Ban the Bullfights – Be the Change

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.


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.


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

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.


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…



  1. Thanks for writing about this topic for Blog the Change Kim. I cannot imagine the horror of seeing this kind of cruelty live. I only saw it on TV and was deeply affected by it. I could not understand why these people saw stabbing a bull as a sport. I was young when I saw it and I remember being so upset by what I saw.

    I did not know how the bull was treated before a fight. It’s almost like placing wild animals in a fenced in hunting area and then claiming it’s real “hunting.” No. It’s killing for sport. When the advantage is completely yours then it’s not a sport of any kind, but like cheating .

    Thanks for sharing the info about the ban. I had not heard that Mexico was taking a look at this. Surprising, but a welcome chance to bring change.

  2. Thanks for posting about this subject Kim. The thought of killing an animal for entertainment disgusts me. I could never go to a bullfight, and I’m sorry that your school teachers felt it was necessary to take your group. I don’t know that the event did anything to improve your language skills, but I’m sure it left you and others with an awful memory that you will never be able to forget.

  3. Great post on a topic that doesn’t get much discussion. That idea that bull killing is entertainment flummoxes me. You might as well set up a viewing stand in a slaughterhouse.

    Hey, that might be a good idea…

  4. It’s amazing what people accept just because it’s always been done. I think that is partly the situation with bullfighting. It would be wonderful if this cruelty (I cannot possibly call it a “sport”) was banned.
    Peggy’s Pet Place

  5. I just can not imagine deriving any type of entertainment from this. The whole idea breaks my heart. Sometimes the cruelty of people astounds me.

  6. Done! How on earth people find a way to justify this kind of animal cruelty absolutely mystifies me. Shame on them. It’s time for a change. You’ve presented a heartbreaking, important cause that needs our immediate attention!

  7. Thank you for drawing attention to this disgusting example of human failure. I know there are many groups in Spain working to shut the “sport” down but the international community is not as vocal as it could be.

    There is no difference between this and the horrific Coliseums of Rome. Other than the fact this is two thousand years in the future and we should know better.

  8. Great article!

    I draw a lot of parallels between this and shark finning. Both are the cruel killing of an animal in the name of “tradition”. And both appeal to an incorrect reputation of viciousness in the subject animal towards people to justify it.

    Both are just plain wrong.

  9. I’ve never understood how this qualifies as entertainment. It’s barbaric and ridiculously cruel. I’m truly sorry that you had to experience this horror firsthand. I wouldn’t have been able to watch either.

    Excellent choice of a cause to bring attention to this Blog the Change.

  10. Thanks for speaking out against killing as entertainment. All forms of “sport violence” fall into the black hole of inhumane, thus lowering all participants.

    You’ve made me a big fan of your writing, just in a single post.

  11. I always cheer when the bull gets one of the matadors with it’s horns. An excellent post on a uncommonly blogged about topic.

  12. Amy@GoPetFriendly says:

    Honestly, I have no idea how this can be considered entertainment. If we need to kill animals for food we should do it as swiftly, painlessly and humanely as possible. Taking pleasure in another creature’s suffering is beyond me. Great post, Kim.

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