We certainly would never want to think of ourselves as those who’d promote or applaud violence to others.
That said, we have to give a hearty pat on the bloodied backs of the bulls who gored three matadors this week in Madrid’s famous bullfighting ring, Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, putting a halt to the bullfighting at the famed San Isidro festival for the first time in 35 years.
Two of the matadors walked away with minor injuries; one, David Mora, was severely injured by a bull at the opening of the festival.
From The Telegraph:
“David Mora was gored repeatedly when the first bull of the evening entered Las Ventas bullring during Tuesday’s San Isidro festival.
The 33-year-old torero was tossed on the horns of Deslio, a fighting bull weighing 532 kgs—just over half a tonne—before being pummeled into the ground by the enraged animal. Horrified spectators watched as fellow bullfighters used their capes to try to separate the bull from the felled matador, who suffered two serious gorings, a foot-long gash in his thigh that severed the femoral vein and a four inch wound to his upper arm.”
Yes this is terrible; yes this is tragic. But beside the point that this man chose to put himself in front of the bull as part of the “sport” when then animal had no such choice whatsoever is the fact that the tradition itself has been far more systematically cruel and tragic to the animals for nearly 300 years.
“In a typical Spanish bullfight, the bull enters the arena and is approached by picadors—men on horses who drive lances into the bull’s back and neck muscles. This attack impairs the bull’s ability to lift his head and defend himself. They twist and gouge the lances to ensure significant blood loss.
Then banderilleros enter on foot, distract the bull, and dart around him while plunging banderillas—brightly colored sticks with harpoon points on their ends—into his back. When the bull has become weakened from blood loss, the banderilleros run the bull in circles until he becomes dizzy and stops chasing them.
Finally, the matador appears and, after provoking a few exhausted charges from the dying animal, tries to kill the bull with his sword. If he misses, succeeding only in further mutilating the animal, an executioner is called in to stab the exhausted and submissive bull to death. The dagger is supposed to cut the animal’s spinal cord, but even this stroke can be blundered, leaving the bull conscious but paralyzed as he is chained by his horns and dragged out of the arena.”
I mean, fucking Ernest Hemingway, of all people, was against the practice and he was scientifically proven to be 99.9% testosterone. You can be tough and not dramatically slaughter bulls in a ring whilst wearing tights, Spain. Grow a pair, why don’t you.
We’ll abstain from posting any photos of the gorings, you can see those and read more, if you like, here. And you can find out more about what goes on exactly at these bullfights on PETA’s page on the subject. You can also read Hemingway’s 1923 letter in the Toronto Star Weekly on bullfighting.