Although the tactics of some animal welfare organizations sometimes antagonize feminist activist groups, the struggle for animal rights and women’s rights share many intersections, as a horrifying new story from Chile illustrates. A girl who entered a corral at the Patriotic Celebration Festival to protest animal cruelty was lassoed and dragged out by rodeo riders, as the video below illustrates.
There is little coverage of the event outside the Chilean press (although the Today show did include a brief spot about the video). The spokesperson for the rodeo federation said that he “regretted what happened,” but went on to justify the attitude of the riders. Word has trickled out that one rodeo rider has been suspended because of the girl’s age (she was only 17), but there is no news about whether other charges apply.
The fact that rodeo riders thought that it was appropriate to treat an animal rights protester with the same cruelty that they did the animals shows the extent to which people can be desensitized to both the pain of animals and the pain of women. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the protester who was roped and dragged was a young girl. In any case, we can only hope that the rodeo riders who performed this atrocity were punished, but the whole incident indicates a serious lack of respect for both human and animal life.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.