Rodeos, zoos, circuses, horse racing, dog racing.
It just cannot be right to subject animals to confinement and forced performances for our entertainment. I understand that guidelines have been introduced over the years to protect the animals. These are more likely from an investment perspective than any real concern for the animals’ safety and comfort.
I am fairly certain that rodeo handlers and circus trainers have not changed their operating procedures enough to matter from any individual animal's point of view. I am nearly 100% certain that they are not using today’s ‘positive reinforcement’ training techniques that are in vogue for dog training.
Each individual animal being roped or ridden, herded or prodded neither knows nor cares how long a tradition these entertainment events are, or how things used to be worse. He or she knows only that they are, at this moment, being forced and hurt. They are scared and pissed off. I doubt they know real happiness. Who among us would like to live like that?
It is not our point of view that should be debated as much as that of the animal. What would the animal want? Isn't that the only question?
Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)