Causes of Animal Abuse on The Rodeo Arenas

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1207 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Words: 1207|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Controversial Rodeo Experience
  3. The Reality of Rodeo Animal Treatment
  4. Addressing Animal Abuse Concerns
  5. Conclusion
  6. Work Cited


When it comes to the controversial topic of rodeos, animal rights activists and rodeo supporters all have a common interest; the safety and wellbeing of the animals involved. Activists and supporters both have an undying love for animals, activists have a misconception of the sport of rodeo. Though some argue that rodeos promote animal abuse, in reality, they provide valuable opportunities for cowboys to present the skills used to handle livestock. Rodeo animals live great lives and suffer very low injury rates due to the many laws in place to protect their rights. This essay explores the causes of animal abuse and demonstrates how rodeos adhere to regulations to ensure the welfare of the animals involved. For some, a life without rodeo is a life not worth living and a rodeo without animals is no rodeo at all.

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Controversial Rodeo Experience

At the rodeo, supporters will have the opportunity to witness the many rodeo events; bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing and many of the other very popular events. During these events, there will be no signs of animal abuse or negligence. Instead, the audience will witness the affectionate displays of love and effective communication between man and animal and the respect that is held amongst the two. While attending rodeos, there will be ample opportunity to witness the daily routines of the average cowboy and their animals. Many cowboys and cowgirls had the ability to learn responsibility at a very young age and that is a valuable skill that will follow those individuals for years to come. Families within the rodeoing community always made sure that their livestock had the best training and ate the best food to ensure that their health was in the best condition to compete in the next event. Raising rodeo animals is a lot like completing a complex puzzle, although it may be a challenge in the beginning once you have every piece together it tells a beautiful story.

The Reality of Rodeo Animal Treatment

Furthermore, many professional rodeos, including California Frontier Days, has had protestors and activists up their necks with false accusations of negligence and abuse. An animal rights organization SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness) released a video of “alleged physical abuse of livestock” (Rowe). While the video did spread like a wildfire, what was shown in the film painted a twisted disturbing portrait of rodeos. As a result of that malicious film, California Frontier Days placed a ban on video cameras in 2009 to prevent the exposure of such sinister recordings (Unknown). Once the video camera ban was placed, SHARK’s president, Steve Hindi, said that there was “no intention in stopping the abuse” and the ban of video cameras only allowed such abuse to go “undocumented” (Rowe). Although SHARK’s president presents a valid argument, what Hindi fails to realize is that “rodeo is a public display of livestock handling” that is absolutely necessary when dealing with such massive and powerful animals (Laybourn). Therefore, banning video cameras from entrance into the arena was not intended to protect the claims of animal abuse because, in reality, the alleged abuse is only public displays of everyday practices. Weakening the claim that rodeo animals are abused.

In addition, many animal rights activists do not support the use of cattle prods, spurs or other devices that could possibly harm or injure the animals. The rodeo protestors believe that “[a]nimals pay a heavy price to satisfy people’s desire to play cowboy” (O’Connor). Although injury is not one hundred percent preventable, there are so many people who are ready to take action if an injury does occur, such as the best veterinarians that money can buy. Along with that, the animals are given a wellness check before and after entering the arena, which prevents a situation where an injured animal would be sent back into the arena (Laybourn). In the event than an injured animal was overlooked and sent out to compete, then the animal rights activists would have the ability to actually hold some truth to their claims of animal abuse. However, since there is no record of that ever happening, their reasons to promote a rodeo prohibition would be just as ineffective as the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920’s.

Addressing Animal Abuse Concerns

Moving forward, many Americans enjoy attending rodeo events and supporting the many generations of cowboys and cowgirls who has made a historical impact in the sport. There are many PRCA rodeos that are broadcasted on live television each year for viewers at home. Many rodeo supporters believe that the rodeo is, “wholesome family entertainment” (Rowe). In contrast to those beliefs, Peggy Larson who was once a bull rider, stated “it’s animal abuse merchandised as family entertainment” and that parents should think about the way their children feel when an animal is injured or suffers from a broken neck (Rowe). On the other hand, injury rate of rodeo animals is so low that it is almost nonexistent. In a survey done at twenty-eight PRCA rodeos, it was found that “less than one animal in 2000” animals were injured form 1993-1994 (Martinez). Since then, the PRCA has continued to update the rules and, over time, accumulated almost sixty rules specifically to protect the rights of all rodeo animals. Once again, these claims of animal abuse are just not enough to persuade the firm believers to turn their backs on the one thing that has been a constant through the many changes in their lives, rodeo.

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In conclusion, both rodeo goers and supporters as well as the many different organizations of animal rights activists all agree on one thing – they all want what they believe and know is best for the animals involved. Although the animal rights activists have their hearts in the right place, they lack complete knowledge of the sport they are protesting and fail to realize how unrealistic their wishes are in any scenario (Rowe). These rodeo animals live and eat better than most people today and are some of the healthiest animals known to man (Martinez). While roping, spurs and other equipment is used to handle large animals in times of need, and may seem morally unacceptable, when these items are used properly, the animals are being captured or tamed without any injury done to them. Along with that, the PRCA has continued to address the unethical practices and continues to analyze and make changes to their rules and regulations each year to ensure the safety of every animal involved. With an open conversation and an educated debate, both activists and supporters will both chant together, “rodeo animals are not abused!”

Work Cited

  1. Martinez, Diana Rowe. “Rodeo Animals Are Not Abused.” Greenhaven Press, 2004 and Gale 2001. 07 May 2001. Opposing Viewpoints Context. Accessed 27 Oct. 2019.
  2. O’Connor, Jennifer. “Animal Abuse at The Rodeo.” New York Times, 07, Nov. 2014. Opposing Viewpoints Context. Accessed 27 Oct. 2019.
  3. “Cheyenne Rodeo Bans Video Cameras.” The Associate Press State and Local Wire, 29 May 2009. LexisNexis Uni. Accessed 28 Oct. 2019.
  4. Rowe, Claudia. “Pros and Cons of Rodeo Roping and Riding.” The New York Times, Section 14WC; Column 3; Westchester Weekly Desk; Pg. 6. 16 Jun. 2002. LexisNexis Uni. Accessed 28 Oct. 2019.
  5. Laybourn, Pete. “Animal Use is Not Animal Abuse.” Casper Star Tribune, 30 Jul. 2013. LexisNexis Uni. Accessed 31 Oct. 2019.
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Causes of Animal Abuse on the Rodeo Arenas. (2023, August 04). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 21, 2024, from
“Causes of Animal Abuse on the Rodeo Arenas.” GradesFixer, 04 Aug. 2023,
Causes of Animal Abuse on the Rodeo Arenas. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 Feb. 2024].
Causes of Animal Abuse on the Rodeo Arenas [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Aug 04 [cited 2024 Feb 21]. Available from:
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