Are rodeos ethical

Are Rodeos Ethical? The Heated Debate Over Animal Treatment in Rodeos

There are many debates over animal treatment. One particularly heated debate is about rodeos. Are rodeos ethical? I never like watching these shows, but I was interested in the arguments on both sides. Here you will find out everything about rodeos from a vegan perspective. Let’s dig in!

Are rodeos ethical?

No, rodeos are not ethical. They involve animal cruelty and mistreatment and are designed for entertainment purposes only. Rodeos are a remnant of a time when animals were treated as property and their welfare was considered secondary to humans’, but that time is long gone. 

We now know better than to mistreat animals and should be moving away from activities like rodeos instead of supporting them.

Arguments for rodeos

Animals have been used in rodeos for centuries. While the specific methods and practices have changed over time, the overall goal remains the same: to provide entertainment for spectators while showcasing the skills of the riders.

Today, most rodeos in the United States must follow guidelines set forth by organizations such as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA). 

The PRCA’s animal welfare rules state that “no animal shall be subjected to cruel or inhuman treatment,” and that all rodeo events must be conducted “in a manner that does not unnecessarily endanger the animal.” The IPRA has similar rules in place.

Here are the arguments people make in favor of rodeos:

  • Rodeos are a tradition that should be preserved. 
  • They are a part of American culture and history. 
  • Rodeos are also a way for people to connect with animals. 
  • They provide an opportunity to see wild animals up close.

While tradition, culture, and history are important parts of a nation’s identity, we must move forward toward a society that treats all beings with respect and dignity.

Arguments against rodeos

But how are rodeo animals treated in practice? Are rodeos ethical? Here are 7 arguments against rodeos.

  1. Calf roping, in which a calf is chased and then lassoed around the neck, is an example of animal abuse. 
  2. Rodeos are dangerous for both riders and animals. There is a risk of injury or even death that comes with riding a bucking bronco or bull. 
  3. Animals in rodeos are used for human entertainment and treated animals as property.
  4. Rodeo animals endure a great deal of physical and emotional stress.
  5. The animals that are used in rodeos are often mistreated. They are given electric shocks and have their tails twisted to make them perform. 
  6. Rodeos are a major cause of pollution. All the cattle flatulence and manure create a significant amount of methane gas, which is a greenhouse gas that is contributing to climate change.
  7. Rodeos are simply outdated, and unnecessary.

When children see an animal abused, such as a baby calf being roped, dragged, choked and slammed to the ground by a grown man and see him win prizes for his behavior, this tells the child that abusing animals is not only acceptable but a way to win fame and fortune.

by dr. Peggy W Larson, A Veterinarian’s Perspective on Rodeos

How often are animal injuries because of rodeos? 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for enforcing the Animal Welfare Act, which includes ensuring that animals used in rodeos are treated humanely. 

However, the USDA does not require rodeos to report injuries, so there is no way to know for sure how many animals are injured or killed each year because they participated in rodeos. 

It’s also worth noting that not all rodeos follow the same guidelines. Some, for example, do not require veterinarians to be on-site, which means that injured animals may not receive the medical care they need on time. 

Are rodeo animals protected?

There are some rules and regulations in place for rodeo animals. The most important rule is the “humane treatment” rule, which requires that all animals be treated humanely throughout their lives, including during transport, housing, care, and competition.

Violations of these rules can result in stiff penalties, including fines and suspension from competition.

What is the “humane treatment” of rodeo animals? 

Rodeo animals are forced to perform dangerous and physically demanding tricks for the entertainment of spectators. How can this be humane?

Rodeo defenders also say that the animals are well taken care of but what gives us humans the right to decide that the animals will participate in these “sports”? Who are we to treat animals as our property for entertainment and profit?

What can we do to help animals in rodeos?

What can be done to improve the treatment of animals in rodeos? 

  • First and foremost, it’s important that all rodeos are regulated and that animal welfare rules are enforced. 
  • Rodeo organizers should be required to report injuries. 
  • Veterinarians should be always on-site to provide medical care for any animals that are injured. 
  • In addition, rodeos should be held accountable for the way they treat their animals. If an animal is injured or killed because of a rodeo’s negligence, then the organizers should be subject to penalties.
  • It’s also important to educate the public about the realities of rodeo life. Too often, people assume that rodeos are harmless fun and that the animals involved are treated well. 
  • Finally, the best thing to do is to be vocal about rodeos mistreating animals and help end this cruel reality.

Ex-bronc rider speaks out against rodeo

Here is a video by dr. Peggy Larson, a former bareback bronc rider speaking against rodeo. Some parts of the video are hard to watch but very important to see for everyone who still thinks that rodeos are safe and ethical entertainment for the whole family.

Rodeo cannot be made humane. Rodeo is animal cruelty period!

dr. Peggy Larson, ex-bronc rider and animal welfare expert

Key takeaways

Are rodeos ethical? The short answer is no. Animal welfare groups have long criticized rodeos for the way they treat animals.

They argue that the events are cruel and dangerous and that the animals involved suffer unnecessarily. In recent years, there has been growing public pressure to reform the rodeo industry and make it safer for animals.

From a vegan perspective, rodeos should be banned. These animals don’t have a choice and are forced to participate in these dangerous and stressful shows. 

If you care about animal welfare, then you should avoid supporting rodeos in any way. By speaking out against rodeos, we can help to ensure that these events are no longer held and that animals are no longer put in danger for the sake of entertainment.

See also: Is Horse Riding Vegan? The Answer Might Surprise You!

See also: Is Swimming with Dolphins Animal Cruelty? Find Out Here



Petra profile image

Hi, I’m Petra and for most of my life, I was an omnivore. A vegan couple made me curious about veganism, so I did some research. What I found out about the animals, our planet, and the health benefits of a vegan diet made me go vegan overnight. It’s been 5 years now and it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.

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