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To not understand why bullfighting still happens

(61 Posts)
Holiday1578 Sat 09-Mar-19 14:07:42

Saw an upsetting picture on Twitter of the bullfighter and some official looking people in the front row laughing as a bull collapses and dies
Is anyone from or live in a country where bullfighting still takes place ? I don’t understand why there aren’t enough people against it for it to stop

dudsville Sat 09-Mar-19 14:10:29

While i agree with your sentiment, every awful thing "still" happens. Humans have the capacity to be terrible.

Holiday1578 Sat 09-Mar-19 14:14:51

I just thought it would have been phased out by now as it’s so cruel

Hoppinggreen Sat 09-Mar-19 14:22:18

I hate any form of animal cruelty and would never go anywhere near a bull fight
However, I have also spent a lot of time in Spain and read around this issue and you need to understand how deeply ingrained bullfighting is in their culture and psyche. It dates back to the Mithras Cult of the 1st century onwards that was prevelant across a lot of Southern Europe and is in some ways part of what it is to be Spanish for the older generation. The idea of Banning bullfighting is very offensive to many Spanish people and an attack on their national identity by a bunch of soft new age lefties who have no idea what it is to be truely Spanish ( paraphrasing here but you get the idea)
Of course it is also big business for breeders and bullring owners ( which are often municipal) not to mention the cult of celebrity around bullfighters.
I would love for it to be banned but I can see why it hasn’t been yet and is unlikely to some time. If you want to learn more about it read something by Jason Webster, who also writes about the Moorish influences and Flamenco. He’s an America who’s lived in Spain for many years and offers a fascinating insight into the country that goes much deeper than you get from a 2 week Holiday on The Costa Del Sol

lljkk Sat 09-Mar-19 14:22:51

Those bulls have utterly fantastic lives until the last few hours (transport isn't fun, & last 20 minutes which I'll freely agree amounts to tormenting them to death). Total quality of life is wildly much better than being a typical British beef bullock, I reckon.

Since I eat beef (& drink milk), I can pass no judgement on bull-fighting. I am partly responsible for much worse treatment of cows.

lljkk Sat 09-Mar-19 14:23:35

ps: it is dying out. Most hispanics view it as a historical peculiarity.

HeathRobinson Sat 09-Mar-19 14:24:51

In the same vein, tradition etc, I never understood how they managed to ban fox hunting in the UK.

Holiday1578 Sat 09-Mar-19 14:25:21

lljkk- that’s good if it is dying out

Holiday1578 Sat 09-Mar-19 14:27:06

Heath- unfortunately fox hunting still happens

Ellenborough Sat 09-Mar-19 14:27:17

However, I have also spent a lot of time in Spain and read around this issue and you need to understand how deeply ingrained bullfighting is in their culture and psyche.

The idea of Banning bullfighting is very offensive to many Spanish people and an attack on their national identity by a bunch of soft new age lefties who have no idea what it is to be truely Spanish ( paraphrasing here but you get the idea)

That can be applied to just about everything abhorrent that is done in the name of tradition, culture or religion. Doesn't make it right.

HeathRobinson Sat 09-Mar-19 14:30:34

Trail hunting happens, not fox.

Hoppinggreen Sat 09-Mar-19 14:31:04

I wasn’t saying it was right, I was answering OPs question about why it hasn’t been banned

Holiday1578 Sat 09-Mar-19 14:32:04

Heath- unfortunately i think a lot of people go on the wrong side of the law and fox hunting does still happen

dreichuplands Sat 09-Mar-19 14:37:25

For the same reasons as fox hunting, hare coursing, fighting with dogs etc still happen whether or not they are legal.
I lived somewhere with a bull ring, it was used but I don't know anyone who went there. It is slowly dying out in some countries.

JessicaWakefieldSVH Sat 09-Mar-19 14:40:06

I grew up on a free range farm. Trust me, some pretty horrific things happen to animals so you can eat them. Don’t even get me started on commercial slaughter houses. You can’t single out certain cultures without looking at your own.

Holiday1578 Sat 09-Mar-19 14:42:20

Jessica - I think it’s more the fact of the animal being tortured for entertainment that gets to me

Meandmetoo Sat 09-Mar-19 14:44:11

I think it is dying out now thankfully op.

I'm not one to celebrate the death of any human normally, but when I see matadors and hunters get their well earned comeuppance its hard not to smirk a little.

BejamNostalgia Sat 09-Mar-19 14:44:20

ps: it is dying out. Most hispanics view it as a historical peculiarity.

Spanish people aren’t Hispanic.

Ellenborough Sat 09-Mar-19 14:47:18

Exactly Holiday

We all know that the meat farming industry is not ideal and there is huge room for improvement where animal welfare is concerned but it can at least be argued that there is a need for it.

