the Calgary Stampede’s growing public relations challenge

For many years now, whenever I watch a movie, when the credits roll at the end there is a disclaimer that reads something like this:

AMERICAN HUMANE monitored the animal action. No animals were harmed.

This matters because people care. Folks have been worried about the treatment of the nonhuman animals in movies, and they have been pressing on the movie industry to care too. And now the movie industry cares. And it’s good public relations to announce that you don’t hurt the nonhuman animals when you entertain people.

But it’s only good public relations, in the long term, if it’s true.

And this is the challenge before the Calgary Stampede. They argue that they treat the nonhuman animals ethically. But at the end of the Stampede, they can’t announce what every Hollywood movie announces. And that’s a bind.

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One Comment

  1. I used to fish a lot. At one point I was really into catch and release fishing. Then my roommate at the time pointed out that catch and release fishing is akin to “torturing fish for your own amusement.” I had to admit he was right. But funny, as someone who grew up with fishing, I never thought of it that way, nor did I feel the need to justify my actions.

    I rarely torture fish for my own amusement anymore.

    And I can’t help but think the stampede is also, you know, torturing nonhuman animals for fickle human enjoyment. And I’m not sure I”m okay with that either. And yes, it sure puts them in a PR bind. But maybe that is okay for lifelong rodeo types to have to think a bit about how their actions are justified in today’s society?

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