You’ve seen the protests and misinformed protesters picketing your favorite rodeo and Western events. You’ve seen their joyful posts on the internet talking about how they’re ‘speaking for voiceless animals’ and standing up for ‘compassion’. You may have even tried to talk to them about how they’ve been misled only to be called horrible names and seen them plug their ears and say ‘lalalalalalala’ like spoiled kindergartners.
Statistics show that 90% of the United States’ population is now urban. Recent studies also show that one in every 63 people claim ‘a deep connection to horses’. Do the math. Horses are good for everyone’s soul, but attempting to speak for them without first hand knowledge that isn’t YouTube generated is nothing short of dangerous. Would you put your life in the hands of a doctor with a YouTube education? A lawyer emotionally educated by 60 second video bytes? Of course not!
It appears that anti-rodeo activists are simply undereducated, probably have been hurt by something in their past and haven’t had the chance to be taught and healed by the animals rodeo activists love and respect. Here’s your chance to help. We won’t change the hearts of the zealots, we CAN help inform those who’d otherwise join their ranks.
- LEARN the facts. In all athletic competitions, injuries occur. Of all annual rodeo runs (timed and riding (rough stock) events, the injury rate is .0005.
- Speak intelligently and respectfully to those who believe the lies they’ve been told. We can not afford to not win their hearts and that starts with opening the dialogue. No one listens when they are being told they are stupid. When you’re responded to negatively and violently, remember that these people have been duped. No one wants to admit that, either. Keep calm, state the facts.
- Fearlessly talk about love. No one gets involved in rodeo for the money. It’s passion, love and respect we have for the community and our animals that keeps up waking up everyday to chase our dreams.
- Each one teach one. It’s your duty as a rodeo citizen to stay informed, to speak for your community, to always conduct yourself honorably. You are an ambassador and rodeo needs you now more than ever. We are indeed a rare breed, which doesn’t mean we don’t need to be inclusive in everything we do.
- Post positive! The social nets are a great way to represent what you love. Images caught in a fraction of time can be deceiving and it’s what the anti-rodeo movement depends on to scam funding from people who believe their lies. Always keep your words and imagery positive.