Deliberately hurting, terrifying, tormenting, humiliating and eventually killing an animal for fun and entertainment is not really comparable.

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Sat 09-Mar-19 14:57:58

I cannot bear animal cruelty and couldn't understand why bullfighting was a good watch for people. However, I then read "Death in the Afternoon" by Ernest Hemingway who loved the bullfight and understood what the attraction was for those who like to go (watching the supreme skill of a really talented toreador, positioning cape and body in classical moves, the theatre of the whole spectacle, etc) - Hemingway was in love with Spain, the Spanish and the bullfight so he puts his outlook on things much better than me, of course. I still abhor bullfighting but it made me understand the point of view of those who don't. The other thing is, I was once talking to a cleaner at work, who is Spanish, and we were discussing how I was working late and I remarked that I really needed to go home soon because the walker had probably left my dog in the garden (hot day) and she would be getting cold - she said that the dog would be fine "dogs don't feel the cold". I was a bit shocked and it was obvious that there are many people (probably not so many in UK as we are predominantly animal lovers here) who have really convinced themselves that animals don't suffer pain/cold, etc.
PS: For the mumsnet dog people - no, I don't leave my current dog alone in the garden as I am well aware that dogs are stolen from gardens a lot nowadays.

JessicaWakefieldSVH Sat 09-Mar-19 14:59:40

* it can at least be argued that there is a need for it.*

It can also be argued there is not.

RedForShort Sat 09-Mar-19 15:04:27

Those bulls have utterly fantastic lives until the last few hours (transport isn't fun, & last 20 minutes which I'll freely agree amounts to tormenting them to death).
As far as I'm aware the bulls are starved for days before hand and then given a lot of food before they are put in the arena. This method makes the bull dozy (like anyone is after eating a lot) and therefore easier to 'fight'.

Ellenborough Sat 09-Mar-19 15:05:04

Yes of course, but my point is that no-one, not even the proudest most pig-headed Spaniard, could argue a 'need' for bullfighting.

lljkk Sat 09-Mar-19 22:29:40

Quora thread is interesting.

lljkk Sat 09-Mar-19 22:38:04

Wikipedia says that it's a myth about the Spanish bulls starved before a fight.

However, claim about Portuguese bullfighting that involved 24 hrs starvation.

The are breathtakingly beautiful magnificent cattle. Can't get a bull into that amazing condition by mistreating it. The purist fans also get angry if they think the bull has been hobbled in any unseen way which is seen as a kind of cheating. Only the violence seen in the ring is considered acceptable, and the animal is supposed to arrive in the ring in tiptop condition (would say the purists). The steak is sold as very prime cuts afterwards. So it has to be top quality.

To clarify, I'm not a fan. Just that of all the crappy things humans do, this is near bottom of my upsetting list.

SpenglerOswald Sat 09-Mar-19 22:54:01

Because as a sovereign nation Spain is allowed to protect its heritage? Despite what the liberal elite think should happen

Ellenborough Sun 10-Mar-19 05:39:51

Would you argue the same for little girls being held down by their aunties while some old crone slices up their genitals with no anaesthetic in Egypt or Somalia or Indonesia Spengler?

When is barbarism acceptable because of ‘protecting heritage’ and when is it just plain old indefensible barbarism? Why do some communities get to defend their heritage and not others? What kind of fuckwits want to defend deliberate cruelty and barbarity purely for entertainment’s sake anyway? Would you be harrested for doing the same thing to a dog or a pig in your back garden in Spain? Of course you would. Take the ‘art’ out of it and it’s no different.

Ellenborough Sun 10-Mar-19 05:41:32


PineapplePower Sun 10-Mar-19 05:59:40

she said that the dog would be fine "dogs don't feel the cold"

I find Spanish attitudes towards dogs really tragic. Read about Spanish hunting dogs, a lot of people kill them after hunting season so they don’t have to take care of them the rest of the year

SpenglerOswald Sun 10-Mar-19 06:02:44

Would you argue the same for little girls being held down by their aunties while some old crone slices up their genitals with no anaesthetic in Egypt or Somalia or Indonesia Spengler? obviously not, and the fact that you can compare the two shows how muddled your thinking is on the matter.

Ellenborough Sun 10-Mar-19 06:10:27

No Spendler it really really doesn’t. The fact that you CAN’T compare the two and care more for the right to defend tradition is rather worrying though. Think about it.

SpenglerOswald Sun 10-Mar-19 06:37:10

@Ellenborough think about what? I bet the majority of people who get irate about bullfighting eat meat.

Ellenborough Sun 10-Mar-19 07:33:15

Oh for goodness sake spengler I’m sure they do. Can you not separate the fact that there will be some suffering as an (almost) unavoidable side effect of meat farming, with killing purely for sport, pleasure or art, and having an audience watch that killing for entertainment? hmm

If you read what I’ve said upthread it’s clear I’m not condoning cruelty in farming. But you don’t have to reject meat eating to have an issue with bullfighting, or any other blood sport that’s purely designed to give people a thrill.

