RESPONSE TO PRO-RODEO ARTICLE IN THE PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER

 

I was deeply saddened to see your fluff piece on the Cowtown rodeo. What you allowed to happen was the whitewashing one of the most brutal forms of animal entertainment there is. I know how cruel this rodeo is, for in 1999 I went to it, and videotaped the horror that my eyes witnessed.

I saw calves, just 3-4 months old, lassoed, their bodies snapped back by the pull of the rope thrown around their necks. The cowboy then picks up the baby calf and slams her violently to the ground. Her eyes bulge, her tongue flaps uncontrollably, and drool spills from her mouth. Worst were the cries that this baby made, as she called for help that never came. I captured 6 such scenes of this on the tape.

Because these animals are passive by nature, acts of physical torture are used to make them crazed and appear wild. One such act is the pulling of the animals' tail. I saw a man grabbing the tails of calves and twisting them in his hand, causing the animal extreme pain. The animal is then launched into the arena.

The same violence happened to the older animals as well. Needing to inflict pain to make a bull appear wild, a cowboy hit him multiple times. Then, with the back of his boot which appears to have a spur, he kicked the animal in the side, digging it into him.

Finally, I saw horses that were unwilling to perform. They were forced to leave their pen by being hit in the face.

This is the true face of the Cowtown rodeo. It is what they hid from your reporter so that your paper would allow the words "family entertainment" to be associated with such a merciless abuse of animals.