Monday, 2 June 2008

Spanish Bullfighting....Sport or Torture?

This is the moment matador Jose Tomas was gored during a bullfight.
The crowd looked on in horror as it charged the 32-year-old bullfighter and tossed him in the air.
Yet Tomas managed to recover and kill the bull, triumphantly showing off the ear in traditional fashion.

The bull fight has been a representative part of Spanish culture for years. Long considered an art by its many followers, the origins of this event lie in the ancient Iberian people who sacrificed bulls in religious holocaustic rituals in public spectacles. The origin of the shape and form of the bull ring could come from the ancient Roman circus although Celtic-Iberian temples also had a circular form.
The bullfight as it is known and enjoyed today began to take place in the 18th century and Francisco Romero was the first bullfighter to give organization to the celebration of a bull fight and is the creator of the current “muleta”.
But the true protagonist is the “toro”, whose ancestors have become extinct in the regions they inhabited except for the Iberian peninsula where it survived due to the bullfighting tradition. This animal has always been a symbol of strength.
For an explanation of what exactly goes on in a bullfight we must enter into a world of terms and technicalities of which the outsider may not be accustomed. To start with, each bull fight afternoon typically includes 6 bulls and 3 bullfighters participate.
The bull fight begins with a sort of parade of the participants around the bull ring, this is called el paseíllo. The fight is divided in three parts which are called tercios. There are marked by un toque de clarín or a trumpet sounding. In the first tercio the picadores appear on horseback and injure the bull with long pointy spear like lances.
In the second tercio the banderilleros place three pairs of colored banerillas on the animals back injuring the bull with the pointed ends.
In the third tercio, or suerte suprema, the bullfighter uses the small red cape, or muleta, substituting the pink and yellow capote used throughout the fight, finishing off the festival of the bullfight with the definitive sword thrust into the bull thus killing the animal. If he does it right it goes directly into the heart of the bull and he dies instantly.
If the public feels the torero did a good job, he will get one ear, both ears or both ears and the tail as a prize, depending upon the grade of perfection demonstrated. The president will take into account the public opinion, but it is he who decides the corresponding trophy. The public indicates its appreciation by waving white handkerchiefs.

I have much respect for different traditions and cultures around the world. Exploring and learning these differences can be fascinating at best. However, this is one I can not understand and would say that although the animal is eventually killed, and above it says instantly, it amounts to nothing but torture prior to the bulls death. So what if the matador gets gored, it couldn't of been the beasts idea to be penned into a ring and stabbed repeatedly, tormented then killed.


Lord James Bigglesworth said...

Yes I agree - it's pretty hard to justify that stuff.

Anonymous said...

I have never been able to watch bull fighting. It is so sad that people would want to watch something like that. And pay to see it. Even if it is a tradition.

CherryPie said...

I don't think it is a sport, I find it quite cruel!

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Who cares? It's their country and traditions. We should leave well alone.

Nunyaa said...

Well I care. Same reason as why people care what is happening in the Middle East, or around the world for that matter.

jmb said...

I have never understood this barbaric practice myself and if I lived there I certainly would be advocating for it to be discontinued.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I agree, nunyaa. It's unbelieveable it's still allowed in this day and age.

jams o donnell said...

It's an ugly, brutal spectacle in my view

Colin Campbell said...

Ugly stuff.