Next weekend, there is a bullfight in Caceres, the first of the season.
Bullfighting is a Spanish tradition originating from gladiatorial fights that took place when the Roman Empire occupied the peninsula, enduring the various reigns to come, and remains an integral part of culture.
During theFrancodictatorship bullfights were supported by the state as something genuinely Spanish so that bullfights became associated with the regime and, for this reason, many thought they would decline after the transition to democracy, but this did not happen.
I won’t even comment on the fact that it’s so typical of them to blame it on Franco (even though I just did).
Call me ignorant, call me rude, but I am judging you if you support bullfighting in any way, shape, or form. This inherently means that I am judging all Spaniards, which isn’t anything new. I am no activist for animal rights, and I don’t think that’s necessary in this situation—there is absolutely no excuse for supporting a “sport” that is literally torturing an animal. It’s no better than people who group together and beat their dogs for fun.
Let’s take a look at some descriptions on the Wikipedia page entitled “Spanish-style bullfighting”:
The picador stabs a mound of muscle on the bull’s neck leading to the animal’s first loss of blood. This loss of blood further weakens the bull and makes him ready for the next stage.
…The three banderilleros each attempt to plant two barbed sticks in the bull’s shoulders. These further weaken the enormous ridges of neck and shoulder muscle loss of blood, while also frequently spurring the bull into making more ferocious charges.
The matador must kill the bull in fifteen minutes after the first muleta pass, at most. After ten minutes, if the bull is still alive, the presidente will order anaviso, a warning given with a trumpet sound…The presidente will then give an order to have the bull returned to its pen… to have the bull killed outside the ring. Regardless, it is a dishonor for the failing matador.
The fact that a person would want to make an animal look stupid, and kill it afterwards, just to feel like more of a man, is downright embarrassing to the human race. It says a lot about Spanish culture that this is their “national pastime.” Yeah, ancient Romans had a similar concept with gladiators that fought animals and each other. The concept also disappeared, along with the ancient Roman Empire, 1500 years ago.
As this is an incredibly potent post, I am trying very hard to rationalize bullfighting. Yet amidst all the glamour and romanticism, the giant animal always dies, exhausted and stained with blood, and the man in the fabulous costume waves his big red cape, showered with roses and cheers.