1985 - Sevilla, SpainINNOCENCE LOST

Flying to Sevilla in 1985 with a pack of fellow 9th graders, the school system’s hope was to teach the Spanish language while immersing us in rich and colorful culture. We learned a new and colorful vocabulary all right, the locals were happy to give lessons, but it was not in the curriculum and we would not receive extra credit.

We also experienced a tradition that had young, rabble-rousing boys reveling in real-life bloody violence and girls upchucking their Chorizo. I’m not referring to our stealth acquisition of sangria. I’m referring to our first (and my last) bull fight.

¡Mierda!*

Amid thousands of sweating and cheering Spaniards, the scalding sun beat down on a black bull whose morrillo, or mound of neck muscle, oozed thick, dark, caking blood. The bull had gone several rounds with a picador using his horse as a living shield. Unseeing, we wound through the jubilant crowd to our seats.  Next came two banderillas, sharp barbed sticks that jammed into the bull’s shoulders. After the first, I wasn’t watching. I was leaving. The crowd bellowed time and again. I pushed my way out of the arena, tears streaming, never looking back.

END THIS BLOOD SPORT

Supporters of bullfighting argue that it is a culturally important tradition and a fully developed art form on par with painting, dancing and music – that they respect the bull. I call bullshit, in any language you like. This is a slow, torturous sport to entertain crowds that lust for blood and suffering.

According to Sharkonline.org:

Contrary to the propaganda of bullfighting apologists, bulls are normally quiet and peaceful animals, and only react violently in self-defense, or the defense of their turf. For a number of hours prior to the bullfight, the bull is held in a tiny isolation cell, devoid of food, water, light or the company of his herd. This confuses and panics the bull, and debilitates him physically and mentally. Just before entering the bullring, the bull is harpooned. He begins the fight for his life already wounded and bleeding. This “fight” is completely fixed.

Dying Bull

Bullfights (and their bloodless variations) take place in Spain, Portugal, France, among other countries, and the US state of California.  It has been banned throughout history in Uruguay, Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador, and on January 1, 2012, in Catalina. We have a chance to add Mexico City to the ban list.

According to the World Society for the Protection of Animals:

Annually, an estimated 250,000 animals suffer globally due to spectacle events such as bullfighting. More bulls are killed in Mexico City than anywhere else in the world, and the city’s Legislative Assembly will soon be voting on a measure that would ban the practice.

Make the difference. Please ask Mr. José Luis Muñoz Soria, President of the Public Administration Commission of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Mexico, to support an immediate vote supporting the bullfighting ban. I did.

CALL BULLSHIT** ON BULLFIGHTING TODAY!

Help WSPCA Ban Bullfighting in Mexico City

*mierda – feminine noun – 1. shit (muy informal) (excremento) 2. crap (suciedad) 3. (cosa sin valor) es una mierda -> it’s (a load of) crap, de mierda -> shitty, crappy (malo)

**bullshit  – Sandeces, pendejadas, gilipolleces, huevadas, boludeces, mamadas (nonsense). (Vulgarismo)

This post was written for Blog the Change, an event hosted by Be the Change for Animals on the 15th of every January, March, July and October. Join us! These folks have…