Sunday, January 30, 2005


Boulder, Colorado is a unique city with liberal leanings toward animal rights, vegetarianism, and the environment, where tree-hugging hippies are embraced as enthusiaticically as the trees themselves. Boulder loves the Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism and Eastern religions. Now enter Wayne Laugesen, who writes for a local paper entitled "Boulder Weekly." Wayne is a self-styled hunter and self-proclaimed rancher, a conservative writer who relishes every opportunity to set straight these animal rights people and ridicule the city of Boulder.

In Wayne's world, self-imposed violence against many animals is justified, and he teaches his children how and why he shoots prairie dogs. (Cats in Microwaves, Jan. 1-7, 2005). Wayne states, "I like prairie dogs and do not shoot most of them." Imagine what torture he'd commit against animals that he didn't like. How much is not shooting most prairie dogs? Is shooting a hundred enough? Is a thousand enough? How about five thousand? Maybe we should marvel at Wayne's self restraint for not killing every prairie dog he sees.

Many people, including me, would sell the family ranch instead of killing innocent animals. Or, better yet, we'd choose not to live on a ranch in the first place. Perhaps we'd build a fence, but we would NOT shoot these animals! If Wayne stated that he enjoys killing prairie dogs because he gets sadistic pleasure from it, or that he considers them vermin, at least he'd be honest with himself, his children, and his readers.

We've all heard the tired stories about coyotes killing livestock and prairie dogs invading ranches and how they must be controlled. Every animal killer has used similar, worn-out rationales, resulting in untold misery for countless animals. Ranchers and hunters kill animals for fun, and they have disdain for animals they consider "vermin" which include prairie dogs, and they also hate "varmints" which include coyotes. I have also read that hunters and ranchers can and will shoot stray dogs and cats, which contradicts Wayne's fanciful notion of hunters respecting animals.

Wayne states that he "humanely" kills prairie dogs by shooting them in half with well-placed bullets. Only someone with a hunter's mentality could imagine that cutting animals in half with bullets is humane. Wayne coddles his conscience - or lack of it - by indulging in this fanciful notion of humane bullet-killing. It is truly amazing how casually some people can inflict misery on other beings.

Wayne tells his own children that humans have "a right to kill animals they intend to eat. " Really? This seems to be another case of God said we can take what we want - so let's kill it
and grill it! Have fun, God is on your side! But how does Wayne KNOW that humans have a right to kill and eat animals? Is Wayne on a higher plane of consciousness where God is blissfully smiling down on all this remorseless animal killing? Is Wayne in communion with God, and therefore knows how pleased the Creator is to have his creatures butchered and eaten?

The early cowboys imagined the world of living beings as a heirarchy, with God sitting at the top and man right below the Creator. This self-serving interpretation of the scriptures gave ranchers a presumed God-given right to use animals as they pleased: rodeo and ranching certainly reflect this belief. But where is it written that Christians must or should eat meat? Where is it written that Jesus was a hunter or champion bull rider? Where is it written that killing and butchering animals is the road to heaven? A careful study of the lives of Christian saints reveals that none of them indulged in animal killing or animal abuse and many, many saints were fond of animals.

Indeed, untold millions of sentient beings have suffered immensely over the centuries because of ungodly people inflicting pain, misery, injustice and death in the name of their Almighty. Historically, people have rationalized their ungodly behavior. They will use any rationale - religion or philosophy -as an excuse to conquer, exploit, subjugate, discriminate, or inflict pain.

I believe that teaching children to respect ALL animals is the superior goal. If Wayne truly wants to set a moral example for his children, he should teach them to respect all animals
- including prairie dogs - and not make lame excuses to destroy these innocent creatures.

- By Scott Palczak

Sunday, January 23, 2005


In his hyperbloodthirsty book about God, guns and hunting, Ted Nugent leaves the reader with the strong and accurate perception that he loves to kill animals. He is addicted to killing animals as strongly as some people are addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Ted Nugent lives in a world of self-imposed violence against animals. He and his tribe of bloodthirsty fans have gone over the top in their zeal to inflict pain on sentient beings. Nugent is a pathological animal killer and animal hater. He's deficient regarding conscience in his brutal mistreatment of animals, admits to shooting stray cats and dogs, and seems to have major psychological problems regarding animals and God knows what else.

