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June 5, 2018 > Letter to the Editor: Rodeo Cruelty ? It gets worse

Letter to the Editor: Rodeo Cruelty ? It gets worse

After our anti-cruelty demo at the Rowell Ranch Rodeo May 23rd, I toured the grounds to check out the many booths. To my horror and amazement, there was a vendor with dozens of toy replicas of AK-47 assault rifles on sale, replete with built-in sound effects, Kids and their oblivious parents were all having a grand time playing with the guns. Only the day before, 10 children had been gunned down at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, many others wounded. What's wrong with this picture?

And then on Sunday, the East Bay Times featured an editorial in support of Congressman Eric Swalwell. One of Mr. Swalwell's prime goals, reportedly, is to rid the country of assault weapons, a worthy cause. Ironically, Mr. Swalwell is also a member of the "Rowell Ranch Rangers," an ad hoc group of local politicos which promotes the annual rodeo. Other members include County Sheriff Greg Ahern, County Fire Chief David Rocha, County Supervisors Nate Miley and Scott Haggerty, State Senator Bob Wieckowski, State Assemblymember Bill Quirk, and Board of Equalization Chair Johan Klehs. Can you spell "conflicts of interest"?

Nearly every animal welfare organization condemns rodeos due to their inherent cruelty. I'm sure that all these good folks are well-intentioned, but they're inadvertently endorsing animal abuse, and now assault weapons for kids. Not acceptable! Worth noting that Rodeo Association president Russ Fields, in a KGO TV rodeo segment on 5/18, stated that "Animals don't feel fear." The mind boggles.

Eric Mills, coordinator

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