November 21, 2019
The Grey Cup: If You Must Watch
I guess I live in a bit of an animal welfare “bubble.” You see, it never occurred to me that in 2019, Canadians would support a rodeo — in most parts of the country anyway. And it certainly never occurred to me that a national event on the scale of the Grey Cup would include this dated form of animal exploitation. But this Saturday, that is exactly what is happening.
For two long hours, attendees will witness such “events” as bull and bronc riding. Bull riding is particularly odious. The bulls are bred for a predisposition to buck. They are especially sensitive to negative stimulus, such as a rider on their back — likely an evolutionary response to a predator jumping onto the bull’s back. In other words, the bull feels under attack and is fighting for its life. Often, to enhance the negative experience, a “flank strap” is cinched around the bull to create distress and increase the ferocity of the bucking.
If you care about animals and their welfare, don’t attend or tune in to this year’s Grey Cup, and tell the CFL you won’t.
If you must watch, then really watch. Look at the animals’ behaviour. Look at their eyes. You will see their fear. And you won’t want to watch ever again.
President and CEO