Is California on its way to banning rodeos? Behind the growing movement to buck the event

We know the Left has no sense of humor.  We know that do not want us to have fun—though they do love everyone using pot and drugs.  Alcohol is so yesterday.  Thanks to being WOKE, the cost of Disneyland during Christmas will be $189—not a typo—only the rich can afford this, leaving the rest of us to watch TV and stay home.

Zoos have lost animals, circuses can no longer have numerous animals.  Now the Left wants to end the rodeo.

“For those who admire a “western lifestyle,” a good rodeo performance highlights the skill, bravery and strength of a talented cowboy or cowgirl — a rider deft with a lasso, in control of wild, bucking animals, and laser-focused on a chaotic, seemingly uncontrollable task at hand. It’s this display of western grandeur, hard work, grit and sportsmanship that has likely made the Peacock series “Yellowstone” such a major hit.

But for others, the rodeo is a horror show in which terrified animals are chased around an arena, kicked by strangers, tossed onto the ground with potentially bone-crushing impact — all while loud music is blared and dozens, if not hundreds, of people yell, scream and clap from the nearby stands.

In California, there is a growing movement to ban — or seriously curtail — these kinds of performances. And lawmakers are stepping into the fray, exposing one more hot-button issue that is seemingly emblematic of the nation’s growing cultural discord.”

The Western lifestyle is also about self reliance, freedom and private actions, without government interference.  Now if the rodeo is gone from California you can always use LSD and pretend you see a rodeo.  Drugs not freedom is the motto of the California Left.


Is California on its way to banning rodeos? Behind the growing movement to buck the event

Susanne Rust, LA Times,  11/13/22 

A child wrestles with a sheep while competing in a mutton-busting competition in Westminster, Md., in 2014. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times )

Earlier this fall, Alameda County supervisors officially banned the practice of “wild cow milking” — a timed event in which a lactating beef cow, unused to human handling, has been wrangled from the fields and brought to an arena.

There, she is separated from her calf, tossed into a rodeo ring, and attacked by three or four men who rope her, pull her tail, wrestle her to the ground and try to hold her still while one of them grabs her teats and milks her.

The move comes three years after the county banned “mutton busting” — an event in which small children are placed on the backs of scared, unsaddled sheep and try to stay on while the sheep bucks, kicks and jumps to knock the child off.

“It’s animal abuse,” said Eric Mills, coordinator for Oakland’s Action for Animals, an animal welfare organization. “It’s unconscionable to treat animals this way. Can you imagine if they did this to dogs? No one would be OK with it. So why is it OK to do this to baby calves, horses and cows?”

For those who admire a “western lifestyle,” a good rodeo performance highlights the skill, bravery and strength of a talented cowboy or cowgirl — a rider deft with a lasso, in control of wild, bucking animals, and laser-focused on a chaotic, seemingly uncontrollable task at hand. It’s this display of western grandeur, hard work, grit and sportsmanship that has likely made the Peacock series “Yellowstone” such a major hit.

But for others, the rodeo is a horror show in which terrified animals are chased around an arena, kicked by strangers, tossed onto the ground with potentially bone-crushing impact — all while loud music is blared and dozens, if not hundreds, of people yell, scream and clap from the nearby stands.

In California, there is a growing movement to ban — or seriously curtail — these kinds of performances. And lawmakers are stepping into the fray, exposing one more hot-button issue that is seemingly emblematic of the nation’s growing cultural discord.

In Los Angeles, the City Council is poised to vote on legislation that would curtail, if not eliminate, rodeo events within the city. Instead of banning particular events, the legislation seeks to ban certain devices used on rodeo animals — spurs, flank straps and electric prods — that can cause pain or injury.

The legislation is sponsored by Bob Blumenfield, who represents the west San Fernando Valley.

He said he introduced the legislation because he “wanted to see what we could do in terms of trying to make Los Angeles a little bit more humane and live up to its name as the ‘city of angels.'”

San Francisco, San Juan Capistrano and Pasadena already have restrictions on rodeos, as do Pittsburgh, Leesburg, Va., and Fort Wayne, Ind.

Other states, towns, counties and countries have bans on specific events, such as the county of Baltimore, which prohibits calf roping — a sport in which a rider mounted on a horse chases a calf around an arena in an attempt to catch it.

At first the rider throws a rope around the neck of the small animal, stopping it mid-run with a forceful yank, which often tops the animal over. Then — after dismounting — the rider will try to restrain it by tying three legs together, in as short a time as possible.

