It’s Melbourne Cup day and, in classic Aussie style, the nation is torn between enjoying the world’s most ridiculous reason for a public holiday and protesting its existence. That’s right – Australians get one Tuesday off work every year to watch a horse race.
Scrutiny has been particularly high this year after recent revelations of former racehorses being mistreated at slaughterhouses. Protesters have called for the horse race – and the public holiday accompanying it – to be scrapped.
This debate has been going on for years in Australia. But for visiting tourists, the extremely targeted outrage can be difficult to comprehend.
One such backpacker – Hannah, from Germany – can’t help but feel the Aussies are missing the point.
“I keep hearing stories about refugee children being refused medical care on prison islands and Australians are like ‘Yeah, that sucks,'” Hannah said. “But as soon as someone mentions horses, they flip their shit.”
“I absent-mindedly asked an inner-city Melbourne woman what she had planned for the day off. She went on a very loud, very angry rant about how the racing industry is legalised murder.”
“I mean, she makes some fair points. But to be honest, I’d rather see passionate humanitarians standing up for, you know, humans.”
A few minutes further into her discussion with the “freelance spirit coach,” Hannah realised what the real problem was.
“I bet she won’t be protesting the four-day weekend if she ever gets a job.”