Hunters have admitted to their need to kill, but this compulsive urge to destroy sentient life is neither necessary nor desireable. Nugent has created his "Kamp for Kids" where - like their motor-city- madman mentor - they can cultivate the desire to kill, stalk, mutilate, shoot or whatever else they do in a madman's camp. Wanton animal slaughter seems fun and normal to hunters, ranchers and others who view animals as trivial resources that exist for human pleasure and convenience.

The creepy vulgarian from Detroit has the insolence to teach children about hunting. Teaching children that brutalizing wildllife is a fun and meaningful pastime only encourages them to abuse animals as objects of sacrifice to compensate for feelings of impotence. Personal power should come from teaching children self control, introspection, and decency toward all animals instead of resorting to killing as a means of satisfaction. Many child hunters will grow up addicted to killing animals. Contrary to what hunters claim, a large percentage will become animal haters. Some will become poachers. Aren't enough animals being killed in North America? Is there a shortage of animal suffering in the United States? Is our society so crass as to believe that killing animals is a positive influence?

Unknowingly, Nugent has highlighted an important point concerning society's maltreatment of animals. He violently abuses his prey in a manner that is no worse than cattle or chickens being slaughtered in a "processing plant." Many laboratory animals are subjected to redundant and unnecessary proceedures on par with Nugent's hideous violence against animals. BILLIONS of animals - in factory farms, laboratories, rodeos, wildlands and ranches - bear the brunt of human malevolence, and it never ends.

There are dozens of ways to teach children the value of life, including true respect for wildlife and the great outdoors. Hunters have largely ruined their own reputation by trespassing, poaching, exceeding bag limits, scaring wildlife, hikers and campers with loud gunfire, shooting at no hunting signs, killing domesticated animals, hunting animals with ATVs, and leaving trash around hunting camps. Hundreds of large and small newspapers across the United States have sanctioned this self-serving nonsense with their "outdoor writers."

In his exceptional book "Dominion," Mathew Scully relates a scene from Nugent's video "Down to Earth": "Mr. Nugent kneels and sarcastically asks for a 'moment of silence' while the viewer is treated to close-up, slow motion replays of hits, including sickening footage of some animals that clearly were gut shot or otherwise sloppily wounded. People dance around their kill, inflicting unmitigated torture on a deer, just plain 'pumped' by the twang and thrashing and gurgling and gut shots."

". . . First thing I slayed . . . I was nine years old. It was a squirrel, these ladies were feeding it, you know, and I said, 'excuse me, bam." No it wasn't a pet squirrel. I had it stuffed and petted it for years after that." - WRIF-FM, Detroit, Ted Nugent as guest D.J., September 26, 1991

"I contribute to the dead of winter and the moans of silence, blood trails are music to my ears . . . I'm a gut pile addict . . . The pig didn't know I was there . . . it's my kick . . . I love shafting animals . . . it's rock 'n' roll power." - Ted Nugent's World Bowhunters Magazine , Volume 1/Number 4, May 1990, p.12

Nobody hunts just to put meat on the table because it's too expensive, time consuming and extremely inconsistent. - Ted Nugent's World Bowhunters Magazine, Volume 1/Number 3, March/April 1990. pg. 7

"On my first bowhunt on the property a few years back, I was on my own for twenty-two days and killed an amazing thirty-three head of big game. I'm surprised I even came home. I was in heaven." - Ted Nugent's World Bowhunters magazine, Volume 1/Number 3, March/April 1990, pg. 15

Nugent fancies himself, among other things, a writer and he wrote an autobiographical book some years ago about God, guns and hunting. Page after page is stuffed with descriptions of killing, wounding, shooting, and chasing a wide variety of unfortunate creatures who crossed his path. And his obvious contempt for animals such as raccoons and jackrabbits is matched only by his love of killing them.

