THEY’RE at it again! Yes, I can only be referring to the for- and against-bullfighting lobbies here in Spain.
G10, a campaign group of Spain’s ten leading matadors, is pressing the Government to declare their ‘art’ an asset of cultural importance.
Under Spanish law, this would grant bullfighting legal protection and could eventually reverse a ban in Cataluña.
Well, I’m with the matadors on this one.
I’m not going to repeat the arguments – just saying that the world would be a poorer, duller place without it.
I’m not even going to try to make the case for the art, tradition and culture of the bullfight. Most people simply have no idea about the rules or the background and see it as a pathetic ‘man vs beast’ spectacle with the odds heavily stacked against the animal, which is missing the point entirely.
The more rational argument is that, as a society, we’re incredibly hypocritical.
We eat meat without knowing where it comes from or use animal products (do you own leather shoes?) without having the least idea how these animals were kept or slaughtered.
As long as the animal products are nicely packaged, we’re happy to believe they all had a beautiful life on a farm somewhere and died a ‘humane’ death, which, of course, couldn’t be further from the harsh reality of industrial barns, processed food plants and grim abattoirs.
The ‘toros bravos’ live as quasi-wild animals for four to seven years, without hardly any human interference.
And four to seven years freely roaming the countryside against one to two in a battery-type farm and then ending up in an abattoir – I know which one I’d choose.
Granted, the last 20 minutes of their lives are pretty cruel but their quality of life, overall, is so much better than those millions of industrially-raised and -kept animals consumed and exploited every day across the world.
As for ‘killing for food vs killing for fun’: after each ‘corrida’, their meat is given to the poor.
That’s part of the tradition.
Unless someone is a die-hard vegan who doesn’t use any animal products (which, in our society, is fairly impossible), it’s hard to mount a credible attack on bullfighting in the 21st century.
To anyone who does, I say BULLOCKS!
Nora Johnson’s novels, Soul Stealer & The De Clerambault Code (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon in paperback/ eBook (€0.89; £0.77) and iBookstore. Profits to Cudeca