Bear on a Rant
Bear on a Rant

The idea for my post about The Calgary Stampede came from my friend and fellow vegan, Karen Messier.  She is a passionate supporter of the  rights of nonhuman animals  and she becomes particularly and justifiably indignant when it comes to other species being used for the supposed entertainment of humans. She calls it a rant and it is here that I beg to differ with her. Depending on the online dictionary one chooses  to check, a rant can be classified as speaking in a loud impassioned way to

talking loudly and in a way that shows anger : to complain in a way that is unreasonable.

Karen is speaking up when others may not and is definitely not complaining in any way that could be deemed unreasonable. She has much to protest in the name of animal rights,  all the while advocating not only for the end to cruelty, but also for a definitive end to other species being enslaved and used for our entertainment. So, Karen dear friend, if you are reading this, call yourself a spokesperson, a defender, even outspoken, but never say you are ranting. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Karen Messier
Karen Messier

So, with Karen’s recent advocacy for horses forced to run in the deathly and hideous chuck-wagon races at this ignominious rodeo, I decided it was time to throw my hat in the ring and to help out with spreading the word about this particular issue.  I learned a lot, some of it fact and some of it half truths couched in dodging, pontificating, fudging and evading. None of this doublespeak is more evident than in a recent interview on CBC with  Kurt Kadatz, director of Community Engagement and Communications at The Calgary Stampede.


1) Let’s begin with the language he used. I would call it euphemistic because it makes:

...the bad seem good, the negative seem positive, the unnatural seem natural, the unpleasant seem attractive, or at least tolerable. It is language which avoids, shifts or denies responsibility. It conceals or prevents thought.

Equine athletes Horses forced to run in competitions
Working animals Worked animals
Career horses Horses trained to perform specific tasks for profit
Iconic Event Barbaric Chuck Wagon Race
Career Animals
Career Animals

2) Kadatz’s language makes it seem that the horses like and therefore choose to risk their lives racing for the sport and entertainment of humans, that they choose a career path and enjoy working at it. That sounds like a crock to me. No one would argue that horses love to run when they are free to do so when they wish and how they wish and that their speed helps to protect them from natural  predators. Now that I am thinking of it, I imagine that they would run like hell if they could from the unnatural predators who own them, yet say they treat them like members of their own family-laughable! How can you treat someone you own like family? Declaring ownership of a living being and using said being at will for whatever purpose is slavery.

3) Yes, there will be a Safety Study on the  deaths of 5 horses in the Chuck Wagon races at this year’s Stampede , but it will likely not start before late  summer or fall. Kadatz goes on to say that their options and focus must first be considered and determined, and could not say whether this would be an internal or third party review and could not speculate on what the review would reveal. Doesn’t sound to me like they intend to be very focused or proactive at all and certainly not timely, considering that plans for the 2016 Stampede must already be well  under way.

4) Kadatz is quoting a member of The Animal Care Advisory Council at the Stampede when he says:

The only way to erase any animal welfare issues absolutely is to have no animals.

Kadatz comment on this is as follows:

This is obviously an extreme position.

And not one this cowgirl thinks the powers to be at The Calgary Stampede would ever voluntarily consider considering.

Kurt Kadatz 03
Urban Cowgirls and Cowboys

5) The purpose of The Calgary Stampede is to put people back in touch with “working” animals. Kadatz refers to this as  “where urban meets rural”.  In other words, this interaction has been lost over the years along with the understanding of what “working” (there is that description again) animals do.  In a sense, Kadatz intimates that The Stampede is an educational program for urban cowgirls and cowboys and is therefore similar in scope to  their other educational programs which are carried out throughout the year through their not for profit organization. Kadatz stresses this philanthropic aspect of The Calgary Stampede, no doubt to steer focus away from the use and abuse of animals without their consent.

The Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede
Free Will for the Horse?
Free Will for the Horse?

6) When asked if the significantly reduced (100,000) attendance at The Calgary Stampede could be attributed to the controversy, main stream media coverage and the protest surrounding the infamous chuck wagon races, Kurtz replied that the main factors were actually the cool economic environment and the variable and sometimes poor weather during the ten days of the rodeo.

7) In closing Kadatz states that when a horse dies at The Stampede, the understanding of how and why a horse participates is not fully understood by the average lay person. We just do not get that:

All equestrian events have some kind of inherent risk.

 The Calgary Stampede has leading industry protocols in place to reduce the incidence of preventable accidents.

