Leading Issues in the News: Animal Rights

Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby. Photo credit: BANAMINE / Source / CC BY-SA

On May 2, 2015, eighteen thoroughbreds competed in the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, with American Pharoah emerging as the victor. Known as the “Fastest Two Minutes in Sports”, the race is the first leg of the Triple Crown and is followed by the Preakness Stakes and then the Belmont Stakes. Thousands of spectators enthusiastically participate in a number of traditions surrounding the race—including drinking mint juleps, wearing elaborate hats and singing “My Old Kentucky Home”.

However, not everyone is enthusiastic about the Kentucky Derby. Animal rights activists contend that using animals for sports and entertainment can be considered animal cruelty. They claim that activities such as horse racing, dogfighting and circuses cause animals to suffer needlessly in the name of entertainment.

Through the Animal Cruelty Leading Issue, SIRS Issues Researcher examines the question of whether or not the use of animals for entertainment constitutes animal cruelty. Like every SIRS Leading Issue, the Animal Cruelty Leading Issue contains an overview of the issue, an Essential Question with answers and viewpoints, and My Analysis questions to develop critical thinking skills.

Animal Cruelty Leading Issue

Screencap of the Animal Cruelty Leading Issue on SIRS Issues Researcher

Users can also navigate to the broader Animal Rights Leading Issue for even more coverage of the topic.

What are your thoughts on the Kentucky Derby in particular and horse racing in general? Comment below or tweet us using #ProQuest.

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