Bullfights are shows in which bulls are fought in closed squares following rules and points to finally kill the animal. In its modern form, bullfighting was born in Spain in the 18th century, however, the origins of bullfighting can be traced back to its Greco-Latin cultural roots, during the Minoan civilization.
Arguments against bullfighting
They are a tradition
No one doubts that bullfighting is a tradition with many years of history, but that is not enough of an argument to continue doing it. Clitoral ablation, beatings for adultery or gladiator fights are also or have been at some point a tradition in some parts of the world, but that does not stop us from denouncing how cruel these practices are.
Traditions serve to connect us with our past, a way to project our culture into the future and to reaffirm ourselves. But evolution is useful for something and, among other things, it is used to be able to look at the past critically , maintain what is valid and eliminate aspects such as animal abuse.
Bullfighting is an art
Art is creation, construction, something that elevates the spirit and gives life, it never takes it away. There are many well-known authors and artists who have been fascinated by bullfighting, but that is not enough reason to consider it art . Some of those who defend it say that bullfighting falls in love because it changes the animality of the bull, talks about the transcendence of death and projects in the fight for the life of the bull the struggle of man to escape his animality and to survive, with a beauty that makes it transcend. Others say that it is the fight for life between a bull and a man, however it may be, no matter how much someone may like it, the discussion ends quickly if we take into account that if we remove all these beautiful words, what we have left is an animal tortured and killed. Would we accept torture and death in some other area of culture?
The bull does not die with dignity
Dignity, as well as bravery, bravery or honor are moral and behavioral categories created by the human being and that can only have meaning in him. Categorizing a bull or any other animal with these adjectives is absurd, since he does not act with dignity or fail to do so, he simply defends himself. In addition, death does not stop being death, no matter how much patina of dignity you want to give it, by fighting it you are not doing the bull any favors.
There is even more, no matter how much we accept that the bull dies in a dignified way, despite having done so to the cheers of thousands of people, it will end up in a cutting room where it will be destined for human consumption, something that is quite far from what what we commonly understand by a dignified death.
The bulls are not culture
It does not take much to be able to refute this argument, just listen and read what UNESCO, the United Nations Organization for Science, Education and Culture, has to say about it. Well, almost 40 years ago, in 1980, this organization ruled on bullfighting saying that bullfighting is the banal art of torturing and killing animals in front of the public. Something that traumatizes children and adults, that worsens the condition of neuropaths who watch the show and distorts our relationship with the animal.
But it is not necessary for UNESCO to say so; cruelty, mistreatment and pain cannot be considered culture. Culture is the customs and ways of life that help us develop in some way or another, and animal abuse does not meet any of the points that culture should meet.
They are religion since some bullfights are made in honor of saints
The Catholic Church has repeatedly condemned the celebration of festivities in which there is torture and death of animals. Already in the year 1567 a papal bull was promulgated by Pius V in which these types of shows were considered bloody and clumsy, threatening to excommunicate those clerics, kings or emperors who promoted them. In 1920 the Vatican condemned them again, referring to the words of Pius V almost 400 years earlier. John Paul II also spoke about it, remembering that in the Bible there is no distinction between men and animals. Thus, anyone who uses religious arguments to defend the bulls should know that even from religion these acts are condemned.
The end of bullfighting would mean its demise
The bull is a herbivorous animal whose days pass placidly while looking for food in the pastures. In a natural state, the bull does not show any type of “bravura” except when there is a territorial fight, if it is in danger or if there is a fight in relation to reproduction. The variety of the brave bulls is made based on human choices of the most aggressive individuals, just as in other cattle they have been chosen to give more milk or more meat.
The fact is that if the bullfights disappear, the bulls will not disappear , the bravery in this variety will simply disappear, a characteristic that has no use in his life. A species is considered extinct when there is not a single living individual in the entire world and, today, there are about 2.5 million fighting bulls on the entire planet. All this without taking into account that the fighting bulls cannot become extinct, since only the species can be extinguished and not the varieties.
The bull does suffer
Bulls are cephalized mammals with a central nervous system and a complex nervous and neural network, with pain receptors, so they obviously feel pain in the same way that humans feel it . In fact, only after having observed them for a few minutes to realize that at the slightest a fly lands on their back they move their tails to chase it away. If they are able to perceive the fly, what will they feel when they stick the banderillas, the puyas and finally the sword? But, in addition, in bullfights the bulls are not the only ones who suffer pain and can die. The horses ridden by the picadors , although they now wear protection, suffer injuries and pain during the bullfight.
The bull is not born for this
That the fighting bulls have been raised to die in the bullring does not mean that they were born for that. That is as much as saying that dogs are born to participate in fights because some breeders assign them to those activities. The fact that man has created this subspecies from the choice of the bravest individuals for generations does not give us the right to torture or kill them at will, nor is it the only fate that can await that animal. The genetic condition of the bull is not an inevitable stamp on his destiny.
We have already pointed it out throughout the article, but if we consider it, any of these arguments can be countered with something very simple: they are cruel. In bullfights an animal is tortured and killed , and for that simple fact they should be prohibited. In fact, it is so absurd that if it were practiced on a farm or in a slaughterhouse the same as it is done in a lathe square, those responsible would be tried and criminally convicted.
Reasons to ban bullfighting
Below we give you a series of reasons why bullfighting should be prohibited , however, surely you can find many more:
- Because they are a cruel form of animal abuse.
- Because in any other place than the square it would be considered a crime without any doubt.
- Because it is totally cruel to raise animals for the sole purpose of torturing and killing them.
- Because it supposes a form of animal exploitation .
- Because the dehesas destroy biodiversity and desertify the forests.
- Because they don’t live as well as they want to make you believe, in fact, they kill them when they have barely completed a quarter of their lives.
- Because before going out to the bullring, the bulls are drugged, frightened and tortured.
- Because bulls are highly sensitive, sociable and intelligent.
- Because it is not a fight of equals as they want to make it seem, the end of the bullfight in the vast majority of cases is the death of the bull.
- Because 80% of pardoned bulls die within a few days from bullfight injuries.
- Because not only the bull is tortured, but also the picadores’ horses. Sometimes their vocal cords are even cut so they don’t neigh.
- Because it is a practice more typical of other centuries than of the 21st.
- Because it is forbidden to drive without a seat belt or enter a construction site without a protective helmet, how can someone be allowed to stand in front of a bull?
- Because it is only legal in 8 countries of the world.
- Because in the current situation, it is completely undignified that public money be allocated for this type of show.
- “The art of bullfighting consists of turning a beautiful animal into a bloody meatball in twenty minutes before an elated audience” Manuel Vicent
- “Bullfights are the most repugnant, topical and outdated of our customs.” Jesus Torbado
- “The public goes to the square only to contemplate the meticulous death of an animal.” Manuel Vincent
- “Bullfighting is the last hurdle of an uncivilized humanity.” Isidro Goma and Tomas
- “What will these people find in that face [that of a bull] that, far from being moved by its vision, grows more barbaric?” Eugene Noel
- “Hopefully one day we can shout: the bullfighter is dead: long live the bulls!” Edward del Rio
- “Bullfights are a vice of our blood poisoned since ancient times.” Hyacinth Benavente
- “Among cruelties, the most repulsive is that which is for fun.” Dolores Marsans Comas