For those concerned about animal welfare and abuse, these developments are hopeful; laying the groundwork for other counties, municipalities and eventually the state to adopt similar restrictions.

“When Los Angeles sneezes, the whole state catches a cold,” Blumenfield said.

For rodeo supporters, however, it’s just one more example of California’s radical progressivism — a state so out of touch with mainstream America that it’s turning its back on a tradition as hallowed as apple pie.

And it’s L.A.’s potential for contagion that has gotten Sean Gleason, chief executive and commissioner of the Professional Bull Riders, or PBR, so concerned.

“Frankly, our fans across the country have said, ‘Let them have L.A. Who cares?’” Gleason said. “The sentiment from the rest of the country is that they are just out there. Why even fight this fight? And my answer to them is this is absolutely the place to fight them.”

Tim Baldwin, chairman of the Livestock Welfare Committee for the California Rodeo Salinas — the largest rodeo in California — agreed.

“I understand that emotions run high on many issues currently, and I hate to use the phrase ‘culture wars,’ but these ordinances tend to stroke that division,” he said.

During an August hearing in Alameda County, rodeo proponents suggested that the wild cow milking ban and a proposed device-restricting ordinance were the products of extremists who sought to cancel American culture and tradition, outlaw agriculture, and embrace communism and Marxism.

“The fact that these bleeding hearts get on here and try, once again, to destroy the American way of life is pathetic,” said Jackie Cota, president of the Tri-Valley Republicans and a Livermore resident. “These are the same people who’ve made you wear those muzzles on your mouth right now. They want to control you for no reason and tell you there is a deadly virus without providing you with any proof for the last two years. They are Marxists.”

Animal activists, on the other hand, described the treatment of rodeo animals as inhumane and violent — suggesting such events are celebrations of domination and cruelty.

“Why are we allowing children to witness men and women forcefully dominate and abuse animals?” asked Kristina Verdile, a tenured history teacher who lives in Pleasanton and runs a rescue home for abused farm animals.

While supervisors for Alameda County — home of the liberal-leaning cities of Oakland and Berkeley — voted to prohibit wild cow milking in the county’s unincorporated areas, they unanimously voted to amend the ordinance and remove the device ban.

There are roughly 40 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Assn. events annually throughout the state. That number doesn’t include Professional Bull Riders events or the scores of more informal community rodeos and charrerias, which take place almost daily throughout the summer.

Wild cow milking and mutton busting are not sanctioned at Professional Rodeo Cowboys Assn. events and are not part of the PBR format, but they are found at smaller, local rodeos, including at Rowell Ranch, which is in unincorporated Alameda County.

“Folks sometimes underestimate the popularity of rodeo,” said Baldwin, citing statistics showing that roughly 6.3 million people attend professional rodeos nationally each year, and that 43 million Americans identify as rodeo fans.

Gleason said professional bull riding is one of the fastest growing sports in the nation and that it claims more than 82 million fans “that watch us on television, come to our events, or engage with us otherwise.”

Esteban Escobedo, an L.A.-based charro, can attest to the popularity. And he’s worried about how the ordinance could affect his community. He said although the L.A. ordinance would have minimal immediate effect — only about a handful of charro events take place within city limits every year — the harm would come later.

“And then what? This is our tradition. It’s our way of life,” he said, adding that a ban would be devastating for young children and teens who are dedicated to the sport and charro community.

Charros are Mexican horse riders, or cowboys. Events often include dancing and rodeo performances, which can be done as a team sport, known as a charreada, or by a solo rider.

California already regulates rodeos. Penal code Sec. 596.7 requires, among other things, the presence of a veterinarian, or one nearby and “on-call.” Injury reports must then be sent to the state’s veterinary medical board. Rhode Island also requires that a vet be present or on call, but only California demands reporting.

Requests for those reports were not immediately forthcoming. A spokesman for the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs said that although his agency collects this information, it has not been organized or quantified in a way that can be summarized or released to the public.

Baldwin and Gleason say these sports pose relatively little risk to the animals. They say they are concerned about the safety and well-being of their animals, and point to regulations established by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Assn. and PBR designed to ensure animals aren’t injured.

“What I’m saying is, if animal rights activists were successful in shutting down bull riding — through this argument that there’s some kind of torture that doesn’t exist — I assure you these animals have zero purpose and they’d be turned into hamburger within a week,” Gleason said. “Because nobody is going to keep them around to stand around on the farm and live a natural life.”

