Friday, 14 June 2024

O'Connor: Put mutton bustin’ out to pasture

To the Editor:

Re: "Lake County Rodeo in search of the cutest cowpokes, mutton busters":

Organizers of the Lake County Rodeo should take a hard look at what they are teaching children.

Kind people believe that animals should be treated with respect and compassion, not abused like cheap toys.

Forcing sheep to carry screaming children all over a rodeo arena in “mutton bustin’” events is cruel.

Sheep are personable animals who are emotionally complex and highly intelligent. Intentionally or not, overly excited kids can be rough.

Sheep may be kicked, or have their tails and ears pulled. Children who participate come away with the belief that animals can be harassed for “fun” no matter how frightening it may be for the animal.

This gratuitous spectacle should be put out to pasture.

Jennifer O'Connor is a senior writer for the PETA Foundation, based in Norfolk, Virginia.

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