The rodeo…when I was a teenager I thought the idea of animals and cowboys seemed so exciting. I thought I might grow up to marry a cowboy one day. The movie Urban Cowboy was one of my favorite movies. Who could resist the cool Bud played by John Travolta?!
But, as I mentioned in the interview I had with another blogger, I am a “watcher” and a “deep thinker.” I began paying attention to the animals used in the rodeo.
My pastor always says our mind and imagination is a powerful thing. We can use it for good by imagining things that are told to us in the bible to be true, like our worth to God (Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God). Our thoughts are formed and clouded by this earthly world and by what others think and say about us. We tend to focus on all of the negative things and believe them to be true. But if we imagine what God says about us, our minds will be transformed into the truth about us and we will focus on the positive. So let’s use our imagination right now. Turn off the radio or the television and close your eyes.
Imagine…you are a bull, an animal meant to live in nature around other animals. One day you find yourself confined in a gated space, there is a huge crowd of humans making noise all around and it is very loud. All of a sudden one of these humans jumps onto your back and the gate opens, so you run out. All you want is to get that human off of your back, so you jump and buck over & over, possibly causing injury to yourself in the process. All the while these humans are shouting all around you.
Now imagine…you as a human being meant to live with other human beings (and maybe some pets). One day, you find yourself in the woods all of a sudden surrounded by bears growling at the top of their lungs. The noise is so loud and you are looking all around wondering what they are going to do. Then they start batting you around like a toy.
Did you imagine it?
Imagine…you are a calf. New to this world, just wanting to be with your mom and playing out in nature. But here you are in a large crowd of humans. You are thrown into a gated area with dirt on the ground and then a horse with one of those humans on it starts chasing you, so you run. Then a rope is thrown around you and you fall, the human jumps off of the horse, throws you to the ground, and wraps the rope around your legs so you can’t move. The crowd of humans starts shouting.
Now imagine…you as a human being on a vacation, enjoying an afternoon in the jungle. You’re enjoying life and the beauty of nature. All of sudden you see a boa constrictor and not knowing what else to do, out of fear and instinct you run. But it catches up with you and it wraps itself around you.
Did you imagine it?
Now that you have imagined what it is like from the animal’s side, do you think they enjoy it? Do you think it is humane?
There are oodles of articles out there about animals in the rodeo that talk more about this. I think I have read things about how they drug the animals and mistreat them to get them “mad” so they will really put on a good show. But once again, I don’t even need to hear that. I simply paid attention to them and I have put myself in their hooves.
So the truth here is, animals are living, feeling beings. This scares them, as if the roles were reversed, it would you. It is not “normal” or “ok” to treat animals this way and to disregard what is being done to them. Some humans just take it upon themselves to decide what is acceptable, but it certainly doesn’t mean it is right or what is true.
And to think the only reason for putting these animals through something so scary and dangerous, is simply for human entertainment.
Note: Please check out Sparkyjen’s comment below. Love her imaginative perspective!