Nugent proudly relates that during a hog hunting foray he took a rest and spied a jackrabbit sitting about 100 yards away. He eagerly dispatched the poor animal with a handgun for no intelligible reason. By his own account, he does the same to raccoons - which he calls vermin - and he says the only good one is a dead one. In Nugent's twisted brain any excuse or no excuse at all is good enough reason to extinguish the lives of innocent animals.

The book "Abnormal Psychology and Modern Life," (pg. 562) states, "Perhaps more directly relevant are experiences in which individual infliction of pain on an animal or another person has given rise to sexual excitement. We have noted elsewhere the connection between strong emotional and sexual stimulation . . ."

Which leads to Ted Nugent's claim that he and his Labrador retriever get a "full predator spiritual erection" from "pursing bears, lions, coons, housecats, escaped chimps, small children, scared women, and everything else that can be chased and /or hunted."

In his hyperbloodthirsty autobiographical book on God, guns and hunting, Nugent claims that feral dogs and cats were at "epidemic numbers" in 1970 and sportsmen knew "instinctively" that their numbers had to be reduced. Imagine grown men (and a few women) with nothing more intelligent or productive to do than shoot stray dogs or cats. The brave, vigilant Nugent himself doesn't hesitate to shoot stray dogs and cats and this he does under the guise of preventing the spread of rabies. - By Scott Palczak

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


It seems that wild horses are in the news again. The petroleum and cattle industries want to remove - permanently - these increasingly rare symbols of the American West. Conrad Burns (R-Montana) cleverly attached rider 142 into the Federal Appropriations Bill and this bill removes decades of legal protection for the mustangs and instructs the BLM to sell for slaughter huge numbers of wild horses.

In the United States, ranchers claim that 20,000 to 36,000 wild horses are causing overgrazing on OUR public lands, while they manage to ruin millions of acres with their SIX MILLION head of cattle. I'd wager that six million cattle have done infinitely more damage than several thousand wild horses. Will it ever occur to ranchers that most of the Western states are too sparse and dry to graze large numbers of cattle?

Specifically, Rider 142 instructs the BLM to sell for slaughter all wild horses over 10 years of age, as well as younger horses that have been offered unsuccessfully for adoption three times. This means that 14,000 wild mustangs will become horsemeat in January, to be followed by thousands more. According to the BLM's own estimates, there are only 36,000 wild horses on public lands in the west, a figure activists say is ridiculously high.

Speaking of killing wild horses, I found in my files an article from Outdoor Life magazine (Feb., 2001) promoting the idea of shooting mustangs and burros to increase bighorn sheep and mule deer populations. If hunters truly want to increase bighorn sheep and mule deer herds, they should STOP HUNTING these animals and spend their hunting license money on restoring habitat. Here's a portion of the article from Outdoor Life:

"In 1971, Congress passed the Wild and Free-Roaming Horse and Burro protection Act, reacting to the unregulated slaughter of these animals for the pet-food market. But the legislation hand-cuffed state wildlife agancies from managing these two introduced species. Now California hunting groups are asking the managers of the East Mojave National Preserve to institute a feral burro hunting program to manage burros rather than waste money with capture - and - relocation efforts."

Leave it to those caring, conservation-minded sportsmen to hatch a shameless scheme that includes shooting wild burros. There seems to be a nagging fear among hunters that they're overlooking a potential living target. It isn't enough that they shoot at mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, jackrabbits, coyotes, prairie dogs and who knows what else. - By Scott Palczak

Saturday, January 15, 2005


Within society, there are conflicting ideas and philosophies as to how animals should be treated by humans. At one end of the spectrum are rabid animal killers, contrasted with people who feed birds or volunteer at animal shelters.

Personally, I have never intentionally killed an animal, and I harbor absolutely no fantasies about shooting or injuring animals. In the deepest recesses of my psyche, in my darkest memories, I have found no inclination, no desire to harm animals; on the contrary, I help as many animals as I can. As a society, we do not require a single slaughterhouse, fur coat, rodeo or hunting season, nor do we need to experiment on animals or butcher bovines. Virtually all of this mass exploitation that we take for granted is unnecessary.

