Rodeo in Chile: Torture, not culture.
Audience: Chile’s Olympic Committee and rodeo’s affectionate.
One of the most popular traditional events celebrated in Chile for National Holidays is the Rodeo. It is considered as a “National Sport” since 1962, officially affiliated to Chile’s Olympic Committee. This activity consists on: tworiders riding horses of pure Chilean pedigree that pursue, herd and try to catch out a steer that runs desperate in the half moon arena. The purpose of this “sport” is to stop the animal that is running by knocking it against an area which is known as the “scourge area”. Riders will win points according to which part of the animal’s body they hit. In this event, riders must show their dexterity andphysical strength. However, Rodeo is an act of torture to animals. It should not be considered an act of courage and strength, but an act of cowardice and cruelty. Therefore, Rodeo in Chile should be eliminated due to three main reasons which will be exposed below. First, the bad treatment that animals receive in rodeo. Second, people, who practise this sport, have the risk to suffer an accident.And finally, the violence this activity promote to people.
One of the reasons why Rodeo should not exist in Chile is the bad treatment to animals. Animals used in Rodeo suffer in different ways. This bad treatment begins long before the show for steers and horses. On one hand, steers used in this activity are separated from their moms at birth, and they do not know what they are going toface in the half moon arena. On the other hand, horses are enslaved from very young through “dressage” where they are physically and psychologically punished to submit and accept what the riders want them to do. Although many people think animals such as steers and bulls are wild and aggressive, that is not true. Actually, they are very gentle. But shortly before the event, animals are beaten andsubjected to electric shocks to make them become violent; those are the reasons why they behave in that way. Undoubtedly, animals also suffer during the show. They receive hits that may cause them internal bleeding, tears in the ligaments, bone fractures and they may even dislocate their necks when they attempt desperately to remove the strings that squeeze their genitals which cause them too muchpain. The most terrible cruelty to animals occurs after the show, where the damaged steers are slaughtered and then, become the celebration’s meal. According to a website about animal defense it is not justified a feeding bloodshed and the act of supporting men who stick a knife in the animal’s heart (www.respuestasveganas.org). Both, human beings and animals deserve respect and being treatedworthily. “Animals should not be used for man’s entertainment. Animal exhibitions and shows where animals are used are incompatible with the animal’s dignity” (Hidalgo, 2010, p.115). People who practise this activity have the risk to suffer an accident, which is another reason that justifies the elimination of Rodeo in Chile and is going to be presented below.
Animals used in Rodeo get hurt,but people who practise this sport (riders), may be hurt too. Although humans have a lower risk than animals, they may suffer accidents which may cause them serious damages, such as: tears, fractures, unconsciousness, etc. It is important to stand out an example of this situation. An accident occurred in Calbuco’s Rodeo, where the rider Alvaro Rojas, fell down. He did not lose his consciousness, buthe lost his memory for a while. The rider was treated at the same half moon arena where the show was underway and then, he was taken to the hospital of the city in an ambulance (http://www.rodeodelsur.cl). In “taming”, (a variation of Rodeo) riders can also be damaged. There, they must ride a bull which is supposed to be wild and violent. As it was mentioned above, animals receive bad...