This Melbourne Cup day in Australia, I am wondering why humans like to see animals race? Why not force them into even more extreme sports?
We know for sure that one species likes to compete, and will trade death for glory. It is our own. Frankly, as a racing-type human, I’m jealous of all the attention given to horses each year in Australia on the first Tuesday of November. There are many like me, who do not need to be whipped to go faster. We like drugs that shorten our lives but make us heroes right now. We like being up before dawn doing painful mind-numbing laps around tracks. And making a spectacle of ourselves for the amusement of finely dressed ladies is something we welcome for the subliminal prize of making love to them all; it’s fifty/fifty whether horses hear the same promise when the ladies all cheer.
We need to get animal liberationists, bookmakers and bike racing clubs to a meeting. My first thought is to build a crit circuit in front of the stands there at Flemmington raceway and sneak a few short format bike races into the carnival program. And for god’s sake, bring back those man v. horse races I remember from show day when I was a kid. They were fantastic!
Once we get racing carnival crowds used to watching bike races as well, with all the same chances for betting, it will be relatively easy to phase out the horses.