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On Thursday, August 21, 2003, at 2:45pm, my wife of 34 years, Rebecca, died in my arms in an emergency room.

The last words we spoke were in perfect synchronization: "I love you with all my heart."

 

 

Rodeo: A Sport?

Introduction

HOLD ON for just a few minutes.  Try, if you can, to take what I'm writing seriously. 

Give me a few minutes of your time, and whether your mind is open or closed, see what I have to say. 

Judge me if you choose - but give me a chance to express these points before you judge me.


Personal Statement

I've recently seen things that I find pretty disturbing.  There's a fine line between sport and abuse, and I think that line has been crossed. 

I don't mean once or twice, either.

What I'm seeing repeatedly is very simple: animals are being forced, against their will, to perform for money and  entertainment. 

They're being injured, some are maimed, some are killed during the events, others die afterwards, as a result of the events. 

Alleged "rules" are constantly being broken right in front of the judges. 

The videos which I've seen undeniably prove the points I've written about. 

 

I feel sure the website I refer to could be viewed in 2 different ways.  I'd like to explain, if you'll let me:

1)  an emotional, knee jerk reaction, sensationalized type of "animal activist" website, or

2)  an emotional website containing dozens, maybe hundreds, of unemotional, hard facts  

OK - here's how I viewed that website.  At first, I didn't care what's written. 

Emotional people overreact - they assume things which usually aren't accurate - in short - they don't know what they're yapping about. 

That's how I started viewing the website.  I only wanted to see PROOF - not read "National Enquirer" type stories from some tree huggers or whatever they are. 

Show me PROOF, and let me make up MY OWN mind.

I saw exactly what I thought I wouldn't see.  PROOF.  I didn't even bother to read the articles until long after I saw enough videos to believe what I was seeing. 

Then, I wanted to see the actual rule book for these rodeo events.  It's the same as wanting to know what the rules are for ANY sport.

I don't care if it's 9 ball or chess or heavyweight boxing. 

 

The point is:  What are the rules? 

 

Then I read some reports from large animal veterinarians.  I wanted to read UN emotional reports - from somebody who has facts. 

I don't want the emotions or opinions thrown in.

 

And I'll be straight - one of the video links below makes me sick. 

The person who made it public was dumb enough to put some tear jerkin' song on it, crying and moaning about "I Wanna Live". 

I really do NOT - and I believe you do not - need this "musical" emotional pressure to objectively evaluate the video.

Thank you for taking the time to read my statement.  But this isn't about me - on to the article.

Cowboy Up!

RODEOS are ANIMAL CRUELTY, ABUSE, and TORTURE

You don't believe that, do you?  Why not look at the proof? 

 

What do I know about rodeos?  You can figure it out - I've been to one rodeo in my entire life. 

"Ignorant" is my first and last name - no denials from me. 

 

But I know what I see when I see it. 

Because of TV, the internet, thanks to streaming videos, photos, and search engines, I've seen enough to write this article. 

 

I wasn't at the World Trade Center in New York City the day of 9/11.

I wasn't in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck.

I wasn't in Oklahoma City when the bombing took place, either.

Were you? 

 

Sometimes you just don't have to be there in person.

 

All the rodeo people claim "RODEO IS A SPORT!"

 

"Rodeo" is a "sport"?

Sports are for willing participants.

Rodeo is sanctioned animal abuse - for money. 

 

See some WILD, DANGEROUS RODEO BULLS - terrifying killers

 

This isn't a personalized article.  I'm certain that a lot of rodeo cowboys are some of the nicest, most decent guys in the world. 

I'm also certain they belong to organizations that have only one real purpose: cash. 

That puts the decent, ethical cowboys into a precarious situation. 

View this ..... see "How The West Was Won!"  Every good American should watch it. 

If I look like a moron, you better take another look. 

 

click the pictures

 

The rodeo bulls and horses are supposed to be "wild". 

