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Opinion

November 11, 2012

Rodeos, circuses are harmful to animals

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

This letter is written in response to Zakk Luttrell’s article, Re: “Circuses and cruelty to animals,” that appeared in the Transcript. I fully agree with Mr. Luttrell’s contention that circuses bring a sense of cruelty and negativity to a community.

Might I add to his remarks that the yearly rodeos held in Norman include tying ropes to horses’ and bulls’ testicles in order to make them buck and throwing a rope around a baby calf’s neck, running in fear for its life, just to yank it back violently, then tie its legs together in a timed event. All of this is in the name of “entertainment.” It is so sadistic and primitive.

The irony of all this is that we take children, the most innocent minds that we have, to these events. Children, by nature, love animals. As a teacher and a social worker for many years, I can attest that children love everything and everybody — until taught otherwise by adults. Teaching them to be violent is not a step in the right direction.

We should no be surprised, then, when a child takes a weapon and takes his/her rage out on others or becomes a bully. The irony is that we taught them to be that way to begin with. We ourselves are at fault.

Lastly, I cannot understand why we take this cruelty to animals to our prison system in the form of prison rodeos and prison circuses. These are our most violent and troubled citizens, but we don’t work to reform their violent behavior but allow them to take their violence out on innocent animals. This reinforces the bad behavior that landed them in prison to begin with. It makes no sense to me.

I agree with Mr. Luttrell: Compassion and kindness to all is what I hope Norman will adopt as a mantra for the future. Let’s leave the animals out of our quest for entertainment. If we are hungry for a real circus, why don’t we invite the Cirque De Soleil to come perform in Norman? That’s a truly impressive demonstration of talent and involves humans only. And it is totally cruelty free.

PANDORA EVERETT

Norman

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