ericmills

Comments by ericmills

Escondido City Council Protects Special Interests Rather Than Animals

I'm a big fan of cultural diversity, but not when it crosses the line of animal abuse. And charreada does that, Big Time. Mexico's national sport, as practiced in the U.S., features nine standard scored events, three of which involve the roping of running horses by the legs, risking life and limb. In an equally brutal event, "steer tailing" ("colas"), a mounted charro (cowboy) grabs a running steer by the tail, wraps the tail around his leg and stirrup, then rides off at an angle, dragging or slamming the hapless steer to the ground. Tails may be broken, even ripped off ("degloved"), and horses may suffer broken legs when the steers run the wrong way. Some "sport"! None of these events are standard ranching practice in the U.S., nor are they sanctioned by any American-style rodeo association (which has its own share of problems; calf roping should be banned outright, too, of course). If the City DOES provide land for the charros, it should be only on the condition that (1) these four events are banned, (2) that an ON SITE veterinarian be there to care for injured animals, (3) two weeks advance notice be given to local animal control and the humane society of any upcoming rodeos or charreadas. Consider these words of wisdom from Cesar Chavez, whose birthday we celebrate on March 31. This is from a letter he wrote to me in 1990 (copies available upon request): "Kindness and compassion towards all living things is a mark of a civilized society. Conversely, cruelty, whether it is directed against human beings or against animals, is not the exclusive province of any one culture or community of people. Racism, economic deprival, dog fighting and cockfighting, bullfighting and RODEOS are cut from the same fabric: violence. Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves." Words to live by. Sincerely, Eric Mills, coordinator ACTION FOR ANIMALS, Oakland email -afa@mcn.org
— March 15, 2011 11:17 p.m.

Escondido Citizen Speaks Out Against Asociación de Charros

Readers should be aware that Randy Janssen (above) is a charreada promoter and horse tripper himself, from San Antonio, Texas. And a lawyer, if you can believe it. Mindy is right, of course. The mere fact that the animals are fearful and stressed out should be enough for them not to be abused in this fashion. Mr. Janssen hosts a website: www.legalizehorsetripping.com. (I'm not making this up!) Well worth a look. As for the two videos he promotes, it's quite easy to cherry-pick and make everything look rosy. The same could be done for any "sporting" event. I received an e-mail from Mr. Janssen last year making mock of the 11 steers injured at the Jefferson Co. Fairgrounds near Denver (broken pelvis and broken leg--both euthanized; 7 others with their tails stripped off). As Mr. Janssen wrote to me, "So what? The fun the charros had, and the time spent training their horses made it all worth while. And it keeps kids out of gangs and away from drugs." (I'm not making THIS up either.) So much for compassion. Nor does Mr. Janssen believe that animals (other than the human kind) have emotions, flying in the face of overwhelming scientific documentation to the contrary. At least the PRCA requires veterinarians on-site to care for injured animals. The professional charro associations do not. Their rules also allow a steer to be "tailed" three times a day, whereas in American rodeo (which has its own share of problems), the animals can be used only once per day. (And "anything goes" at the nonsanctioned events.) Again, neither horse tripping (3 events) nor steer tailing is a standard ranching practice anywhere in the U.S., nor are they sanctioned by any American-style rodeo association. These four events should be banned nationwide (and soon will be, methinks). Even Cesar Chavez would agree. Cheers, Eric Mills, coordinator ACTION FOR ANIMALS
— January 30, 2011 11 p.m.

Asociación de Charros de Escondido Evicted for Ballpark?

I'm a big fan of cultural diversity, but I draw the line at animal abuse. And charreada crosses that line Big Time. Your readers need to know that the Mexican-style rodeo called charreada features nine standard events, only three of them near-identical to American-style rodeo: bull riding, bareback bronc riding, and team roping (all with their share of problems). But charreada features THREE events in which running horses are roped by their legs, putting them at great risk of serious injury: "manganas a caballo" (roping the horse's front legs from horseback); "manganas a pie" (roping the horse's front legs while on foot); and "piales" (in which the horse's HIND legs are roped). In the even more brutal "steer tailing" event ("colas," or "coleadero"), a mounted charro grabs the tail of a running steer, wraps the tail around his leg and stirrup, then rides his horse off at an angle, dragging or slamming the hapless animal to the ground. Bruises and contusions are routine, tails may be broken, even torn off, and horses sometimes suffer broken legs when the steers run the wrong way. Some "sport"! Steer tailing was banned in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, CA in 1993, and by the State of Nebraska in 2008. The Board of Supervisors for San Diego County should follow suit. Ditto the Escondido City Council. None of these events are standard ranching practice anywhere in the U.S., nor are they sanctioned by any American-style rodeo association. CONSIDER THIS EXCERPT FROM A LETTER WHICH CESAR CHAVEZ WROTE TO ME IN 1990: "Kindness and compassion towards all living things is a mark of a civilized society. Conversely, cruelty, whether it is directed against human beings or against animals, is not the exclusive province of any one culture or community of people. Racism, economic deprival, dog fighting and cockfighting, bullfighting and rodeos are cut from the same fabric: violence. Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves." Words to live by. TIME FOR STATE LEGISLATION TO BAN THESE CRUELTIES: ALL LEGISLATORS MAY BE WRITTEN C/O THE STATE CAPITOL, SACRAMENTO, CA 95814. Sincerely, Eric Mills, coordinator ACTION FOR ANIMALS Oakland email - afa@mcn.org
— January 16, 2011 11:35 a.m.