Written by PETA
Tuesday night, in a vote that met with thunderous applause and a standing ovation, the Irvine, California, City Council made the groundbreaking move to simultaneously ban rodeos, circuses that use exotic animals, and retail sales of cats and dogs, making it the first city in the country to ban all three in one fell swoop.
PETA had notified supporters about the pending Irvine vote and urged them to attend the meeting or contact City Council members, and their input was obviously heard loud and clear. Thanks to Irvine's new laws, elephants will be safe from bullhook beatings, horses and bulls will no longer break their backs after being goaded into bucking, and puppy mills will no longer be paid to churn out litters of sickly, unsocialized puppies.
To help pass similar laws in your community, contact your city council members, or e-mail Info@peta.org. For updates on any proposed animal-related laws in your area, join PETA's Action Team.
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
The new documentary film Buck chronicles the life of real-life "horse whisperer" Buck Brannaman and his work to help, as he calls them, "horses with people problems." The film follows Brannaman as he tours the country, giving guardians a deeper understanding of their horses and, at the same time, insight into themselves.
Brannaman, whose own upbringing was marred by violent physical abuse, understands horses' fears and anxieties. Heartbreaking archival footage of horses being whipped and "broken" gives way to scenes of Brannaman gaining the respect and trust of a horse using no more than his voice, body language, and a gentle touch.
Although the film challenges the cruel methods used to "break" horses, it stops short of questioning the use of horses and other animals for entertainment. Brannaman obviously cares deeply about horses and is saving many of them from abusive training techniques, which makes one hope that someday soon he will pause to think about the ethics of buying, selling, breeding, using―and inevitably abusing―horses in the first place. Brannaman himself participates in rodeo events that are stressful and potentially dangerous to the animals involved.
To his credit, Brannaman himself admits that even after decades of working with horses, he still has a lot to learn. Perhaps someday he will fully take to heart the words of one of his students, who, when thinking back on the pain that she has inflicted, admits, "[Y]ou don't realize how unjust it is until someone shows you a different path." We all have some growing to do, but Buck has done more than most in his field of endeavor.
A horse named Check Mate was euthanized this past weekend after suffering a broken back and collapsing during a saddle bronc riding event at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in Wyoming.
In saddle bronc riding events, horses are made to buck wildly through the use of painful "bucking straps" cinched tightly around the animals' abdomens. Horses are also often shocked with electric prods and have spurs stabbed into their sides.
Check Mate isn't alone—horses, bulls, and calves are killed every year in cruel rodeo events. Earlier this month, two horses died after suffering broken legs during chuckwagon races in the Calgary Stampede, which was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Strict restrictions have been implemented on the use of electric prods, flank straps, and spurs in Rhode Island; Leestown, Virginia; and Pittsburgh, effectively banning rodeos. In addition, flank straps have been banned in Ohio; rodeos have been banned completely in Pasadena, California, and Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Rhode Island and California have laws requiring a veterinarian to be present on site at rodeos. PETA offers a list of rodeo ordinances in every state that can be used to protest rodeos and file complaints about witnessed abuses.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Shari—an enthusiastic PETA supporter—chatted up tons of rodeo attendees in her community last week about the abuse of animals used in rodeos, in which human performers use electric prods, spurs, and bucking straps to irritate and enrage bulls, horses, and other unwilling "costars" into participating in the show.
Shari's dedication to speaking out for animals is unrivaled. Last year, she participated in the International Day of Protest for elephants at the San Antonio Zoo and held her own anti-Ringling demonstration. She also demonstrated as a caged monkey outside NASA headquarters in Houston and then drove back to San Antonio to step into a human meat tray the next day. And that's only a sampling of her tireless efforts to save lives.
Ready to take action yourself? Get started today!
Written by Logan Scherer
I've got some exciting news for you! Well, exciting in the sense that a hideous sport has made an improvement that makes it a bit less hideous: The National Western Stock Show has banned electric prods!
The group SHARK gets a shout-out as big as the wide-open plains for persuading National Western to put an end to the use of the painful shocking device, which is often used on broncos to cause them to bolt from the gate. As you can imagine, frequent exposure to these electric shocks causes the animals considerable physical and mental distress.
The National Western Stock Show has also announced heftier fines for "jerk-downs"—the act of violently jerking a calf backward and roping the calf simultaneously. Competing rodeos have followed suit: Cheyenne Frontier Days and the Greeley Stampede have also banned electric prods. Now, if they'd just replace the broncs with mechanical bulls, we'd be as happy as a hog let loose in the tater patch.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.