The Stampede (a story)

The Stampede
Beth and her friends had decided to visit the stampede to look for themselves, after reading several animal rights’ stories on the place. They looked at the barns and paddocks where the animals for sale were being kept. Everything looked clean and the animals were alert, energetic and engaging.  And seemed well fed.
Then they went to the stalls where the show’s animals were being prepped for the day. A vet was making his rounds.  And had stopped to check the knees and hooves of one horse, that had appeared to be limping.  He knocked  a stone out of the hoof and cleaned it out. Then gave the animal a shot. Good!  The animals seemed to being cared for.
 A wrangler noted their concern, so he came over to say there were a lot of checks and balances now. Nobody treats animals badly, when some are worth a hefty mortgage, Beth and her friends smiled.  Good point!
There was a shed where feed was being sold that local farmers had grown and mixed for livestock and pets.  Even the shed was really clean.  But then this was a show day.  They were expecting people to be walking thru.  Right?
Beth asked the vet about the stampede’s policies. He said that they drew labs when the livestock came thru the gates. Testing for all kinds of things. So if the beast weren’t being cared for, they’d know.  Good to hear!
The ladies went over to the farmer’s market next. There was a cute petting zoo of babies for the kids. And lots of fresh fruit and veg.  And the baked goods were smelling like manna. It was a good thing no one was on a diet today.  I mean, how do you not eat when there are so many goodies!  Pies, bread, cakes, rolls, squares, brownies and cookies.  And there were even some international foods to round things out.  Beth saw some gluten free and keto baking too. Times were certainly changing, right?
One of the farmers had a sign out front of their booth that said certified organic.  Beth asked what that meant. The soil, manure, seeds were all certified and inspected.  All kinds of tests were done.  What they paid out for that, they got back in cachet. Respect. They were making quite a brand out of it. Even getting some restaurants to buy their product for their fancy dinners.  Beth knew it was a huge thing now to have farm to table menus. So really this wasn’t surprising to her.
There were some craft tables set by the gates. And Beth went over to talk to one of the sellers.  The lady was a farm wife and made some pocket money by sewing some pretty fine garments and making some pottery. She was quite excited that a local gallery was gathering a farmer’s show.  Where the wives’ art was going to be displayed.  She knew of some that did paintings and some that did photography. Beth made sure to get a brochure for the event for her friends.  Of course there would be wine and nibbles. And some music. Kind of a folk rock/pop vibe. Sounded good! Beth marked the date on her phone.
The next step was to go to the stadium and see the show.
There was a parade.  Riders, dancers, and flags.  People showing off some of the better trained animals. Those that crowds didn’t spook. Not easily anyways.  Lots of colours and pageantry. Which is always fun.
And finally the show itself.  There were barrel races and jumps. And cowboys riding wild animals out of gates. And bulls being teased.  Beth noted that the vet was just back of the stalls and checking the animals when they were done with them.  Which she really appreciated.  If they were hurt or upset, they’d have immediate attention. Perfect!
So there didn’t really seem to be any obvious signs of distress or bad care or management of the animals.
It had turned out to be a tempest in a tea pot. Which Beth and  her friends were quite happy to see. And they relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the show. It was a lovely day!  They planned to return the next year.

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