They're not "wild" at all - they're wearing flank straps, and being shocked with Hot Shots - electric shockers - which these cowboys try to hide. 

 

Q:  Why do the cowboys try to hide the Hot Shots?

A:  Because they're prohibited by the "rules", and they know that Hot Shots are prohibited in the stalls. 

 

Why would anyone hide something that's approved?  It's all on video. 

Livestock are stabbed with pens and wires, hit, kicked, punched, and whipped. 

Tails pulled, bent, and raked.  That's all on video, too.

 

What about calf roping?  Well, it's no longer called "calf roping" - now it's known as "tie-down roping" - that sounds so much better to the public.  Regardless of the wording, the activity is exactly the same: BABY calves (that's correct: babies, approximately 3 months old, who should still be nursing from their mothers) are subjected to the most inhumane treatment imaginable. 

Watch some videos and see for yourself.  Watch some necks snapped, watch some backs broken. 

Watch them haul dead calves out of the arena on sleds.  The calves barely weigh more than the "cowboys" who torture them.

 

click the pictures

 

Real WORKING cowboys - not these fake, dressed up "rodeo cowboys" who are in it for the cash - would never treat livestock the way you're going to see in the videos.  All of their livestock is valuable, and cruelty isn't a part of raising livestock.

There is no question that livestock is raised to supply food: good, bad, or on the fence, livestock ends up dead stock in your local supermarkets and restaurants. 

The issue of abuse and cruelty comes when the animals are forced to perform for entertainment.  Read that again: they're being FORCED to perform.  Large amounts of CASH are involved.   

Entertainment puts money in many people's pockets, while the animals are maimed, injured, and killed.

 

Learn something about Hot Shots

Learn more - now they're almost invisible

 

you can even buy a saddle with the shock built right in

 

Without electric shock, rodeo would not exist

 

Why do they buck?  Fear, torture, and pain. 

Watch for yourself - the cowboys are so slick, the Hot Shot is immediately hidden - tucked in a pocket right after the horse or bull leaves the stall. 

Go watch the videos of horses being shocked in the face. 

You're not afraid, are you?  Then go see the proof with your own eyes. 

 

The website will clarify any doubts you might have with more video proof than anyone needs.


The first few videos had little effect on me, so my initial reaction was, "This is an isolated instance.  This doesn't happen all the time.  Those "PETA people" are at it again." 

 

Why should I (or you?) pay attention to someone who seems to be anti-rodeo? 

After all, that's a biased, one sided opinion, the voice of one of those "animal activists", right?

 

That's what I FIRST thought.  Then I watched some more.  Then I started researching. 

After 50 or 60 more videos, plus pages of documentation, police reports, uninvolved veterinarian reports, and more research, the facts became more obvious - this is NOT an "isolated instance".

 

How about a few large animal veterinarians?  Have you ever heard of torn ligamenta nuchae

Maybe it's time for you to read.  Why do uninvolved veterinarian's autopsy reports mention over two gallons of free blood under the skin of livestock, up to 8 ribs broken off at the spine, punctured lungs, legs broken in several places? 

Are they anti-rodeo, or are they just large animal veterinarians, reporting their autopsy findings?

 

Rodeo is FUN for the WHOLE FAMILY!  Bring the kids!

have a look for yourself - does this look like fun to you?

click the pictures

 

What's the most sensitive area on your body?  Probably near your genital area. 

Guess where the flank strap goes?  Did I just claim on genitals?  No - I stated "NEAR" genitals - in the area. 

Think it feels good for a 290 pound cowboy to tighten it up until you're leaping around trying to get it off? 

Why don't you try it?  Try a Hot Shot, too.  Would you mind writing me and telling me how much you liked the experience? 

I'd be interested to hear from you.  My email address is steve at sl-prokeys dot com

 

According to the "rules", the flank straps are fleece lined to "protect" the animal. 

Why have I seen bleeding wounds in several videos after the flank strap was removed? 

Why don't you click the link and READ the "rules"? 

