Some traditions should be stopped; this is one of them. But it makes money so it's ok. This is "excepted" animal abuse. It's wrong and should be stopped! If these people want to show how tough they are, let them walk/hike the distance on their own instead of sitting on a sled and letting these poor animals pull them.
"Vows of abstinence break easier than condoms."
Mushing a few dogs a few miles for the amusement of tourists is fine.
Mushing dogs 50 - 100 miles in interior Alaska to get supplies from one place to another is great.
But mushing dogs 1150 miles in a competitive race just so the winner can get a shiny new truck and a prize purse is animal cruelty.
The terrain is rough. The temps are frigid. Dogs collapse. Male dogs' scrotums freeze.
It also does nothing to honor the original Iditarod. The original was a race against time, not one another. And it was a RELAY!
I would be cool if the Iditarod was a relay race, instead of some uber-macho, uber-competitive jock type driving his dogs to exhaustion, and some to death. But that will never happen as long as the money makers bill this as nostalgia, tradition, and Alaskana.
And please don't say, "These dogs were bred to be mushed" because it's simply not true. If you were to attach a size-appropriate sled to my jack russells, they'd want to pull it too.
Mexico has their bull fights, the south has their [filtered word] fights, we have the Iditarod. Nothing more than meaningless animal cruelty in competition designed for our amusement.
This tradition needs to die, or the Iditarod needs to be made into a relay, not an 1150 mile race.
Re: Iditarod---these dogs are trained and practice running all year round. They are kept in the best possible physical shape. This race is not hard on them at all. And they are not your live-in-the-house-pampered pets that some people have. Race horses are run whether they are hurting or not. And they only run for a couple of years because they break down. I've seen horses put down on the track because they broke a leg. Now horse racing is cruel. Believe me, I know.
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