“Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death and in which the degree of brilliance in the performance is left to the fighter’s honor.”
(The poster for the upcoming season)
Bullfighting has been a part of Spanish culture for centuries. Yet today across the world, people discuss whether bullfighting is a sport/art form shrouded in tradition or barbaric killing of an innocent creature. No matter one’s feeling, tourists are still drawn to this attraction and many have an internal struggle over whether it is appropriate for them to attend or not.
For me, I don’t have this internal struggle. I choose to look at it as an art form, a preservation of a time period, or a tradition that existed long before The Americas were even discovered. While I understand that tourism helps fuel the trade and that this once honorable sport has been diluted by the masses, the essence still exists. It all comes down to the fight between one man and one bull.
We can argue that the bull has no fair chance of surviving. This is very true. The bull must survive the taunting of the torero’s team before actually meeting the man (or now woman!) he must face. While there are posts on the BBC and PETA about bulls being tampered with before fights, from what I know (which is very limited), there are laws that set regulations for the age, weight, and abilities of the bull must be fully functional and in good condition. Yes there may be cases of tampering, but hey there are also cases of steroids/physical tampering in sports in America. Let’s not have a few unfair fights ruin the image of those who fight fairly. Also let us not forget, that if the bull preforms in a truly spectacular manner he will be indultado or pardoned. Where he will live the rest of his days happy, because they never allow the bull to fight twice and well he deserves it. Bulls have good memories and will be overly aggressive if they had to fight twice. If I were getting stabbed by skinny people in shiny outfits I would want revenge the next time I saw them as well.
It’s a sad fate the bull faces when entering the ring. I will never deny that. It’ s like when Harry Potter enters the forbidden forest and knows he is walking to his death. I’ve talked with some girls on the program and they have problems with the fact that the Bulls are raised to die. I can understand that, but at the same time I also eat meat so every animal I eat was raised to die. If one does not always eat organic/free ranged animals, then who is to say that these animals live worse lives than the bulls raised to fight. They live happy lives on farms well up until 4 years old when they are old enough to fight (at least it’s the case in Spain). If you really think about it, isn’t that the case with anything on this planet? We all die, animals and humans alike. And in many cases we are only remembered for our deaths if they are tragic. Sorry for the morbid thought, but it’s true. If the bulls death wasn’t so tragic, if he was raised just to be our next hamburger would we all care as much (other than the animal activists /vegetarians of course)? It is a tragic way to die with all of the stress and the pain, but hopefully in the end the fight will not last long and the kill will be clean.
I’m not a blood thirsty person. I don’t even like gory movies. I’ve even dabbled in vegetarianism for awhile. However for me what it comes down to is tradition and art. When done right the graceful movements of the torero and the clean kill of a bull can hopefully remind me of a time in the past. Who knows, maybe if I’m lucky I can see a bull pardoned. Or I might be a vegetarian for the rest of my life if things go poorly. Whatever the case may be I may only live in Spain once. Also, it can’t be any worse then watching the Chicago Cubs lose every year.
- Bulls that get pardoned
- Having the option to view a bullfight
- Bloody death
- Sad bulls
- Discourse over tradition and cruelty