Wednesday, June 16, 2010

There is No Fair Fight in Bullfighting

In bullfighting, there is no fair fight. The organizers do everything possible to make sure that the bull will not survive the wretched ordeal. Before he even enters the ring, he could be subjected to a range of secret atrocities, including being given laxatives to weaken him and anti-inflammatory drugs to mask his injuries; having the muscles in his neck cut to prevent him from lifting his head all the way; having several inches of his horns cut off, impairing his co-ordination and ability to judge distances; having his eyes smeared with petroleum jelly to blur his vision; or being beaten in the kidneys to weaken him.

Already frightened, confused and in pain, the bull faces prolonged and ritualized cruelty. As the bull enters the arena, picadores on blindfolded horses twist lances into his back and neck, causing excruciating pain and blood loss that often prevent him from being able to lift his head or think properly.

Then banderilleros – men armed with barbed darts – run the bull in circles, plunging the sharpened ends of their banderillas into his back until he is so dizzy and weak that he cannot run anymore.

Finally, the matador appears and goads the exhausted and terrified bull into a few final charges before trying to kill the animal with his sword. If he succeeds, the bull's ears and tail will be cut off and presented to him as a gift. If he fails, an executioner is called in to stab the mutilated animal to death. The dagger is supposed to cut the spinal cord, but even this can be blundered, leaving the bull conscious but paralyzed as he is chained by the horns and dragged out of the arena.

The process is so stomach-turning that many spectators leave before the end and never see another bullfight again. But by then it's too late. They've already bought their ticket, helping to fuel an industry that thrives on tourist voyeurism. It's vital to stop ticket sales and close down the bullrings.

Please sign the petition asking Spain's Prime Minister to ban bullfighting.

SOURCE: PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

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