Bullfighting should be a thing of the past

Bullfighting should be a thing of the past

Bullfighting is an outdated cruel spectacle in which a bull is tortured and attacked by a series of men on horses and on foot before they are brutally killed in front of an audience. Approximately 250,000 bulls are killed in bullfights every single year, and that doesn’t include the heifers (young cows) the bullfighters practice on to learn how to fight a bull. There’s no question that bulls are very strong animals, but they are not the aggressive killing machines some people might lead you to believe. The following video shows how gentle they are when they are not being taunted, tortured and fighting for their lives.

Several days before the “fight,” the bull is horrendously abused. Pre-game torture includes being beaten, wet newspapers stuffed into his ears, his horns shaved to keep him off balance, petroleum jelly rubbed into his eyes to impair his vision, cotton stuffed up his nostrils to cut off his respiration, heavy weights are tied to his neck for several days before the fight to weaken him, needles stuck into his genitals, etc. He is kept in a dark box to disorientate him, and when he is let out of the box, he runs desperately towards the light at the end of the tunnel, thinking that at last, his suffering is over, only to face his killers and a jeering mob.

The “fight” is composed of 3 separate “acts.”

First, he faces picadors – men on horseback, who cut into his neck muscles with a pica – a weapon of about 6-8 inches long and 2 inches thick – to impair his ability to lift his head and defend himself. These weapons are twisted around after being thrust into him to create large gaping wounds, which results in massive blood loss. The horses used are often badly gored by him as they are put into his path as he runs terrified around the ring. To prevent the horses from becoming terror-stricken, they are blindfolded, their ears are stuffed with cotton wool, and their vocal cords are cut to stop them from screaming with fear at the bull’s attack.

In the second act, assistant matadors plunge up to six banderillas – a colorfully decorated sharp, harpoon-like barbed instruments – into his body, which weakens him further and causes more blood loss. By this point, he has lost a significant amount of blood, is exhausted, and will most certainly die just from the wounds inflicted on him thus far without the avalanche of horrors that awaits him in the next act.

The final act is the “kill,” which is done by the main matador.  The matador is supposed to sever the artery near his heart with one thrust of the sword, but this almost never happens, and often takes several stabs. Once he is on the ground, his ears and tail are cut off, and his broken, bleeding body is dragged around the ring by mules while the crowd, which includes children, boo and jeer at him. Please watch the following 10-minute video to further understand bullfighting and why we need to end this practice immediately.

These are not even “fair fights” between a bull and a matador but highly staged forms of animal cruelty sanctioned and subsidized by governments. Many countries like Argentina, Canada, Cuba, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom have banned bullfighting by law. But it still takes place in Spain, France, Portugal, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico. It’s worth noting that the majority of the people who live in these countries are completely opposed to this blood bath. Unfortunately, the tourist industry plays a very large role in keeping this barbarity alive. Absolutely no one should have to die such an agonizing death, especially in the name of amusement. There’s simply no place for bullfighting and other senseless cruelties in the modern world.

Here are a few ways we can help put an end to bullfighting:

1. First one is a no-brainer; never attend or participate in any form.

2. Educate and encourage everyone you know to refrain from attending or participating.

3. Call and write to your elected officials and express your disapproval if you’re a tax-paying citizen in one of the countries where the government supports/promotes bullfighting.

4. Call and write to companies that sponsor or promote bullfighting.

5. Use your wallet to make a point. For example, if you are travelling to a country that still allows bullfighting, don’t spend your money at resorts, restaurants, tourist shops, travel agencies, etc, that promote bullfighting, and make sure you let them know why you are not using their services. The tourist industry plays a very large role in keeping this torture alive.

6. Consider donating to one of the animal protection organizations that are fighting to put an end to this cruel spectacle.

The following is an excerpt from an interview with an ex-bullfighter, Álvaro Múnera, who is now an avid animal rights activist:

“Look, to be a talented person doesn’t make you more human, more sensible, or more sensitive. There are lots of examples of murderers with a high IQ. But only those who have a sense of solidarity with other living beings are on their way to becoming better people. Those who consider the torture and death of an innocent animal a source of fun or inspiration are mean-spirited, despicable people. Never mind if they paint beautiful pictures, write wonderful books, or film great movies. A quill can be used to write with ink or blood, and many terrorists and drug dealers of the 21st century have university diplomas hanging on the wall. The virtues of the spirit, that’s what really counts…”

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