From my perspective, the goal of animal rights activism is to eliminate or reduce to a minimum all intentional, and sometimes unintentional, human-caused animal suffering, specifically cruelty toward vertebrates. This is an ongoing, uphill struggle to say the least. Being a strict vegetarian or vegan greatly reduces animal suffering.

Dr. Michael Fox , Ph.D. , former vice president of the Humane Society of the United States, has written some interesting books on animal rights. He writes about Stephen Kellert who conducted a well known survey concerning American attitudes toward animals:

"In the United States today, there is, according to Stephen Kellert, a clear division in people's attitudes toward animals which correlates with where they live and how educated they are. Rural people and those who regularly attend church have predominantly utilitarian and dominionistic attitudes, while urban people and those not affiliated with organized religion have predominantly esthetic, humanistic and moralistic attitudes."

Kellert suggests that: "the most common attitudes toward animals in contemporary American society, by a large margin, are the humanistic, moralistic, utilitarian and negativistic attitudes. In many respects, these attitudes can be subsumed under two broad and conflicting dimensional perceptions of animals. The moralistic and utilitarian attitudes clash around the theme of human exploitation of animals. The former opposes many exploitative uses of animals involving death and presumed suffering (e.g., hunting, trapping, whaling, and laboratory experiments), while the latter endorses such utilization, or other humane activities which might adversely affect animals, if significant human material benefits result."

Michael Fox continues, "Of particular concern and significance are Kellert's findings that regular churchgoers have predominantly negativistic, utilitarian and dominionistic attitudes toward animals compared to nonchurchgoers, who have a more humanistic and moralistic regard for animals."

Stephen Kellert wrote: "Strong differences also existed in concern for the ethical treatment and exploitation of animals and their natural habitats. Specifically, those rarely or never participating in formal religious activities scored far higher on moralistic and lower on the utilitarian scales than respodents who attended services at least once a week. Nonparticipants, in fact, had among the highest moralistic scores of any demographic group, an empathic concern for the rights of animals also reflected in extremely low dominionistic scores."

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


It's no state secret that humans are enamored with food, sex, greed, and other vices or virtues, depending on their point of view. To some people, a virtue is a vice and vice versa. The slightest dietary self-sacrifice is viewed as too radical and the driving force in modern society is satisfaction of the senses. To be satiated every waking hour is a worthy, attainable goal. Let nothing stop you! You CAN do it!

Americans have a gnawing fear of being underfed. Their stomachs - but not their souls - are being satiated beyond any rational limit. Just listen to the incessant blathering eminating from television commercials, all of them hungry for your money, and ready to fill bloated stomachs with double-bacon cheeseburgers, french fries and double-layered pizzas oozing with saturated fat and cholesterol. Is it any wonder that heart disease, cancer and strokes are the leading killers in the United States?

Don't forget that vegans virtually never get heart attacks, or that vegetarians get 50 percent less cancer, and they have lower rates of all major diseases. Don't forget that vegans and vegetarians spare millions of animals from senseless slaughter and that rainforests are gutted, charred and turned into grazing wastelands to satisfy overfed Americans and Europeans.

To be a vegan or strict vegetarian as opposed to consuming flesh and dairy products is a serious decision. Elderly and middle-aged people often are - and should be - concerned abouth their health. The vast majority of diseases are self-inflicted and the standard American diet is a form of slow poisoning. Heart disease alone kills approximately 600,000 Americans every year, yet this disease is easily preventable and even reversible with a low-fat, healthy vegan diet.

In the book " Animal Experimentation: A Harvest of Shame," the author states that according to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 80 PERCENT of all cancers are preventable. Smoking, excess dietary fat, environmental pollutants, low fiber in the diet predispose human bodies to cancer. We should all know this by now! Meat and dairy products consumers have TEN TIMES the risk of contracting colon cancer when compared to pure vegetarians. For men who eat meat and dairy products, prostate cancer is 3.6 times higher than in pure vegetarians. These are not statistics that you're getting from KFC and McDonald's commercials.

