Spain: lawmakers want bullfighting to be protected as cultural heritage

In Spain, a popular petition to protect bullfighting as part of the country's cultural heritage was easily backed in parliament, where the government has a conservative majority. Recent regional bans on the bloody tradition would be overturned if the idea becomes law. (HT: Antinous)


    1. Hey Torquemada, what do ya say?

      I just got back from the auto da fe!

      Auto da fe!  What’s an auto da fe?

      It’s what you oughtn’t to do…but you do anyway!

  1. I’m neither excited about bullfighting nor particularly invested in seeing it ended.  I just want to observe that this is wildly more bad-ass.

  2. The BBC article contradicts the certainty of your summary. It says that the legislation “may roll back the ban” in certain regions. I had hoped that the success of campaigners to enact bans was a sign that Spanish society was making progress.

    1. It’s a misguided attempt to rein in the Catalunyan independence movement.  Because when you’ve got 27% unemployment, your olive crop has failed and your king is under international criticism for elephant hunting, it’s a Really Bright Idea to provoke a tourist boycott.

    1. While we are on politics, it is probably worth noting that good old Gen. Franco was a big booster of bullfighting as an authentically Spanish cultural passtime. Doesn’t mean that every enthusiast is a fascist; but it is probably worth considering that some supporters may pine for more than one aspect of the good old days…

  3. I invite everyone to read The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf. May all bulls be so fortunate as Ferdinand. That is all.

  4. In bull fighting the creature at least has a chance in the fight, as opposed to the much more widely accepted ‘burger making’.

    Until I stop eating meat I don’t think I’ll have the moral position to get judgmental about bull-fighting.  

    1. Given the surprisingly minimal hazards to the matador (the last death was in, what, 1985?), compared to the bulls, and the gratuitously slow process by which the bull is killed, I’d say that you have some moral high ground to work with… 

      1. The slow and likely agonizing death is the only part of the practice that troubles me in the least. Then again, considering that life for a beef steer in a CAFO is essentially a two-year long agonizing death from festering sores in the digestive tract I tend to think rocketpjs has a really good point. I think if you looked seriously at industrial meat production you’d see that moral high ground slipping away pretty fast.

        1. Isn’t that a bit like saying that gladiatorial games are okay because people get cancer anyway?

    2. I’m Spanish, and I’m against bullfighting. And I’m not a vegetarian. To be honest I don’t give a crap about the bull – it’s an animal, and I EAT animals, so it would be hypocritical of me to say otherwise. What bugs me is not the animal, is the people. 

      Yes, you heard me, the people. The people who pay to see a show based on cruelty and torture. The people who will applaud and cheer some person in a ridiculous costume just because he assaulted and killed a poor drugged beast (if you really believe the animals are completely awake and able to defend themselves, you’re wrong).

      Those persons scare me out of my wits. 

      And regarding burger making… never saw anyone trying to make “butchery” look like an “art”.

  5. The bull in a bullfight dies horribly, blood pouring out of his mouth, when the bullfighter sticks a sword up to the hilt in the bull’s neck. That’s after he has nailed several darts on the animal, and a guy in an armored horse hits him several times with a lance. Before the bull comes out to the ring they hit him with a knife in the neck so he loses strength.

    It’s not uncommon to rub vaseline in the bull’s eyes so it’s harder to see and hit the bullfighter.

    I might have doubts on the morality of eating meat and using leather etc. but I’m quite sure that bullfighting is animal torture plain and simple.

    1. The one bullfight I have seen (in Mexico) did not go entirely like that.  The guys with swords fought different bulls from the guys on horseback — they never “worked together”.  In all cases it was not the matador but another dude with a small dagger who finally severs the spinal column putting the poor animals out of their misery — no swords up to their hilts.  I saw no bleeding from the mouth, though obviously there was bleeding from the myriad small wounds caused by the lances and swords.

      The larger and more aggressive bulls did have darts with ribbons on them jammed into their necks to slow them down but only for bulls that would be fought by matadors on horseback IIRC — I’m pretty sure this is primarily for the safety of the horse.  (They also cut off the tips of the horns for horseback fighters but not the guys with capes and swords.)

      That said, you’re absolutely right that bullfighting is torturing an animal to death.

  6. Cultural Heritage? So that’s what they’re calling a stadium of men, women and children cheering on self-absorbed sadists as they torture to death tormented, stumbling, blood-matted animals these days?

    Fuck you, Spanish Parliament.

  7. You know what is even MORE disturbing?

    Today the Spanish parliament was considering TWO popular initiatives.

    The first one – This initiative to “protect and preserve” bullfighting. Bullfighting has being prohibited in several regions and more regions are considering adhere to the prohibition. 

    The second one – An initiative to obligate banks to accept mortgaged properties as payment of the same mortgage in case of defaulting. In Spain, if you stop paying a mortgage not only the bank takes away your property, but you still have to pay the rest of the mortgage (no matter how much cost your house). In 2012 one and a half million families have lost their homes AND are in debt for tens of thousands euros.

    The Spanish parliament is controlled by the Partido Popular, the conservative party, and they announced that they will support JUST one of the popular initiatives. You guess which one? Right, the one to protect the right to torture animals and show it in prime time!
    In the last TWO days TWO people commit suicide because they where going to e evicted. But the Partido Popular keep the same path of dismissing the popular initiative about the mortgages.
    But then, a hour after the voting, a retired couple (68 and 67 years old), committed suicide and all the news stations echoed  the horrible event.
    Then, and JUST THEN,  the governing party accepted to discuss about this “small problem” with millions of Spaniards living under bridges  with no future nor food.

    Living in Spain is a Pain (pardon my pun), priorities are all wrong. Climate is good and food is awesome, but our politicians are something that would have rendered H.P. Lovecraft adjectiveless. Unspeakable.  

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