Yesterday the Melbourne Cup was held in Australia, as part of the Spring Racing Carnival. During this time, women stick dead birds in their hair, calling it fashionable and attractive, and everyone sits on their lazy asses to watch horses get flogged around a race track. Sound pleasant? A little bit of light-hearted fun?
If you open your eyes and look beyond the fluff presented on your idiotbox, you’ll see that it’s far from a “bit of fun.” Having seen the trauma racing inflicts on horses first-hand when I was growing up, I know even the most well cared for horses suffer when they’re forced into racing… Never mind the drugging that goes on behind the scenes. When there’s money to be made off animals, exploitation and abuse isn’t far behind.
This article from Animals Australia covers a heck of a lot:
The Melbourne Cup: a celebration? Think again. The only thing being celebrated is an ignorance of cruelty towards animals.
Update: An additional poignant article from Marieke Hardy in 2010: The Melbourne Cup: It’s a truly revolting spectacle.
Another Update: The abolitionist perspective: About The Race That Stops A Nation: “Yes, it is unfortunate that 18,000 former racing horses are killed every year Australia wide, yet over 1 million chickens are killed every week in one processing plant in Brisbane. Which one is a bigger injustice towards other animals?”