Not the Melbourne Cup

With Melbourne Cup on us today, I thought I would jot a couple of thoughts on the matter.

The whole industry is rife with animal cruelty. It is money led, which means that perfectly healthy (and some not so healthy, but fit to live a happy life) creatures, apparently loved by the industry, are referred to as wastage. So many are killed for no longer or never making the grade. This isn’t what I’m going to talk about though – The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses has all you need to know.

I find it hard to have a single good thing to say about the industry. I think the publicity that the Melbourne Cup brings is very problematic as it is promoting a completely unnecessary industry, which is the cause of so many negative things in the world. It is something we should all be talking about without fear of being ‘un-Australian’ for holding a world view opposed to this popular event.

First up is the constant promotion of gambling. This isn’t just around Melbourne Cup, but it is amplified right now and it is something that is detrimental to the wellbeing of so many people in Australia and across the planet. We no longer see smoking advertised because smoking causes such serious health consequences. Well, if we are serious about mental health then we need to acknowledge that gambling can be as serious as cancer for some people in our community and has its own death toll and heartache.

Next is the usual Australian habit (and Britain, my homeland, is as guilty of this too) of finding comedy in the need for so many (usually young people) to get drunk. As a society we all like to think we are for having a good time, enjoying the effects of alcohol in moderation, but remaining self aware and considerate of others. So why do we continue to give these sorts of days a pass? To move forward as a society we need to be consistent in our message to the current and next generations that this level of binge drinking is not cool.

And then there’s the ‘dress up at Myers’ spectacle. The constant celebration of mindless consumerism and ‘beauty’ is particularly hard to swallow when this is the OK norm and to hold a view that ‘the use of animals for nothing but our own pleasure and gain is wrong’ is so foreign and antagonising for most in the mainstream, particularly the media. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with wanting to look nice – I trim my beard, choose t-shirts I like the look of and have my hair cut, but the constant pushing of a certain look, particularly for women, is clearly damaging to so many. In the case of events like the Melbourne Cup it further promotes an elitism we should all apparently be aspiring to where cash is king and material possessions are a measure of our success and worth.

I think this is all related to the disconnect we as a society feel towards our fellow earthlings and the planet’s wellbeing in general. We are all being distracted with flashy possessions and aspirations, and therefore losing where true worth comes from in life. I have reached this perspective in life after listening to people who are much more intelligent than me, and I am myself only in progress with fully aligning these principles with every aspect of my life. I don’t believe it is a rejection of the modern world – there is so much that works and that is good with where we are now. It is allowing us to evolve by reconnecting with the planet, with nature and each other – prioritising these things ahead of a new car or shiny watch.

So to me, the Melbourne Cup is not the only highlight on the calendar of what is a cruel, unnecessary and barbaric form of entertainment, but it also symbolises how we have got to a world where it is acceptable that animals are a commodity of ours and their wellbeing and rights are second to our wants. It shows not only a disregard to the horse’s life but no respect to the damage it perpetuates in our fellow human beings. I don’t know how, but we must all awaken and see the materialistic world for what it is. Guess what, even money only has value because we allow it too. I used to think if given the choice by Morpheus I would want to remain in the Matrix, but now I would choose the red pill every day!



  1. Great post! I wrote about something similar about my first experience at the races and how the ugly truth hides behind the glamour –


  2. Thanks for your comment! I read your article and am so pleased you were able to see past the “glamour” of the day to the sad reality of what is a cruel event.


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