Friday, June 15, 2012

We're not letting go

Nope. We're going to hold this in our teeth and shake it until we win. And I'm not talking about the cone.

That momentum I was talking about yesterday? It just keeps getting stronger – because of people like Justina. You know what she did? She talked to Ms. Golden at the Van Horn Chamber of Commerce yesterday. (Justina has very good karma.)  Here is what happened, as Justina wrote yesterday afternoon on facebook:

I just got off the phone with Patricia Golden at the Van Horn, Texas Chamber of Commerce. She's a very nice lady and we had a civilized conversation.

I suppose I was fortunate to get through. I've seen some comments online where folks are saying that their calls aren't being answered by the Van Horn Chamber of Commerce. When I asked Ms. Golden about this, she said that she's had to stop answering the phone because people are calling and screaming and cursing at her. If you called me and dropped the F-bomb on me, you'd better believe I wouldn't want to talk with you either.  :-) It's possible to be angry and civil at the same time, folks. We're not going to get anywhere with this if we're screaming at the people with whom we're trying to communicate.  :-) 

She's received about 550 emails so far and wishes that she could answer them all. She's quite grateful for the education she's receiving about donkey roping... like many people, she didn't realize that there are valid and explainable reasons for why donkeys shouldn't be roped. She reminded me that this (rodeo) is very culturally ingrained there - it's up to us to educate and to rationally show these folks why this is no longer (okay, it never should have been) culturally acceptable.

Ms. Golden wrote a letter to the Van Horn city administrator this morning warning him that the "donkey community" out there is gaining momentum and that this is not going away.  When she Googled "donkey roping Van Horn Rodeo" this morning, she saw first hand how much is going on out here on the Web... she's very aware!

She's not the decision maker here, but she is a key influencer. She requested that all phone calls go to Jason Owens, the promoter of the event. His phone number is 432-940-9051. Ms. Golden said that she spoke with Jason this morning and told him that she would be directing folks to him. Jason said that he would take all calls. 

Please call Jason Owens and tell him (civilly) why he needs to cancel the donkey roping competition in next Saturday's (June 23) Van Horn Rodeo. Ms. Golden pointed out that if Jason receives enough phone calls educating him about why this should not happen - he very well may decide to bow under pressure. But again, please be civil. Believe me, I'm angry too!

One additional request from Ms. Golden - she needs to show the city administrator public pressure from the media. When she checked the local papers yesterday evening, there were no letters to the editor about this subject. She said if she could show the city administrator letters to the editor, it would go a long way.

Please start by writing to Larry Simpson, editor at The Van Horn Advocate:
If and when I get additional suggestions, I'll pass them along.
On behalf of the donkeys, thank you.

The donkey roping ain't over 'til the fat lady sings, but I'm starting to get the feeling that she might be warming up her voice. 

I've got a call to make and a letter to the editor to write, so I'll end this now, but not before I thank all of you, and especially my pal Justina, for trying to put an end to donkey roping.  


  1. Diane from NC6/15/12, 4:58 AM

    Good luck with this Carson. Your readers are behind this big time.
    I sure hope strength in numbers will do the job on this.

    Thank you for keeping us posted.


    Hey, everyone--check out this link to an article about this horrifying spectacle from 2009. Also in Texas, alas. The subject has come up before and at least some of the participants have made better choices since having the spotlight shining on their bad acts.

  3. what about those poor little bleating goats? my heart went out to them too and it seems so ridiculous that big men are tormenting tiny goats. i think that roping is barbaric in all cases, even with calves.

    i don't know enough about cows to understand how it could be ok to rope and wrestle them, and not ok to do the same to goats and donkeys. i think it illustrates the very worst side of humanity - terrorizing the helpless for your own entertainment.

    knowing what i do about donkeys, they're too smart to let themselves be used like that, so there must be something really wicked going on to force them to participate.

  4. Terrific work.
    Civility is so important and so often disregarded, thank you for your wise words and suggestions for further action.
    Love to you and Justina and all of the critters.

  5. I checked your page first thing this morning. I will write to Larry Simpson today and THANKS to Justina for helping us all in this effort. My donkey boys were out there playing last night as the sun was doing down....and again this morning as the sun was coming up. I am so sad for all the donkeys who don't get to play with their friends because they are being used in such abusive ways. Onward!!

  6. New Mexico has been a cock fighting and dog fighting state forever. It took a concerted effort by people like all of us to convince our legislature to put an end to the brutality. So, in addition to dealing with the VanHorn event, we should be looking at the Texas State Legislature. They probably don't much care about the thoughts of Oregonians and New Hampshirites, but if you live in Texas or do business in Texas, find a State legislator and let him or her hear why Texas needs to come out of the dark ages on this issue.

  7. As a person who used to work in a government call center, the minute a caller starts yelling, and using vulgar language the person answering the phone has every right to hang up!!! Good manners never go out of style!!!!
    Another good argument to use is that just because something is "cultural and we have have dun it for hundreds of years" does not make it right or correct. I will use 2 examples,,,,aborting or abandoning babies because they are girls, or FGM.
    Keep up the good fight eh!

  8. I am crying happy tears at the fact Patricia was nice and took the time to listen. I am sooooo ready for that fat lady to sing.

  9. How interesting to see the snowball rolling and getting bigger and bigger!

  10. An email (in good taste) was sent to Mr Simpson this morning

    I sense the support growing and growing, thanks to you and Justina !!!!!!

  11. Thanks for the additional information and keeping the pressure on to get them to cancel this event. I will send an email now to Larry Simpson.

  12. Where is the ASPCA in all of this? Do they not operate in Texas? Hard to believe that an activity that often results in maiming or death for the animal involved apparently isn't even on their radar.

  13. I'm writing Owen and the newspaper (again) - is someone willing to proofread my far-from-perfect english? Typos and syntax errors takes the attention away from the important questions ...

  14. Keep shaking, Alan and George. I e-mailed Mr. Simpson, Jason Owens, and Greg Abbott, the Attorney General. Surely they will listen with all these people taking up the cause. Can't you feel Justina's calm fierceness? Thanks for the updates, Carson.

  15. Love it! Just saw that Horse and Man blog cover it today too. I'm seeing it everywhere!! YAY!

  16. I sent an email, letter to the editor for the donkeys.


  17. OK! Email sent to Mr. Simpson - I also included your and Justina's blog URLs and told him to learn about the goodness of donkeys when they are treated kindly.


    Nancy in Iowa

  18. Done. Folks might want to send letters to the El Paso times, which is the closest major paper...

    I work with the Texas legislature, I wonder if we could get the vet board involved. They are very influential...

  19. I sent off an email immediately the other day to the editor.. so, I find it interesting that he had said he'd gotten none. However... I think we can probably exhaust his computer data base if the group of us send him emails in vast numbers... tell all your friends and then have them tell any you don't know.. that's how grass roots action gets noticed..and how it helps stop these senseless acts of barbarism.. poor donkeys.. poor goats, poor cows... I hate it all!!

  20. Just sent a letter to the editor all the way from my deployed location in Afghanistan. I sincerely hope that this practice ends. Going to use my very precious calling cards minutes to call Mr. jason owens later on today. Thank you for bringing this to light......