Opinion: What's the beef with Stampede roping, anyway?
By Jen Gerson, Calgary Herald July 11, 2010 Comments (5)
As they were setting up for the Calgary Stampede a few weeks ago, I got a taste of an annual Stampede event of a more sombre variety.
Signs and PETA pamphlets in hand, eight protesters lined a park on 17th Avenue S.W. in their attempt to ban the rodeo practice of calf roping. As I asked one about the basis of his beliefs, he looked at me and asked: "Has anyone ever told you you look just like Maria Sharapova?"
I dropped my pen, arched my eyebrow and looked in the activist's doe-like eyes, noting his long hair and hand-stitched linen vest.
Filed under the things thought, but not said: "Oh buddy, there are right trees and there are wrong trees. Right now, you're barking up one of the wrong ones."
Whether you agree with the man's stance or not, you have to respect someone who has cultivated such a diehard passion for un-winnable fights and impossible pursuits.
However, I took a decidedly less sympathetic view of the Vancouver Humane Society, which has again launched an anti-calf-roping tirade without having bothered to actually visit Stampede or talk to the calf ropers or cattle ranchers. Instead, they've told me they're basing their opinions on the reports of activists. Reliable. Read More
Unlike most animal rights activists and vegan promoters this reporter actually went to the Calgary Stampede to see for herself if the calf-roping seemed as cruel as the protesters were claiming. Unfortunately for the animal rights crowd, their crazy claims didn’t match up with reality again. This is a case study for all of us in animal agriculture. A positive outcome is almost always achieved when we are able to actually show the public what we do and why we do it. That’s why it’s so important that we are out there telling our story, we can’t let others do it for us. This is also why I always tell consumers that if they have a question about agriculture that they should ask a farmer, not Google. We are the most direct and trusted source of information about food production so we need to be available to answer the questions and show consumers first hand what we do.