I don’t think that anyone’s ‘right’ to practise something as part of their heritage or religion or culture (that would, in slightly different circumstances be considered barbaric, abusive and illegal) should trump an animal’s or a human’s right to not be tortured, brutalised, abused or have bits of their genitals or anything else pierced, slashed or cut off that they have not personally consented to in the full understanding of what will happen and why. Unless it has been shown to be an absolute medical necessity, obviously.

The one exception for me is the right to farm animal produce. But as intelligent people with a conscience and the wherewithal to mitigate suffering, (if not remove it completely) I believe we should farm, slaughter and eat our animal produce more mindfully, more compassionately and as ethically as is possible. And if we hunt for game then that should be done ethically also.

Hollygoverylightly Sun 10-Mar-19 08:36:46

It's actually banned in Catalonia, but still goes on in France!! So the culture thing mmm. It's something that makes me very sad indeed, if you want to join forces and go and protest, let's do it!!

Holiday1578 Sun 10-Mar-19 08:39:28

I think you have put it very articulately Ellen
And meat for food is a very different issue to animals being tortured for entertainment

JessicaWakefieldSVH Sun 10-Mar-19 08:59:24

It isn’t really. You’re just drawing a different line than others, of where you deem the use of animals to be unnecessary. It’s not necessary to farm animals for human survival. It’s a cultural tradition, like bullfighting. I don’t like bullfighting either, but I’m not prepared to attack other cultures use of animals when our culture unnecessarily uses them too.

Holiday1578 Sun 10-Mar-19 09:15:12

I disagree . I think there is a huge difference between meat for food and torturing an animal to death for human entertainment

Livelovebehappy Sun 10-Mar-19 09:25:47

Unfortunately many countries carry out barbaric rituals on animals in the name of tradition which, btw, is always used as an excuse to treat animals appallingly. One example is dogs being boiled alive in South Korea before being eaten. My previous in-laws used to attend bullfights everytime they visited Spain, and I really disliked them because of it. Can’t see that anyone who enjoys watching it have any redeeming qualities at all and must be deeply unpleasant individuals.

Hoppinggreen Sun 10-Mar-19 09:31:40

According to my Catalan friends banning it was more about sticking 2 fingers up to Madrid than animal welfare. It was never as popular there anyway, it’s more in the Seville/Valencia area that it’s so entrenched.
As I’ve said, I hate it personally but unless you really look into it you won’t understand why it hasn’t been banned nationwide yet. In the Southern cities it’s a political hot potato and anytime trying to ban it will probably face issues with re- election

JessicaWakefieldSVH Sun 10-Mar-19 09:36:16

I’ve grown up on a farm, my fathers family are all in farming. You’d all be quite surprised at what farming really involved, from the way dogs are used to docking tails, shearing is traumatic and scary for them too. Sorry but the ‘difference’ is just about pointing fingers at other cultures and saying western cultures treat their animals better, and that’s a lie.

Holiday1578 Sun 10-Mar-19 09:38:38

I disagree Jessica

Holiday1578 Sun 10-Mar-19 09:59:11

Just to clarify, I mean that I disagree again regarding the farming industry being comparable to tormenting animals for entertainment

JessicaWakefieldSVH Sun 10-Mar-19 10:24:46

I understand that’s your opinion. I just think most people are incredibly uninformed and often find discussions like this xenophobic- not yourself but the framing generally leans that way. But I appreciate your view and concern for the bulls. They’re amazing animals, very placid most of the time. But even my Dad wouldn’t walk in the same paddock as them!

Slight derail but did anyone see in the news that a herd of those beautiful highland cattle with shaggy hair were slaughtered and sold in the Peak District because a dog walker complained? They’re beautiful and very peaceful animals, really iconic part of the moors. So sad they’re no longer there after 50 years!

Holiday1578 Sun 10-Mar-19 11:21:47

It’s nothing to do with being in another country
My concern is only for the animal as I’m animal lover

JessicaWakefieldSVH Sun 10-Mar-19 11:24:02

If you’re an animal lover that eats animals then I’m afraid I find your position hypocritical. I do think you’re genuine and as I said above your personal comments aren’t xenophobic, I was speaking about it more generally.

I do agree they should stop, I just wouldn’t personally single this out.

Holiday1578 Sun 10-Mar-19 11:37:22

I’m veggie but even if I wasn’t I could still hate bullfighting The reason for my original post was I found the picture of people laughing at a dying animal upsetting

JessicaWakefieldSVH Sun 10-Mar-19 11:38:41

I know. I worked with Shearer’s who laughed when they cut the sheep and the sheep panicked. It is sad when people get a kick out of hurting animals.

