I’ve heard it said, in defense of bull fighting, that bulls in this world have two paths in life. To live on an intensive, concentration camp style, farm chewing grass for a few years before being slaughtered for meat, often in a not so pleasant manner. Or to live like a king on a ranch before being sent out to do battle with a matador. Where he will probably die, but not before having the opportunity to do his killer some damage. And perhaps even ‘win’ and being sent out to pasture, to have fun with some lovely ladies and generally live a peaceful life.
I’ve never been pro bull fighting, but I couldn’t argue with that claim. I would shrug, and mutter ‘maybe’, even if a little insincerely. I had doubts as to how either were kept any great amount differently on a farm, but had not enough real knowledge on the subject to counter. Justifying slaughter by claiming it’s a not as bad as another type of slaughter is never a really good argument to make, but this is the real world, and unless we humans all turn vegetarian some time soon, then bulls will continue to die.
And therein is the value of bearing personal witness. I’ll mutter ‘maybe’ no more. The bulls in a ring may live like kings, if what I’m told is correct, and I have my doubts. They don’t die like kings however, and for that I need no further explanations from anyone. They are tormented, tortured, confused, taunted and slaughtered like the helpless animals that they are.
I wouldn’t go so far as to believe bull fighting should be outlawed. Other countries have reformed the ‘sport’, into a celebration of tradition, ritual and the glory of the bull, where the animal leaves the ring alive and uninjured. I can’t help but feel that this might even encourage more visitors to Plaza Mexico, where attendances fail to fill 80% of the arena.
The video below contains graphic scenes, including the killings of two bulls, the latter bull clearly dying in pain and suffering. It won’t auto start – you make the choice as to whether you want to see it or not. You could instead always visit my Panorama website and look at a photo of the arena.