Sheryl Crow has announced that some of the proceeds from her July 22 concert will be donated to the Cloud Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of wild horses. This has drawn both applause and criticism for the award-winning singer.
The concert is part of a summer tour in which Ms. Crow is opening for Kid Rock. But this particular show is being held at Cheyenne Frontier Days, a rodeo event that has drawn criticism from animal rights and welfare organizations for its treatment of animals. Horses and other animals have been severely injured or killed at the event.
Ginger Kathrens, executive director of the Cloud Foundation was quoted in the Huffington Post calling Sheryl a “true champion for wild horses” and adding that she ”has adopted a wild horse and contributed time and money to the cause of keeping them on public lands.” Crow herself has said “There’s legislation going on right now about exterminating these great wild mustangs… [They’re] truly one of the great representatives of our native culture here in America. Wild mustangs are really true to the heritage of this country; they help us to remember who we were… [and] the government is trying to have them run off cliffs and things.”
Now, Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), a non-profit charity opposing animal abuse, is asking that the Cloud Foundation reject the donating being offered in protest of the rodeo’s cruelty to horses. A spokesman from SHARK says “How can an organization dedicated to helping wild horses take blood money that was based, in part, on abusing wild horses? We believe what Ms. Crow is doing is nothing but PR spin.”
In a statement on her website, Ms. Crow acknowledged the opinions of those opposing the rodeo and gave an explanation for the donation: “I am aware of the contrasting and very passionate opinions that people have about this event, and rodeos in general. In recognition of these differences, and out of my love for wild horses, a portion of the proceeds from the show will be donated to The Cloud Foundation http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/, an organization dedicated to the preservation of wild horses on public lands.”
Rodeos have a long history of questionable (at best) treatment of animals, and fatal injuries to both animal and human participants. They have drawn opposition from animal rights groups for many years.