Canadaland reports that in 2011, the Calgary Stampede commissioned a piece to run in prestigious magazine Canadian Geographic. Journalist Curtis Gillespie thoroughly investigated, and ultimately wrote a piece entitled “Rodeo under scrutiny: The debate over animal care at the Calgary Stampede.”
Among other things, the balanced piece explained that horses were bred specifically to buck; horses who didn’t buck wildly enough were slaughtered. Gillespie’s editor called the piece “brilliant” and a “magnum opus.”
However, the publisher decided to pull the story at the last minute and instead ran a piece by someone who had previously published a book called “Celebrating the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede.”
Canadian Geographic ran the Stampede-friendly piece, “Rodeo renewal: How animal-care practices are changing perceptions of the century-old Stampede.” It was not identified as sponsored content.
In spite of its unethical advertising practices disguised as journalism, the Stampede’s attempts to create the illusion that rodeo is positive are failing. Public opinion across Canada is turning firmly against this barbaric spectacle of violence against animals.
Fortunately, the truth about the Stampede sending horses to slaughter did come out in 2012.
Please visit our rodeo campaign page to learn more about this issue and what you can do to help.