If you watch one or more videos, would you kindly tell me if the "rules" are being broken? 

 

Are horses, bulls, and cows predators?  No - they're prey animals - they run away from danger. 

Fighting is their very last option - it's called survival behavior. 

But there's nowhere to run at a rodeo.  They're confined in stalls which are barely larger than they are - then they're abused to make them "perform" for the crowd's amusement. 

Sometimes, huge, sellout crowds ....

 

 

 

They "perform" because of fear and pain - they're not wild. 

Go watch some videos - why does all the kicking and bucking stop when the flank strap is loosened? 

They're supposed to be "wild" animals, aren't they? 

 

Why are video cameras prohibited at rodeos?

 

 

Shock devices aren't all "little black boxes", which can be hidden in an instant.  Have a look

Let's take a few minutes, and look at two other videos right here.  At that link are three videos.  The first has to do with a bull goring a horse that subsequently died.  If you don't mind, let's skip that one for now, you can come back later and watch it if you like.  Let's ignore all the text on that page, too. 

 

Let's try to focus on some facts about Hot Shots. 

 

Further down that page are two more videos - these are the ones which I believe will illustrate some very important facts.

 

I think you will see for yourself that many of the rodeo claims are sensational - but the videos prove that the horses will NOT buck without the Hot Shot and other forms of physical pain. 

 

These two videos illustrate the results of an Illinois State Court Order prohibiting electric shock in the stalls. 

 

The official rodeo "rules" prohibit exactly the same thing.  Why is a Court Order needed? 

 

The only difference here, is that the State has become active in enforcing that "rule".  This is proof that the rodeo cowboys and associations cannot regulate themselves, they require a Court Order to regulate them. 

 

So let's go watch these "wild buckin' broncos" together, and see for ourselves what happens.  Please return here when you've seen the videos. 

Rodeos - and those who support them - are criminals

That includes everyone: participants, organizers, advertisers, sponsors, spectators,

entertainers, large corporations, and government taxpayer's subsidies. 

They're supporting and promoting ANIMAL ABUSE for profit and entertainment.

If you haven't met RODEO EDDIE, you have a real treat coming.  You definitely don't want to miss this! 

Rodeo Eddie is a logical, articulate, intelligent spokesman for the entire rodeo industry. 

If he isn't the official spokesperson for the PRCA yet, he certainly ought to be.

Rodeo Eddie is a true Cheyenne Western Rodeo Cowboy!

 

RODEO EDDIE video 1  - RODEO EDDIE video 2 - RODEO EDDIE video 3   


Rodeo livestock contractors tend to NOT end the suffering of injured livestock for a number of reasons.

1)  An injured but ambulatory animal can still be sold.

2)  Veterinarian and euthanasia to put an animal to sleep costs money.

3)  A euthanized carcass can not be sold for slaughter.

4)  A downed animal, left to die on its own, can result in an insurance claim payment.

5)  If euthanasia is chosen, there will be no insurance payment, as the owner elected to euthanize the animal.

Livestock contractors can benefit financially if a livestock animal is injured, and they do nothing.  If the animal is severely injured, it's no good for making more rodeo money with, logically it follows that it's as good as dead anyway, so make every last dime possible from it.  Look at the above list again:

1)  Make cash

2)  Lose cash

3)  Lose cash

4)  Make cash

5)  Lose cash


Sometime in the 1990s, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania passed a law.  The law did not prohibit rodeos. 

It prohibited shock devices, flank straps, and spurs. 

My research has shown that there hasn't been a rodeo in Pittsburgh ever since.

 

Should rodeos be banned?  I say NO.  There are many legitimate and decent ways to entertain people without abuse and cruelty. 

 

Should the "rulebooks" be fully rewritten and enforced?  I say YES - absolutely. 

People should wake up and see that behind all the propaganda, coverups, and lies, rodeo - as we know it today - exists purely on fear, pain, abuse, and panic in the livestock animals. 

