Letter to the Editor

Lots of good in Tucson, Rodeo isn't one of them

I moved to Tucson from Northern California a little over a year ago. Tucson's gorgeous landscapes, great eateries, liberal bent and community events like Second Saturdays, Cyclovia and All Souls Procession are all points of pride, and make it a lovely place to live.

One point of shame, however, is the city's association with the rodeo. It's shocking that a progressive city like Tucson would sanction this kind of blatant animal abuse via its rodeo parade and holidays off from school. Just think about it, if it were dogs being body slammed and violently yanked by their necks to the ground--often sustaining traumatic injury in the process--would anyone be okay with that? Would we be okay with tormenting cats with electric prods and painful bucking straps to make them run and buck in terror? Of course not. Just because the animals used in rodeos are larger in size, doesn't make brutalizing them in these ways any more acceptable.

 Cultural tradition, sport—those aren't justifications either. Rodeos are spectacles of cruelty that a city like Tucson should strongly condemn, not condone.

—Kim Flaherty

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