July 30, 2013
When Wyoming’s biggest and most famous sporting event, Cheyenne Frontier Days, cracks out of the chute there are quite a few traditions that are observed. Unfortunately, a fairly new tradition has become an expectation.
The Casper Star-Tribune reported in its July 21 edition, the so-called animal rights group, SHARK or Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, is again beating the publicity war drums against “the Daddy of ’Em All.”
Clearly the SHARK group has focused its ire on CFD because of its status as the top outdoor rodeo in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit. Its “Shame on Cheyenne” website presents a strongly worded, unabashedly slanted mixture of specially selected videos of what it evidently believes to be a moral crusade against the alleged physical abuse of rodeo livestock.
Should Cheyenne be ashamed of its rodeo? Is there any legal or ethical consideration that could or should require the community or the Frontier Committee to comply with SHARK’s demands? A review of the facts makes it clear that the inflammatory advocacy and clever misuse of terms practiced by SHARK does not add up to a societal threat requiring a fundamental restructuring or cessation of Cheyenne’s rodeo.