The rate of death  in chuck wagon races at the Stampede is less than that of the horse racing in the United States.

I don’t know the rate of which he speaks, but it would seem to me that there are more horses raced in the United States in one year than in the chuck wagon event in Calgary, so the rate of death must be higher by virtue of numbers…just saying.

I invite you to tune in to Mr. Kadatz’s verbal tap dance around the issue of whether or not it is abusive to enslave animals and to force them to perform at great risk, for our viewing pleasure.

Annie’s Vegan View

Post your comments on the CBC’s website and on mine as well.

Let’s keep up the pressure for it will be next year before we know it and more horses will die, more animals will be disrespected and abused at The Calgary Stampede.

The only solution is dissolution!

May all beings be happy and free.



Kadatz Evasive in CBC Interview about 4 Horses Dead at The Calgary Stampede!

4 thoughts on “Kadatz Evasive in CBC Interview about 4 Horses Dead at The Calgary Stampede!

  • July 28, 2015 at 4:29 am

    Thanks for another excellent, well expressed blog.

    The issue of animals ‘consenting ‘ to be used by us is a very interesting one. We had such a conversation around the dinner table recently, my husband objecting most strongly to any idea that animals have any capacity to consent or not consent to what we do to them. Here speaks the mainstream, humanocentric speciesist type!

    Having a non vegan husband, who is practically plant based but in principle not vegan is a useful window on the psychology of most human beings when it comes to our attitudes towards other animals. My husband, you see, simply cannot understand that an animal’s inability to verbally consent to our use and abuse of him or her means that the question of ‘consent’ cannot arise. For him, ‘consent’ involves the ability to measure up the alternatives and to make a decision to refuse. He understands that when another animal reacts with fear or hostility towards our intentions, that this is some sort of non-consent; he would probably respect that, out of fear of being bitten or kicked, not because he respected the animal’s right to not have that proposed use put upon him or her.

    We were speaking, at the time of this conversation, of our use of animals for food – farming and slaughtering them. My husband seemed to think that the matter of their consent did not arise. They were born, they lived, they died – just as we all do. He could not accept that their position was in any way non-consensual or consensual. The issue was irrelevant he said. Other animals have no way of knowing that there are alternatives to the way things are – ergo consent doesn’t apply.

    My son and I argued that a sex predator could use this same reasoning over his abuse of small children or those with mental problems, but we hoped that nobody would argue that these vulnerable people were ‘consenting’ to being abused.

    • July 28, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Carol,
      I am glad that you enjoyed the post. I am sure that it must be very frustrating to have these conversations,

      but at least you are having them. There is always hope for understanding.
      I believe that other species are capable of weighing the alternatives and are not acting purely out of instinct just because they do not speak the language of humans. And even if they cannot give consent, which I believe they can, they do suffer fear and pain and as such should not be used in any way, abusive or way.
      Species who are incapable of making decisions out of self interest would simply not survive in nature. And in acting out of self interest they are capable of giving or withholding consent. This is why we see images of pigs and cows and other farmed for profit beings jumping out of transport trucks, evading people chasing them, running for freedom. This is why we see mothers chasing after people removing their children from them, this is why they grieve. In this and in so many other ways we are no different than….
      Take care and keep the comments coming.!

  • July 28, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    Ugh, Calgary Stampede. Couldn’t even stand the commercials for this cruelty-fest on CBC, alongside the awful new commercial for Marineland. (The only consoling feature of the latter is that obviously they’ve been impacted by animal rights activism given their wording that tries to defend animal use.) As for Mr. Kadatz, evasive doublespeak is about it. No comments are allowed on his blog either I noticed.

    • July 29, 2015 at 6:26 am

      Hi Friend,
      I agree with you, I would have to change the channel or look away when I would see a commercial championing this cruel and self serving fest – same for Marineland. Keeping up the pressure will and is making difference, Entertainment shows like SeaWorld, for instance are struggling and will topple.
      I did go to Mr. Kadatz’s blog but did not notice that comments were not allowed. I commented on the CBC link where the interview is aired, but so far my comment is still awaiting moderation.
      I wrote: “The moment we believe that we have the right to use other species for our own purposes we open the door to all manner of abuse. The only solution is dissolution. Here is a link to my review of Kurt Kadazt’s perspective.”
      Let’s see if it is posted in the near future. After all the CBC does have a vested interest in preserving our good thoughts about this cruel event. They must make a bundle with the rights to air it.
      Take care,


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