JessicaWakefieldSVH Sun 10-Mar-19 11:39:27

Dairy animals have an absolutely terrible existence FYI.

Hoppinggreen Sun 10-Mar-19 12:06:05

holiday I haven’t seen the photo but while they may have been laughing at the dying bull they will have also been cheering it at some point and possibly jeering the Matador or Torreador if he didn’t perform
It’s a very complex issue and not as simple as “ban it”. I wish they would but it won’t happen in my lifetime or my children’s I fear
Is all very symbolic, from where you sit to every item of clothing the matadors wear and firmly engrained in the Spanish culture (at least in some areas). Even the majority of Spaniards who don’t like it and would never go to a bullfight probably don’t want it banned

Twerking9til5 Sun 10-Mar-19 12:13:59

“Trail hunting happens, not fox.”

Except when hounds ‘accidentally’ pick up the scent of a fox and ‘accidentally ‘ kill it. Like ever so often....

Phuquocdreams Sun 10-Mar-19 12:26:19

I grew up on a farm, have seen how sheep are treated sometimes (though most of the time they’re just living a fairly natural life in a field), have been in a slaughter house etc. I’ve no problem eating meat at all, we are omnivores, we should just aim that the animals have the best life and death possible. I don’t think that’s anything like bull fighting. I, in my ignorance, went to a bull-fight in Seville, and it was one of the most shocking things I’ve seen, the gratuitous cruelty. It’s not even a fair fight, the bull is stabbed over and over before the matador even gets in the ring. Yes, we shouldn’t have gone, it was naive, but if we take the attitude that anything goes because humans are omnivores, why did we bother banning bear-baiting, dog-fighting, cock-fighting? Torturing animals for fun is wrong.

manicinsomniac Sun 10-Mar-19 12:56:10

This is probably a really stupid question but is it always the bull who dies? Do the fighters ever lose and get killed instead?

I can't imagine how horrible a bull fight would be to have to watch.

Holiday1578 Sun 10-Mar-19 13:04:37

Well said Pdreams

Maneandfeathers Sun 10-Mar-19 13:19:14

I really don’t get anyone that gets enjoyment over killing or seeing an animal killed.

Disgusting regardless of culture.

Islands81 Sun 10-Mar-19 13:29:35

The Spanish think very differently to (the bulk) of us when it comes to the treatment of animals. I’m a massive animal lover and have not eaten meat for nearly 30 years, and I found it upsetting when I went to Cadiz last year.

I went horse riding while I was there (made sure that the horses were well treated before I booked it). My guide was telling me that it’s seen as a status thing to have a horse. But often the only time people’s horses will see the light of day is once a year for the fiesta in town - the rest of the year they kept in a stable or shed 24/7, and then they get them out to ride them into town for that one day. Of course the horses have gone completely crazy from being shut in like that, but apparently the crazier your horse is on fiesta day, the better, as it’s more fun. Some of the horses at the stables I went to had been rescued from that kind of life, and it had taken years to get them ‘normal’ again.

LakieLady Sun 10-Mar-19 13:37:59

I have never been to Spain because I find bullfighting so abhorrent. When they ban it, I might consider going, but they'd have to stop doing some of the other cruel stuff to animals that happens at some of the fiestas.

I was really shocked to see a bullring in SW France (Gers), I had no idea the French were into it too.

RedRosie Sun 10-Mar-19 13:48:21

I hate it ... and things like the massacre of songbirds in Malta, or hunting with hounds here in the UK which really still goes on, or underground dog fighting.

But then I usually think to myself "tell it to a battery chicken". Most cultures exploit animals one way or another. We just have different levels of tolerance I guess.

JessicaWakefieldSVH Sun 10-Mar-19 13:53:37

Pdreams, do you not what omnivore means? It’s not the same as obligate carnivores. Just because we can, doesn’t mean that we must or should.

JessicaWakefieldSVH Sun 10-Mar-19 13:56:54

Torturing animals for fun is wrong. agreed. Some would argue that killing an animal that wants to live when you don’t need to to survive is wrong. My points really are that everyone draws different lines when it comes to animal use. If you still intentionally use them in some way, you’re just imposing your cultural beliefs on others whilst using animals in a different way and for different reasons. You could argue your reasons are better, more humane, but someone else might pick apart your own culture and where and how they use animals... dog breeding etc etc it’s something worth giving time to really think about.

SilverySurfer Sun 10-Mar-19 14:17:02

Bullfighting is an abomination, as is any activity which results in pain for animals in any so called 'sport'. Nor do I have sympathy for the matadors if/when they are gored by the bull.

Piewacket Sun 10-Mar-19 17:28:35

BejamNostalgia Hispanic means derived from Spain, it's the old roman word for Spain, Spanish people are Hispanic.

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