Plus a lot of CASH.

 

How much PROPAGANDA will you believe?


Tonight, (11/29/07), I spent over two hours on the phone with a professional rodeo cowboy - he invited me to call, and I did.  (NOTE: he is NOT "Rodeo Eddie" mentioned above.)  It was a very civilized conversation between two adults with entirely different views.  It was also a complete waste of time, I'm sorry to say.  In his message, he included two links to watch him ride at rodeos.  I watched them, but somehow, I wasn't too impressed.

 

I repeatedly stated that the conversation was going far over my head with all the endless details - details which were not germane in any way to the rodeo issue.  The "details" had almost nothing at all to do with animal abuse.  I freely admit I'm in over my head if the discussion contains super technical details of a subject which I never claimed to know much about.  However .....

 

If we're going to discuss rodeo and abuse, why talk about pitbull hog dogs?  Why talk about protection dog sports?  I didn't know there were hog dogs in rodeos.  A simple way to prevail in any discussion is to bring in unrelated subjects.  "Baffle 'em into blindness!"  That works real well when the dialogue is completely controlled by one person, and the other person can't get in one word for 15 minutes. 

 

I listened for well over an hour to lengthy stories about pitbulls, the cost of bulls, trailers, our unsung American heroes - the livestock providers, trucks, real cowboys, who breeds the best bulls, hog dogs, money, hogs, on and on and on. 

 

The cowboy sure had a lot to say.  I didn't get much opportunity to speak, because the cowboy was running the conversation, and obviously loves the sound of his own voice. 

 

I'll say this as politely as possible: I don't really care too much about raising livestock, or the millions of technical details that pertain to it.  I have no interest in his hog catching dogs, or wasting 110 minutes discussing everything except animal abuse. 

 

Maybe this article isn't clear to cowboys.  It's about rodeos and cruelty and abuse of livestock.  It's not about pitbulls and how they catch hogs, horses, chickens, or alligators.  If I'm not making myself perfectly clear, I apologize to the entire world.   

 

If you're on your toes, you probably know that the cowboy's "theme song" was YES - animal abuse does exist in the violent "sport" of "rodeo" - BUT - only in about 1% of all events.  The cowboy blamed everything but soap bubbles and lightbulbs for that.  If he had 100 fingers, they'd be pointing in 100 different directions. 

 

Sorry - I won't buy that.  I'd like to see valid statistics.  Maybe it's actually 2% - or 16% - or 89%.  I'd like to know how many livestock animals died in 2006 because of rodeo.  I'm curious how many ended up in the slaughterhouse?  I'd like to see facts from someone who is NOT on the payroll of the rodeo in any way.  Facts - not propaganda.

 

The cowboy's version of facts tried to convince me that animal rights people attend rodeos and film what goes on in the pens, hoping to catch that "1%" of abuse on video, while the other 99% are not abusive in any way, shape, or form. 

 

If that's true, I can imagine trucks full of video tapes which all show exemplary, non-abusive behavior from any and all of the cowboys.  All those tapes would be worthless for proving animal abuse. 

 

That's quite an investment in time, money, and videotape.  The cowboy's explanation illustrated you could go to 100 different rodeos, and only see one violation of the "rules" - and probably not even one.  That's as absurd as going to Washington, DC 100 times, in hopes of videotaping a neon pink and green American flag!  If I seem like a moron, you better take another look.   

 

Interestingly, the cowboy was fairly honest, at least it seemed so to me.  He didn't deny shocking and abusive, forceful methods to make the animals "perform" - he logically explained it was sometimes necessary to get a performance from the livestock or "lose your ride" - which means lose your money - and we wouldn't want to disappoint the crowd of spectators, because they spend the money. 

 

Now I understand how to justify cruelty to livestock: satisfy the audience, and get the money. 

 

But I thought these animals were "Bred For The Sport!"?  I thought the rodeo people stated this is what they're "Born To Do!" and they "Love The Sport!"?  Then why do they have to be forced to do it? 

