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SHARK vs. the Rodeo
Dear Fellow Animal Advocate:
I am writing to you on behalf of Steve Hindi. My name is Pat Vinet,
and I am managing SHARK's new, soon-to-be-announced campaign
against Campbell Soup for its support of rodeos. Campbell owns
numerous food companies and brands including Pace Foods (Pace Salsa),
which is a major rodeo sponsor.
We are currently working on a Campbell's website
www.CampbellKillsAnimals.com to publicize
exactly what Campbell Soup is doing to promote animal abuse. Within a
few weeks we will send the Tiger video truck to Campbell's headquarters
in New Jersey to officially launch the campaign on the streets.
We are not asking for assistance, although partnerships in this
worldwide effort would be welcomed. At this point we simply want you
to know that this very important project is underway, and to ask for
your public stand against rodeos. We are compiling a list of humane
organizations opposing rodeo cruelty, and this list will be used on
the Campbell site, and others to follow. The statement simply reads: "The following humane organizations are opposed to the cruelty and
abuse of animals in rodeos." That's it.
Last month three SHARK investigators attended the National Steer Roping
Finals in Amarillo, Texas.' This was the last stop of an intensive
five-month investigation that yielded almost more documentation of
abuse than we knew what to do with. While all kinds of rodeo animal
abuse was filmed, our focus was on steer roping.
While steer roping is the official, more politically correct term, its
fans call it steer tripping and steer busting and for good reason. It
is an event sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys
Association (PRCA). The PRCA is the world's largest rodeo
association. You won't see steer busting at many regular PRCA rodeos. Steer busting only occurs in a handful of western states in the United
States. Steer busting is so grotesquely inhumane, so inexcusably
brutal, the PRCA keeps it flying about as far below the radar as it
possibly can. These events often are held on private property at odd
times. Typically steer busting is not only unadvertised, it's "by invitation only."
What we witnessed and documented in Amarillo was beyond horrible. Two
Clydesdale horses attached to a makeshift sled were stationed
just outside arena floor for the purpose of hauling off the critically
injured animals that are the inevitable byproducts of this event. The
third steer released from the chute was the first casualty of the
evening. The Clydesdales were driven to the downed steer. His broken
body was rolled over and dragged unto the plywood sled. He was then
dragged out and dumped into a pen lined with black plastic right
outside of the arena. At one point during the first night's
competition, the steers were being crippled so fast, the Clydesdales couldn't even keep up.
Over the course of the weekend, nine animals were hauled out and
dumped. Another staggered out, bleeding from the nose and mouth. He
apparently didn't move fast enough to suit the goons who were to
perform this task, so they twisted his tail to get him into the
"discard heap" faster. It was the most heart-wrenching thing I've ever
seen. You can view the "highlights" of this unspeakable cruelty at http://www.sharkonline.org/rodeocrueltyprca.mv
We feel that the time is right to start attacking rodeo at its
financial source: its corporate sponsors. We are going to do it by
focusing on rodeo's Achilles Heel: steer tripping. Even the
largest corporate sponsors will not be able to withstand the
public relations nightmare that will result from being associated with
The rodeo Mafia can make their lame excuses about how the hot prods
don't really have any batteries in them and the horses used in the bucking events are the products of their
"Born To Buck" programs, etc. Steer tripping, however, is the PRCA's dirty
It's both hideous and completely indefensible.
Once our Campbell campaign is underway,
we will begin efforts against other corporate sponsors, including automaker DaimlerChrysler, maker of
among other brands, Dodge and Mercedes-Benz.' Please feel free to call
or write me with any questions about these upcoming efforts.