As a mule owner, animal lover, and columnist for the Brayer (the journal of the American Donkey and Mule Society) I have come to understand that donkeys are among the most sensitive, empathetic, and tolerant of animal species. As a blogger (at www.braysofourlives.com), I've been made aware by some of my readers of the donkey roping events scheduled to take place in Van Horn later this month, and I share their horror and outrage. Many donkeys suffer bone breakage, permanent physical and mental damage, or death during these events.
Yours is a city with a proud heritage, and I hope that citizens of Van Horn will celebrate by building new traditions of compassion and respect. Culberson County was instrumental in the settlement of the west, and donkeys and other equines were part of that incredible chapter in your history. Van Horn could not have become the city it is today without their contributions, and I hope that your readers will take it upon themselves to honor the animals, and themselves, by enjoying humane, cruelty-free events as an alternative to the upcoming rodeo. It is time to lay aside the abusive practice of donkey roping and write a new chapter in the Van Horn story.