Bullfighting: To see or not to see?

Old Jul 20th, 2006, 04:02 PM
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"They cut their vocal cords so they don't cry out."

I did not know that.

wombat7 is offline  
Old Jul 20th, 2006, 04:50 PM
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As a teenager I made the choice to attend a bullfight in Spain. It is one of the very few (only?) travel choices that I have regretted. From my point of view it was a very sad spectacle.
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Old Jul 20th, 2006, 04:53 PM
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Went to a bullfight in Barcelona when in my early 20's, because I didn't know any better. The especially prolonged and cruel death of the last bull of the day is still imprinted. And I was with someone who came from a beef cattle station in Australia, is used to cattle butchery, and she was in tears. Just sickening, would never go again.
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 02:52 AM
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I've never been to a beef cattle station in Australia, but this reminds of the time I was driving across the USA with friend and drove through Cattle yards in Oklahoma-and I was in tears the whole time-hundreds of cows crowded into giant pens, forced to stand in their own waste and bake in the hot sun waiting for an anonymous death.
A horrific sight. And to be honest, although I am not a vegetarian, I haven't eaten a hamburger since then. But I think this is not a thing people consider or judge that harshly, it's "part of our culture" and some people make their living that way.

All cultures have some terribly violent aspects, not least, our American culture. If we want to travel and experience and learn about the world-sometimes we'll encounter those things. We can hide from them, look away, or protest, but it doesn't change the facts. I travel to learn about other culotures, and don't like to go with the diluted version.
In Rome, we go to visit the Colliseum, honored site of probably the most heinous and violent displays in human history- but since it's not a living event, we just visit, are fascintated, send a postcard, and move on. I went to a bullfight, but the sight of that American cattleyard where the animals die without any honor or dignity really offended me much more.

Old Jul 21st, 2006, 03:06 AM
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I would not criticize you for asking this sort of question and am not sure anyone else has done so.

You can call the actions whatever you wish and for some people calling it "art" or "pageantry" and so forth may make it more emotionally palatable. I have no doubt the folks who do this are convinced it is true.

In your particular case I would be happy that nobody has "criticized" you for what some would call an enabling behavior as to your husband and not "insulting" him. And as to the "tense" responses: I assume those are the ones that made you uneasy.
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 05:58 AM
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Many years ago I attended a bullfight in Madrid because other people in my group insisted it was an integral part of the culture and filled with pageantry.
As I remember it, the pageantry was actually very brief--a few trumpets and a circling of the ring by the matadors.
What caught me the most by surprise was the role of the picadors, who repeatedly stab the bull to weaken his neck muscles. By the time the matador comes out, the bull is quite weakened--although not to the extent that he cannot inflict injury, as one of the matadors was seriously gored the day I was there.
So, if you like a little bit of spectacle and a lot of gore and blood, I suppose this might be for you.
Years later, I watched a bullfight on TV while attending the St. Fermin festival in Pamplona, and from a greater distance I could get some gist of what the Spaniards find so fascinating about this. Even so, I found it much too upsetting and I have always regretting letting other people talk me into going to the bullfight in Madrid.
I do not have the stomach for this kind of entertainment, and if you have any doubts whatever, I would not do it. Your husband has the option to attend the bullfight alone if it is that important to him, and that would be my suggestion.
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 06:48 AM
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Last year I went with my husband to one in Spain. We were visiting our friends father who explained the event, and what was going on at every stage. Not knowing this--there is no way I could have watched it. At least I knew what was going on from the time they enter the arena.

I thought the worst part was when the crowd cheered for awards after the bull was killed. You already killed the poor animal, do you really need to cut his ears, hoofs and horns off and then throw them into the crowd?

I do not agree with it, but it is a part of the culture and history in Spain. I would not go again.

If you do go--my advice is to leave the arena once the matador stops using his cape, and only has his sword.

There where 4 fights when I went...I was done after the first. I met my husband outside the arena at a cafe.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 07:52 PM
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One of my life experiences was the bullfight at Real Maestranza de Sevilla last May. The atmosphere in the crowd was electric. The action in the ring was beyond description in color, energy, athleticism, showmanship, and sheer spectacle. It exceeded all my expectations as the matador knelt right before the entrance and the bull charged into the ring and missed him as he swung his cape. After that, he attacked the bull, teased it, jumped between its horns, and even managed to twirl mid - air past it.

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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 07:55 PM
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I went to one in Spain a few years ago and was miserable. It was one of the worst things I'd ever seen.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 07:55 PM
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Geez, the last three posts I've read are my first time posters.

A likes bullfights. What's the count now? 1 to 50?
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