This is post no. 3 in my November writing challenge series.
Another Melbourne Cup has come and gone, and most of Australia has had a fabulous time pretending not to notice that the centrepiece of their frocked-up outings / office sweeps / drunken gambling was a race in which humans used whips to force animals more athletic than themselves to run so fast they might die.
Here’s my Facebook post on the topic:
There’s no nice way to say this.
If you placed a bet on today’s race, or found some other way to actively participate in Melbourne Cup festivities, then you–yes, YOU–are complicit in the flogging and maiming and killing of beautiful animals for no purpose other than your own entertainment.
This unforgivably cruel industry only exists because it’s profitable, and it’s only profitable because of people like you.
I say this not to make you feel guilty, but in the hope that next time a day like this comes around, you will stand against cruelty and injustice.
Together, we can end this national disgrace.
Of course there’s more to Melbourne Cup Day than cruelty to horses (which isn’t limited to one day of the year anyway). There’s also the destructiveness of the gambling; the repulsiveness of the drunkenness / waste / rubbish; the barely concealed money laundering by criminals; and perhaps worst of all, the millions of dollars of government funding that subsidises the whole sorry mess.
Ah, Straya. The land of shameful parties too sacred to cancel.
At least we’re not as bad as ancient Rome.