He said while maybe a dozen bulls have had to be euthanized in the three decades since PBR was established, hundreds of thousands of cows and steer die at the hands of wolves, foxes and domesticated dogs every year. And if they don’t get felled by natural predators, they will “end up in the food chain.”

Animal activists say such arguments are nonsense. Not only are rodeo animals at risk of injury when they perform, but they say they are terrorized for human entertainment.

At a Virginia bull riding event in September, a bull with a rider on its back fell to the ground after charging out of the chute, crushing its leg beneath its body. Video shows the animal struggling to rid itself of the rider, bucking and kicking while its injured leg dangles at an angle below.

And Mills, the animal rights activist from Oakland, said the reason California legislators drafted the state’s rodeo law was because of the large number of injuries, including a 1995 Salinas rodeo performance in which five animals died or had to be euthanized: three horses, a steer and a calf.

“Call it what you want,” said Matt Rossell, campaigns manager for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “But rodeos are nothing other than legalized animal cruelty.”

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Marie L Roberson says

    This won’t go over very well in Oakdale CA rodeo capital in the Central Valley. Bunch of Communist again pushing their progressive agenda.

    • Agree. These ‘people’ are scum of the earth.

      This move is more of the ridiculous ‘cancel culture’ wokism mumbo-jumbo of the far left.

      REJECT IT NOW.

    • Akin to dog, cock, and bull fights, rodeo’s animal cruelty and abusive events are crimes that should be cited and prosecuted as felonies. Rodeo exemplifies collusion of promoters, stock providers, and contestants as being complicit by participating and/or promoting these crimes. They may claim “it’s tradition,” but NONE of the abusive and cruel events were ever practiced on ranches. As with other illegal animal “fights,” in many states attendees are also cited as accessories to the crime.
      Flank straps, tasers, wire pokes, doping, and a slew of sadistic, clandestine animal abuses, were never used on ranches. Jerking calves’ necks, picking up and slamming these innocent babies to the ground, choking via a tight line to the horse, etc., were never how they were treated on any ranch. Ranchers would never risk profit losses from injuries, and any perps would be fired…or worse.
      Many obvious rodeo animal injuries are dismissed via obnoxious bogus announcements, “Ah, don’t worry, ya all; he’ll be fine….” NO, the animal will not be fine with wounds that should be treated and/or injuries that require euthanasia. Often they are “stored” to suffer alive in a stock trailer far from where they’ll be noticed, because IF they have no pain-killing drugs in them, they may still have some greedy worth for slaughter. Equally tragic are rodeo-event “practice” sessions held in remote private areas where injured or little-market-value calves, or other livestock headed for slaughter, are used over and over until they drop.
      Bottom line: Rodeo animals are not the violent, dangerous beasts that rodeo hypes them to be in order to snooker the public. Instead, rodeo stock must be forced into a state of “fight or flight” with pain inflicted via “elements of torture” (a few mentioned above).
      The time is now: All rodeo needs to be banned, and California legislators and governor should have the moral and ethical integrity to create a law to do just that.

  2. Rico Lagattuta says

    Plain and simple, this is animal cruelty and Rodeos should be banned! As for Disney Land prices, this is a business and the business has the right to set their price of a ticket as they see fit.

  3. UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

  4. Ummm, there is sex trafficking, illegals crossing the border (and yes, some of them commit terrible crimes), drugs crossing the border killing US citizens, slavery of HUMANS in the US and other parts of the world, so much is so wrong with the US and CA govt and this is what they are worried about? Livestock being used for rodeos. Really? Deal with the real problems.

  5. Paint Brush says

    In the great scheme of serious problems in America, picking on Rodeo’s seems a bit stupid. How many of those who are complaining have ever attended a rodeo or talked to the event participants? Do these same people watch national football where at least two men are sent to the hospital during the season, or do they watch hockey where the violence is really escalated and serious, injurious fights break out? Do they watch pro-wrestling and boxing? Do they really think that if the animals were harmed that there would be any left to take to a rodeo? Another example of the down trodden, boring, followers of a nothingness mental state of socialism and obedience to the ideal where there is no fun, no individualism, no creativity, no nothing but worn out miserable people doing nothing but complaining. Uninformed people can be expected to act this way.

