Stock Show in Colorado 2017 Update
Due to a storm moving through Denver yesterday, the Stock Show Parade was cancelled…a small mercy for the animals usually forced to walk through the heart of downtown as a spectacle for the cheering masses; much like the victims in the days of the Roman coliseum. Unfortunately, the animals may have been spared yesterday’s frightening experience but they will still be thrown into the middle of the coliseum as fodder for cruel entertainment or sold during the stock show.
Below is a repost of a blog I wrote two years ago. Sadly, it is still relevant today.
Written by LaNell Haydon
I stood in the cold shadows of the high rise buildings waiting for the parade to start. Hundreds lined the street waiting. A wave of excitement moved through the crowd, and I knew the longhorn steers were coming. Yesterday was the stock show parade, which signaled the start of the rodeo in Denver.
The steers lumbered down the middle of 17th Street, frightened and confused, looking at each other with wide-eyes. Rustlers rode alongside, yelling commands to keep them in line. The steers were beautiful, noble animals, and they deserved much better than what they received yesterday, and what is still to come for them. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, terrified animals, many babies still, will be forced into the center of the coliseum and brutalized for entertainment and for tradition. Calf roping, steer wrangling, bull riding, all things that should have long ago been left to the history books. And after which, most will be sent to slaughter. Hundreds come out to cheer this.
Our species has always relished the thought of seeing one of our own overpower and terrorize those who are at our mercy; just as many today still go to see the wild animals in the circuses forced into submission by whip and bull hook; or the bullfighting rings of Spain. Not much different than the days of the Roman coliseum where animals were brought in from all parts of the empire and forced to do tricks or massacred, much to the delight of the crowd. We have not changed much. Bread and circuses.
When I volunteered on a farm sanctuary, I knew the steers as individuals, not “things.” They were kind and gentle. They did not harm and knew no harm. Not since their rescue that is. I wish everyone would let themselves open up to the love of a farm animal living on a sanctuary. Only then, when they are free to be themselves without fear is one able to truly understand the beauty and intelligence in these animals. Maybe then we would not so easily cheer on their torment.