Even as a person with a rather questionable moral compass (and I'm being generous to myself here), I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around Mutton Bustin'. It's scheduled to be featured this weekend at the Multnomah County Fair at Oaks Park, which will also showcase the usual array of pettable farm animals, food, rides, a talent show, an alpaca pavilion (!!) and other fun stuff. But Mutton Bustin'? That gives me pause...
If you've never seen Mutton Bustin', it's a rodeo event for children that's supposed to mimic the adult sport of bronco riding. A large sheep is put inside a chute, a small child is placed on its back, they open the chute and BANG! The sheep takes off and throws the child off in an unceremonious manner, usually within six seconds or less. Here's a video:
Okay, so on one hand, the ASPCA is absolutely right in their condemnation of using rodeo animals in such a way... the sheep have absolutely no choice in this matter. And while it does provide a guilty type of hilarity— especially if you don't like kids very much—putting the children backwards, face down on the bottom of the sheep seems like a particularly weird type of child abuse. Then there's the crowd factor—a bunch of adults who don't really seem to care that much about the safety of the children or the sheep.
BUT! Maybe I'm being a Debbie Downer (again), and this falls under the classification of ATVs, jet skis, and snow mobiles... sports that are loathsome to look at, but actually super fun in practice.
Anyway, like I said, my shaky moral compass cannot be trusted—which is why I leave the final decision in the hands of the only court that I truly think of as "supreme"... YOU, the voters in the following BLOGTOWN POLL.