Coronary heart disease and its end result, heart attacks - the leading killer of American men and women - is almost 100 PERCENT preventable. Cholesterol levels can be decreased by reducing both saturated fat and animal protein while eating more plant protein.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman explains in his book "Eat to Live" : "Research shows that those who avoid meat and dairy have lower rates of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. The data is conclusive: vegetarians live longer in America, probably a lot longer. Remember, long-term vegans almost never get heart attacks." To quote a respected authority, William Castelli, M.D., director of the famed Framingham Heart Study, "We tend to scoff at vegetarians, but they're doing much better than we are. Vegans have cholesterol levels so low, they almost never get heart attacks." And that's serious food for thought.

Saturday, January 08, 2005


Mark Twain wrote about human nature: "I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the "lower" animals, and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me. For it obliges me to renounce my allegiance to the Darwinian theory of the Ascent of Man from the Lower Animals, since it now seems plain to me that theory ought to be vacated in favor of a new and truer one, this new and truer one to be named the Descent of Man from the Higher Animals."
- Letters from the Earth pg. 223

If pleasure and pain are the determining factors that make something an object of moral concern, then it logically follows that animals can and do feel pain and so they deserve to be objects of moral consideration. Now, a person may argue that mammals and birds feel no pain. But this ridiculous notion can be disproved by studying animals' reactions to stimuli. We also cannot feel another person's pain, no matter how great that pain may be. If someone says they are in pain, we can simply label his or her statement as innacurate, or false, or we can call them liars, etc. So, we cannot absolutely prove that any human or animal feels pain.

But most rational, logical people sense that animals can feel pain and that in itself entitles animals to moral considerations. These considerations can be legal protection or the simple knowledge that inflicting pain on any creature - human or animal - is wrong. Every minute of every day, people victimize other humans and animals. Sometimes its caused by greed, anger, hatred, lust or the simple desire to fill one's stomach, but this human aggression is a sad fact of life.

We do not, for instance, shoot retarded people because they are less intelligent than we are. Nor do we beat helpless children because they misbehave. We should not exterminate senile grandparents living in nursing homes because they are feeble-minded and cannot read or write . So it logically follows that animals - who also feel pain - should not be abused because thay are considered less intelligent than we are. This way of life is called "ahimsa" in Buddhism and Hinduism, and it means to refrain from harming any creature. Ahimsa is a logical and thoughtful way to live.

Friday, January 07, 2005


People are crazy enough - or deluded enough - to put their faith in that crazy Atkins diet. They actually believe that eating liberal quantities of meat, dairy, cheese, eggs and butter has no health consequences! What a convenient fantasy! Robert Atkins himself had suffered a heart attack while eating one of his artery-clogging, fat-laden breakfasts on April 25, 2002. But he and his cardiologist said it was not diet related! Atkins was also clinically obese at the time of death. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that massive quantities of satured fat and cholesterol will eventually wreak revenge on the human body. I'd like to see a single legitimate study showing that Atkins dieters are living long and healthy lives.

Numerous studies have shown that vegetarians have much lower rates of cancer (50%) and other major diseases. And a healthy vegan has virtually no chance of getting a heart attack -
the leading cause of death in America.

Americans are so shameless in their appetites that heartburn medications are one of the leading drugs in the United States. Soon, the U.N. may have to airlift tons of Rolaids and Tums to medicate bloated and constipated Americans. An entire country has become paranoid of carbs.They're not paranoid about eating vast quantities of meat, dairy and eggs - but carbs!

Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine reports: "The signs are clear. Mountains of low-carb pasta are piling up in warehouses. Low-carb companies are slimming down their payrolls. And the creator of the South Beach Diet is scrambling to distance himself from the low-carb label.

The fad is going bad, according to pollsters, business analysts, and media outlets like the New York Times, which recently reported that the number of Americans following low-carb diets has dropped about 50 percent from a year ago.

As a nutritionist, I can’t pretend to be upset at seeing this boom go bust. Of the many unhealthy ways to lose weight, low-carbing is one of the worst. These high-fat, meat-heavy diets can increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other serious medical problems."

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


I recently read Audubon Magazine (Jan.-Feb. 2005) and one of its writers, Ted Williams, also writes for hook-and-bullet magazines. His belief is that enviros and hunters should build a bridge, mend fences and become friends. To this idea I've written the following essay.

