are about to do something cruel. And if they add, "We must be realistic", they mean they are going to make money out of it." - Brigid Brophy

I had a talk with my wife about this this morning (we live in Calgary). She was criticizing bull fights but saying the rodeo was OK because "they do it on the ranch anyways" (bless her soul! :innocent: ). I had to explain that yes, calf roping is a method they use on ranches but it does serve a purpose and doens't sound like it's something that is done constantly. The calf in the rodeo is being chased, harassed, scared out of its mind and wrestled to the ground with a rope around it's neck all to entertain an audience. It serves no purpose and is barbaric. We live in the technological age of the 21st century: it's time to put aside crude and unnecessary violence towards animals all in the name of entertaining. There are so many other ways to have a good time!

One more thing; is it hypocritical to speak out against rodeo violence but continue eating meat from slaughterhouses? Hm...I struggle with that one...

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One more thing; is it hypocritical to speak out against rodeo violence but continue eating meat from slaughterhouses?

YES, of COURSE it is.

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She was criticizing bull fights but saying the rodeo was OK because "they do it on the ranch anyways"

I assume this kind of cattle wrangling was done historically as part of branding. Is that how it's still done? Could they not drive them through a narrow chute and brand them standing up? Are ear tags not sufficient? Are there still that many cattle thieves?

One more thing; is it hypocritical to speak out against rodeo violence but continue eating meat from slaughterhouses? Hm...I struggle with that one...

No it's not! What your diet consists of has no logical relevance to the moral argument that bull fighting and cattle rodeos are unnecessary and therefore cruel. Certainly, if you wish to behave in 100% accordance with what your philosophy is, then yes, refraining from eating meat would be congruous.

However, no lives in 100% congruity with what they believe. No one! This is basis for the tu quoque logical fallacy. No one is expected to be a saint, one does what one can.

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one does what one can.

This is the important bit.

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Its the simple fact that we can assert power over these animals and make money while doing it, I don't believe in torturing animals for the sheer fun of it.

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I assume this kind of cattle wrangling was done historically as part of branding. Is that how it's still done? Could they not drive them through a narrow chute and brand them standing up? Are ear tags not sufficient? Are there still that many cattle thieves?

No it's not! What your diet consists of has no logical relevance to the moral argument that bull fighting and cattle rodeos are unnecessary and therefore cruel. Certainly, if you wish to behave in 100% accordance with what your philosophy is, then yes, refraining from eating meat would be congruous.

However, no lives in 100% congruity with what they believe. No one! This is basis for the tu quoque logical fallacy. No one is expected to be a saint, one does what one can.

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Thank you for your insight, RedHen...I've been struggling with a guilty conscious lately after reading a few articles about slaughterhouses. I would like to stop supporting them altogether but it's just not really a viable option for me right now. Your sound argument has actually helped to relieve some of that pressure :yes:

I love coming to this forum!

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Keep in mind that our actions speak louder than our words.

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I live in Calgary also and ya some animals get hurt or killed every year. Other then the few seconds these animals perform they are treated better than some peoples pets. I spent a lot of time on my Aunts ranch ( no im not a cowboy) and have become use to it. Not saying it's right or wrong but it is tradition in these parts and won't change for some time. I never go to the Stampede as a personal protest but it is what it is for now.

Hey Dark_Gray did the flood effect you much ? Me not directly I'm to far from the river.

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People are excited by violent 'entertainment ... must be in our evolutionary package. There is a difference between someone raising an animal for food and treating it humanely, to the end .. and the horribly cruel treatment rodeo animals, bulls in the ring, or probably worst of all, commercial 'farm' animals get .

note: never drive through Hereford Texas (or somewhere around there) and see the cattle pens. We saw hundreds of cattle on mountains of manure , in extreme heat , No food, No water, God only knows how long they suffered as they awaited their fates.

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note: never drive through Hereford Texas (or somewhere around there) and see the cattle pens.

It's very convenient that "agricultural animals" and laboratory "models" are exempt from normal animal cruelty laws.

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