The way Aussies feel about the 'race that stops the nation' has shifted over time. A once universally-loved and iconic event is now more known for its connection with animal welfare violations, gambling and anti-social behaviour. Just because you don't support the Melbourne Cup doesn't mean you have to do nothing.
From joining a rally to supporting like-minded businesses, these are the five ways you can protest Melbourne Cup day and still enjoy yourself!
1. Support Like-minded Businesses
Skip the long lunches with sweepstakes this Melbourne Cup day and look to venues and businesses that support animal welfare. In Sydney, head over to vegan restaurant Bodhi between Monday 2nd to Sunday 8th November and order one of their 'Nup the Cup' cocktails or desserts to directly support their charity of choice, Horse Rescue Australia. In Melbourne, Wombat Cafe & Store will be donating their 10% public holiday surcharge to the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses. And on the Sunshine Coast, cool venue Elixba has joined forces with Ocean Street Precinct and Naked Treaties to put on a three-course lunch and raffle with all profits going to Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses.
2. Donate to Charity
Invest your betting money into supporting charities that do great work for the welfare of horses. Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses generates awareness around the issues of horseracing and lobbies the government to act. Horse Rescue Australia is all about rescuing neglected horses and giving them a new start. And Save a Horse do fantastic work in rehabilitating and rehoming horses.
3. Attend a Rally
Even with COVID-19 restrictions still in place, you can still rally and protest. Farshuns on the Field is the biggest annual protest that runs from 2pm-4pm, coinciding with the race. You can join via Facebook on Tuesday 3rd November to stand in solidarity with Aussies who want to see the horseracing industry change. If you are wanting to join a rally in person, check out this page to see if there is an organised protest in your local area.
4. Host Your Own Event
Get your friends together and host a Melbourne Cup party with a difference. Still wine and dine the afternoon away but make it about anything other than horseracing...halloween dress-up, anyone? You can even take the opportunity to use it as a fundraiser opportunity with everyone bringing a plate of food and a donation to the cause.
5. Sponsor a Horse
Instead of checking the form guide and betting on horses, why not jump online to Save a Horse and sign up to be a sponsor. For $5 you can contribute to their feed bill, and for $50 you will cover the hay cost. Half ($100) and full ($200) sponsorships are also available, if you are looking to make a bigger contribution.
Inspired by our Melbourne Cup protest ideas to do more for your local community and environment? Check out our 10 favourite Aussie brands that give back to the community with every purchase you make. And be sure to review our top tips for reducing food waste in your home.