Hunters have largely ruined their own reputation by trespassing, poaching, exceeding bag limits, scaring wildlife, hikers and campers with loud gunfire, shooting at no hunting signs, killing domesticated animals, chasing animals with ATVs and leaving their trash around hunting camps. Recently, hunters are pushing for aerial gunning of wolves in Alaska, according to Defenders of Wildlife Magazine (Spring 2004). Hunters and their wildlife manager lackeys have created the enormous white-tailed deer herds in the Eastern states while they slowly drive mule deer in Western states toward extinction. Oh, did I mention they love to shoot coyotes, too?

In May, 2005, the anti-conservation Alaskan Board of Game voted to expand the state’s barbaric aerial gunning program to include grizzly bears. Now, in addition to the hundreds of wolves already slaughtered, up to 81 bears could be killed this year.

A Dec. 29, 2004 Associated Press article stated that "some environmentalists are concerned about grizzlies in and around Yellowstone National Park, where run-ins with hunters accounted for nearly half the grizzly bear deaths in 2004. Hunters acting in self-defense accounted for at least seven of the 19 human-caused deaths in the Yellowstone region this year (2004)." Now, I'll ask the reader, does this seem like conservation to you?

Last night I was rummaging through my vast animal rights files when I uncovered a letter that I had published in my local newspaper a few years ago. I was responding to an article written by a hunter who wanted to bring back bounty payments on coyotes. My anti-hunting, anti-bounty letter reads as follows:

Tim Fitzgerald's article "Bring back the bounty on coyotes" is typical of a hunter posing as a conservationist. Fitzgerald actually believes that paying hunters and ranchers to shoot coyotes will bring mule deer back to their glory days.

Yet, hunters and ranchers already enjoy a year-round open season on coyotes. Government wildlife killers also partake in this coyote-killing bloodfest. The clever canines, however, respond to all this butchery by producing more pups that survive to maturity - therefore, killing more coyotes begets more coyotes! Consider too, that destroying large numbers of coyotes will increase rabbit and rodent populations - further imbalancingColorado's already mutilated ecology.

Every hunter should know by now that mule deer, ultimately, are not limited by predation, but by quality and quantity of habitat. Every dollar spent on liquidating coyotes is one less dollar spent on restoring habitat. The real problem is that Colorado has too much sprawl, too many elk, and too many hunters.

In Fitzgerald's mind, killing more animals is the way to "solve" wildlife problems. Colorado's mountains have become a giant state-run game ranch plagued with poachers and hunters who "bag" too many deer, especially bucks. Every year, this state sacrifices huge amounts of land - and wildlife - to a virtual army of 330,000 wildlife killers. And now, these same hunters want to be rewarded for killing even more wildlife.

If hunters truly want to help mule deer, they should forgo their fall slaughter season, and spend their license money on preserving habitat. - By Scott Palczak

Monday, January 03, 2005


With the National Western Stockshow and Rodeo due to arrive in Denver, I've compsed my thoughts about rodeo cruelty against animals and the ranching mentality. Even though many rodeo cowboys are not from rural areas, these people share the rodeo/ranching ethos that animals should be exploited for human purposes, no matter how trivial they may be.
In the United states alone, ranchers can legally access 260 million acres of public lands, most of which have been ruined by over 120 years of grazing. Ranching has the distasteful distinction of ruining more wildlife habitat and native vegetation than any other land use. It seems that wherever wild animals are abused - whether it be for sport or profit - nature is abused.
Ranchers live in a world of self-imposed violence against animals. American ranchers continually shoot, trap, poison or persecute the following wild animals: coyotes, prairie dogs, mountain lions, bobcats, golden eagles, bighorn sheep, bison, wild horses, burros, jackrabbits and even ravens. Most are killed simply for sport. And don't forget roping, dragging, branding and castrating helpless calves. It appears that animal cruelty is a preferred lifestyle for some people. Ranching people are hunters and like hunters they share a notion that animals must be "controlled," which is part of their addictive thinking process. So-called "wildlife management"and ranching share the same goal of using animals as resources that must be managed or controlled.
We've all heard the tired stories about coyotes killing livestock and prairie dogs invading ranches and how they must be "controlled." Every animal killer has used similar, worn-out rationales, resulting in untold misery for countless animals.
Ranchers and hunters underestimate the intelligence of people who are not animal killers. We know that ranchers and hunters kill animals for fun and they have disdain for animals they consider "vermin" which include prairie dogs and they also hate "varmints" which include coyotes. I have also read that hunters and ranchers can and will shoot stray dogs and cats, which contradicts any fanciful notion of hunters respecting animals.
Many people, including myself, would sell the family ranch instead of killing innocent animals who have as much right to live as I do. Or, better yet, we'd choose not to live on a ranch in the first place. Perhaps we'd build a fence, but we definitelywould NOT shoot animals! - By Scott Palczak

