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At junior livestock shows all over the United States, many of the showmen and their families and friends are cheating to win. They do it for the money and the popularity of the shows and of pigs in their area, they want to get their name out there for the best pigs. Cheating in the junior livestock show industry shows irresponsibility and that they’re just in it for the money. Revenues of the shows and profit and reputation of the show sponsors are affected because of cheating in the livestock show industry.
The point of showing is, to show responsibility, have fun, and meet people. If showmen in the big time show industry want to win, they cheat. What does it mean that people are cheating in the industry? As Andrew Hunt pointed out in an issue of The Bullvine, as the stakes and intensity of the competition get higher, for some their ethnics begin to deteriorate. Now there are some that say as long as you don’t get caught, it’s ok (Hunt). Hunt is the founder of the popular cattle magazine, The Bullvine. The showmen and parents who do cheat are going to keep doing it no matter what because they want to win. What do the showmen think of cheating as they have gotten older? “I became aware of some of the shortcuts other showmen took to gain in the show ring as I grew older. Again my parents stressed to me that if you can’t win honestly, what’s the point” (Redke). Redke grew up on a purebred Limousin (cattle breed) cattle farm. She noticed the cheating in many of the shows, but the show, and parents didn’t do anything. Cheating isn’t how Americans are supposed to be and how any child is supposed to grow up to. Cheating has started to ruin a symbol of America at its best; therefore, children learning responsibility by raising an animal, showing it, selling it for meat, and using the profits for a college education (Prodis). Cheating is ruining showing experiences and will continue to ruin the fun for the young showmen. The point of showing is, to show responsibility, have fun, and meet people, but cheating is taking the experience away. If people have to cheat to win then they aren’t showing responsibility for their family and friends the judge, or in the community.
The showmen will do anything for the best, as using drugs. They want the fame and money of winning just to show off from their cheating. “Scott McEldowney, who admitted feeding Clenbuterol to his daughter’s steer says he had to cheat to compete on a national level” (Prodis). They are all cheating to win. If they can’t do it fairly then it won’t be good for their future in the real world. Clenbuterol is neither a steroid or a hormone, it’s a very popular supplement among athletes and bodybuilders. It treats asthma and respiratory conditions, and also burns fat and builds muscle (Anabolic.Co). It’s illegal in the U.S, so if the showman gets caught, they’ll either be banned from the show, be put in jail, or both. This is also bad for the show reputation. Cheating at shows also makes the headlines for that show to go down (Hunt). The popularity of the show will go down and not as many people will come to it, because of the unfairness. Cheating can also affect people who buy the animals for meat. People in Europe who ate contaminated meat from animals given the drug were hospitalized with increased heart rates and muscle weakness in 1995 (Prodis). If an exhibitor’s animal is found with any drugs in it, they could go to jail. This also has connections in the rest of the world. Just like the ‘Deflate Gate’ with Tom Brady (Hunt). Just like him, they will do whatever it takes to win. County fairs have started to make new rules, and now the national shows need to.
What is the FDA or shows doing to put a stop to cheating? The shows have made some rule changes and added some requirements for being able to show or win shows. Some local shows have “used ultrasounds to help judges see how healthy the animals are on the inside. The judge may ask them three questions to see if the practice is unethical: Does the practice violate federal or drug laws? Does it fraudulently misrepresent the animal? Does it compromise the welfare of the animal? If the showman answer yes to any of those questions, the practice is unethical” (Benedetti). The idea is very good and may stop people in that area, but the FDA will have to do the state fairs and more popular fairs, and may stop the cheating. The shows could also take many steps to make some of the cheating stop. The show could do multiple tests on the champion animal to see if drugs were used, and or if they had them. They could also do drug and blood tests and may resolve many issues if this does take action and may stop some cheating. Small shows will start taking action and will let the authorities take over if it gets worse. If fairs don’t start watching themselves, the FDA can and will do it (Benedetti). The fair’s need to do something about cheating at fairs, and if the smaller fairs won’t, the FDA will. State fairs have taken part in the stop to cheating also. As fairs open the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials are rearing themselves with kits to detect the drug (Prodis). Drug tests are going to have to be used to see who is cheating in the industry. If there is cheating in a showing area action needs to be taken. Prodis pointed out that a state agriculture supervisor of education said that if the cheating doesn’t stop the youth show program will be gone (Prodis). As he said, the whole industry will be full of cheaters and the whole industry will be gone. And no more showing at all. Cheating in the show industry is just for the people to get money and popularity in the industry.
Revenues of the shows, profit, and reputation of the show sponsors are affected by cheating in the junior livestock show industry. If cheating continues in the livestock industry, kids will not learn responsibility and will always use the easy way out for everything. It will also soon eventually catch up with them when they can’t use the easy way out.
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