Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Game Called Bullfighting

Image Courtesy:nriinternet.com

Bullfighting is the national sport of Spain. It is fun and entertaining to watch. Even as the crowd of thousands watch admiringly as the matador plays with death in a skilful manner, the game of death that has to get over with the bull dying, the cruelty and torture  being inflicted on the bull can't go unnoticed.

The recently taken decision of the Catalonian (a province in Spain) lawmakers to ban bullfighting in the territory starting from 2012, is a much required step to say the least. This comes after much protest by animal welfare activists.I do hope that this acts as a cue for the other territories in the country to follow suit and take action against this dangerous game.

Bullfighting has always been an integral part of Spanish culture. So most Spanish families find it unthinkable to do away with this custom, citing emotional and cultural factors. In fact, the practice of bullfighting has even been glorified in novels and poems of celebrated writers like Ernest Hemingway.
This fact has been utilised by the Opposition Government in Spain to criticise the ban. The Opposition stands in full support of the game and defends it, as it is part of the nation's heritage. A serious issue being used for political ploys insensitively?

Banning bullfighting would have its own repercussions (apart from the cultural ones), like thousands of jobs would be lost. But then, it is also true that large sums of compensation would be paid to the bull breeders.
In fact, the negative consequences of this brutal sport are far greater than the positive ones. It is reported that every year, around 24,000 bulls are killed to entertain an audience of 30 million people. Both man and animal face serious threat to their lives, as in a state of uncontrolled excitement, a bull could easily ram into a person. And there are numerous accounts of such incidents taking place.

Fire bull fiesta is another celebrated game. It is claimed to be less harsh on the bull. However, evidence suggests otherwise:
"It is obvious," said Manuel Cases, of the ADDA, a Catalan animal rights association. "They suffer from fear just as you or I would. We even have a video of a fire bull that collapsed and died of a heart attack. We don't mind people running in front of bulls, but it is something else to entertain yourself by making them suffer." (courtesy:guardian.co.uk)

The supporters of bullfighting (especially in the countries, where it is heralded as a sport) outnumber the non-supporters.Colombia's Constitutional court rejected the ban on bull and cockfighting, stating that it was "too much a part of Colombian tradition" to be banned.

I would like to round up this discussion by asking a question. If the bull is indeed such a sacred and traditional symbol of power in countries like Spain and Mexico , should it rather not be protected and conserved, rather than be  dragged and played around to death for sadistic pleasure?

1 comment:

  1. This is definitely an interesting post. I love reading this