Sunday, January 02, 2005


Every January, the media in Colorado touts the National Western Stockshow and Rodeo in Denver as some kind of wonderful event. There's an undeniably crude, low-brow mentality about stock shows and rodeos. Rodeos are a malignant relic of the Old West, promoting the age-old idea of humans dominating and competing with animals.
Rodeo association rules are not effective in preventing animal injuries, nor are they strictly enforced (read previous posting about two horses killed). Here are a few sordid facts:
Rodeos routinely use "flank" or "bucking" straps on their animals, which are tightly cinched around the animal's abdomen, where there is no rib cage protection. This belt pinches the groin, creating enough pain to cause the animal to buck. Bucking broncs also frequently have open sores where they are repeatedly gouged with spurs.
Calves roped when running up to 27 mph have their necks snapped back by the lasso - sometimes resulting in neck and back injuries, bruises, broken bones and internal hemorrhages. Calves have become paralyzed from severe spinal cord injury or their tracheas may become totally or partially severed. Stock shows and rodeos promote, or at the very least condone animal abuse because they're based entirely on the suffering, domination and exploitation of animals. - By Scott Palczak

Saturday, January 01, 2005


On January 8, the National Western Stockshow and Rodeo arrives in Denver. Two horses were killed in 1999, while performing in that depressing rodeo. One horse rammed a wall head on and the other was bucking so hard that it suffered a broken back. If that isn't animal cruelty, then what is ? I have, in my possession, the Denver Post article describing the event. You'll read below portions of letters that I've had published in Colorado newspapers over the past several years.
It seems that bruising, battering and harassing livestock is simply proper rodeo etiquette. Calf-roping is an especially callous form of "entertainment," with fleeing calves lassoed, jerked backward, thrown to the ground and lassoed with a rope. Obviously, this is neither gentle nor humane treatment and it causes considerable suffering - and in some cases death - to the fear-stricken calves. Rodeos have their own impotent and weakly enforced rules regarding animal welfare. Rodeos, apparently, are unable and unwilling to prevent animal injuries - protecting their stock from brutality is not a major concern. Ceremoniously battered livestock can easily be replaced with more intact specimens.
Rodeos are a meaningless and archaic tradition that glorify animal abuse under the guise of "family fun." By allowing these atrocities, our society is still living in the 19th century.
In America, male children are being socialized to punish their bodies and to abuse animals. A case in point is "mutton bustin," a popular event of the upcoming National Western Stockshow and Rodeo. The idea of this bizarre event is to induce young boys into the rodeo by having them cling to the backs of agitated sheep.
Young males are socially trained to not only abuse their own bodies through sports, but they are literally taught to brutalize animals in the name of sport by way of rodeos and hunting.
Rodeo patrons spur rodeo cowboys toward self-destruction as the silently give a big thumbs up to violence against animals. After all, the idea of pitting men against animals is an ancient idea that has not lost its appeal. Modern-day rodeos fill this primal niche by serving a spectacle of sugar-coated violence under the thin guise of sport. If bullfighting were to be leagalized in the United States, I'm convinced it would become a major sporting event, surpassing rodeo.
All of this good ol' boy vs. animal nonsense is fueled by newspapers and televsion which promote it as family fun. Junior rodeos teach that contempt for animals by way of roping, dragging, and kicking is good, wholesome entertainment and socializing young males to risk their lives or limbs is also entertaining. - By Scott Palczak