 

We briefly discussed a tool which I'd heard of but never seen: that is the barbed wire flank rope.  But the cowboy made it perfectly clear:  that's only used on rare occasions.  That certainly made me feel much better.  I hope it makes the livestock feel better, too. 

 

We also discussed that when a cowboy is injured at a rodeo, the following day will usually be a sold out event.  We somehow skipped the part which addresses the dead, crippled, or maimed calves, horses, and steers.

 

This article really concerns only two words: animal abuse.  I'll cheerfully remove this article from existence with factual proof that what I've seen is not animal cruelty and abuse.  I will also publicly apologize for my errors - if they are errors.  I'm honorable, a gentleman, and a man of my word.  I will do exactly as I've stated.

 

I suggested that the best person for the cowboy to speak to would be the gentleman who created the www.sharkonline.org website.  Without a doubt, he's far more conversant than I'll ever be about rodeos.  I suggested to the cowboy that he set up an interview with the website owner, explain the facts, and show him some videos of the real truth about rodeos. 

 

What do you think happened?  He refused, just like all the cowboys.  It appears they all run the other way when they're given a chance to speak up, tell the truth, and debate an issue.  They're famous for it.  Evidence of that can also be found at the website I refer to.

 

As anyone can probably guess, I finally got off the phone following numerous statements to the effect that I'm some kind of PETA freak.  Me?  The same Steve Leigh, who has been training biting dogs for well over 2 decades, in 4 different countries?  Me?  A former dealer for Innotek electric collars?  Me?  The same one with a wall full of sleeves, whips, and prong collars?  Those pictures and videos are all over this website. 

 

The cowboys all play the PETA card if you confront them with reality.  This cowboy obviously couldn't tell the bulls from the horses.  And I never even started on him - I just listened.  I have nothing to do with PETA, and never did.  "PETA people" would probably lynch me if they could!


One problem with the questions is that the people who represent the rodeos don't want to answer certain kinds of questions. 

That is evasion as far as I'm concerned. 

As I've already said many times, I haven't seen or heard it all, so I can only comment on what I have seen and heard. 

 

Most of what I've heard is public relations propaganda, designed to create an image which is false. 

 

The image appears, on the surface, to promote a legitimate tradition, a sport for the family, and the promotion utilizes various tools to achieve that goal: American flags, singing of the National Anthem, prayers to God, parades, and other public relations activities which "relax" the public consciously or subconsciously. 

 

These activities, along with rodeo announcers who obviously don't have a clue what "honesty" means, are a "preparation" and a valuable tool to make rodeo fans look the other way - a distraction, a way to convince people that they are NOT seeing what they're seeing. 

Or, better yet, a distraction to prevent people from seeing reality. 

 

People can call it whatever they choose.  To me, much of it is propaganda which hides and minimizes the truth about what really happens to the livestock at rodeos.

 

"Details", propaganda, claims of thousands of sold out rodeos, justifications, happy, healthy animals "Bred For The Sport!", "Love To Buck!", denials of abuse, excuses ..... why do my eyes tell me one thing, while the cowboy on the phone tells me something else? 

 

What do you believe in this world?  The words of a cowboy - or video proof of animal abuse, cruelty, and death? 

I guess that choice is yours to make.


Let's cut to the chase.  The internet is swimming in rodeo animal abuse videos.  Who knows how many examples are online, or are NOT easily available to the public? 

 

Let's be honest - let's take a good look at the "sport" of RODEO.

Let's watch 3 month old calves getting their necks broken.  Let's watch horses go down and not get up.

Let's watch livestock killed, maimed, and injured - so the rodeo cowboys can make money.

here is the Sharkonline video link

 

May, 2012: there are now over 340 Shark videos online.  I suggest you watch them all.

Not all of them concern rodeo.

It may take 15 days, and it will open your eyes forever.

Slammin Sam

Killing

Questions

Follow The Leader?

Bulls Have Balls

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