    • Eric Mills, coordinator ACTION FOR ANIMALS - Oakland says

      Since when was concern about animal welfare considered “stupid”? I’ve been working on rodeo issues for narly 40 years now. I was present at the 1995 California Rodeo/Salinas when FIVE animals were killed. A roping calf who suffered a broken back in a “jerk down’ was not immediately euthanized, but simply trucked off to slaughter, terrified and in agony. I was told it took two days. I asked the attending veteriniarian if any painkillers were administered. “No,” he responded, “that would ruin the meat.” His license should have been revoked for malpractice, of course. Only in the aftermath of the mayhem did the PRCA begin to require on-site vets at all their sanctioned events. The great majoritiy of the estimated 5,000 annual U.S. rodeos don’t even provide this basic care, to their ever-lasting shame. Rodeo is not a “sport”–it’s a mostly bogus, brutal exercise in DOMINATION. It needs to end, and legislation is in order every year in every state. Until that happy day, BOYCOTT ALL RODEOS, THEIR CORPORATE SPONSORS & ADVERTISERS. Follow the money.

      SEE PRIZE-WINNING VIDEO: http://www.buckingtradition.com

  6. Richard Wahl says

    Plain and simple. I could not have said it better. The snow flakes should get out of their “cry closets” and go see animals in their environments. Bulls fight bulls. If they have horns they rip each others’ hides and gore each other. Cowboys don’t do damage to bulls. Horses “love” to run. Horse racing is animal cruelty? Really? Sometimes cows abandon their calves and refuse to nurse them. Animal cruelty? Nature is very “cruel”.

    Clovis will also put up a fight after hosting rodeos for 100 years or so.

  7. Be aware that EVERY animal welfare organization in North America condemns rodeo due to its inherent cruelty. It’s said that the single biggest lobby in the U.S. is comprised of people who care about animals. Many of those folks are dyed-in-the-wool Republicans.
    Rodeo has almost NOTHING to do with ranching, it’s mostly hype. Working ranch hands never routinely rode bulls, or wrestled steers, or rode bareback, or barrel raced, or practiced calf roping (terrified BABIES) as a timed event. And they certainly did not put flank straps on the bulls & horses, or work them over in the holding chutes with painful “hotshots,” kicks and slaps. SOME “SPORT”! Indeed, rodeo is not a “sport” at all. That term denotes willing, evenly-matched participants. Rodeo does not qualify. Rather, it’s a bogus, macho exercise in DOMINATION. It needs to end. For the majority of these exploited and abused creatures the rodeo arena is merely a detour en route to the slaughterhouse.
    The United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales) outlawed all of rodeo back in 1934, followed by Germany and the Netherlands. Can the U.S. be far behind? LEGISLATION IS IN ORDER TO END THIS CRUELTY NATIONWIDE. Until that happy day, BOYCOTT ALL RODEOS, THEIR CORPORATE SPONSORS & ADVERTISERS. Follow the money.
    SEE VIDEO – http://www.buckingtradition.com

  8. Peggy W Larson, DVM MS JD says

    As a former bareback bronc rider, pathologist and large animal veterinarian, I have both the experience and autopsy proof that rodeo injures and kills animals. Dr. Robert Bay from Colorado autopsied roping calves and found hemorrhages, torn muscles, torn ligaments, damage to the trachea, damage to the throat and damage to the thyroid. These calves never get a chance to heal before they are used again. Meat inspectors including Drs. Haber and Fetzner who processed rodeo animals found broken bones, ruptured internal organs, massive amounts of blood in the abdomen from ruptured blood vessels and damage to the ligamentum nuchae that holds the neck to the rest of the spinal column.

    Animals and humans share the same pain and fear centers in the brain.   The fear center is the amygdala.   The pain centers are the pre-frontal cortex and the hypothalamus.   Animals feel pain and fear the same as humans! Time for rodeo to end.

  9. This is not about right wing or liberal points of view! This is simple the inhumane treatment of innocent animals so rodeos can make enormous amounts of money. Terrified animals are used and abused in rodeos and if people had to submit their own dogs to be in rodeos, they would scream animal cruelty! Look into their eyes! It is just crazy that humans think they can justify harming animals for entertainment and profit. Ban rodeos now as they have done in many countries! Teach children that animas feel pain and joy and want to be safe just like they do. It is time to stop the suffering now!

  10. Tormenting animals for “fun” in the rodeo is condemned by anyone with a conscience.

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