Yesterday I went with Nicole’s two brother-in-laws to see the last day of the July 2008 bull fighting in Valencia.
I really do not know what to think about the fighting - I went because I wanted to decide for myself what to think not just think what others think.
I found myself changing my mind several times over the time we were there and there are several things that I did not like immediately. Firsty I expected it to be a single man (the matador) against the bull but it was a man on a horse and several matadors that were in the ring against a single bull. On top of this the man on the horse changed his horse every 8 minutes or so once the horse was tired. All of this for me made it not fair match for the bull and enhanced the enivtabilty of the bull’s death.
Maybe I went with the wrong expectations, but I thought the bull would at least have chance to live. I thought that if the bull was good enough and put up a good fight then it would live, but this was highly innocent. For one thing if the bull won then the matador would lose and this is not something they would easily cope with-it is all about machismo.
I also did not understand how much it was entertainment and show. To kill the bull they must put a very nicely decoraated skewer into the bull where the spine is. Instead of doing this once with one skewer they do it many times ending with a final skewer that is very long and then kills the bull. Once this long skewer goes in three matadors run out and surround the bull knowing it is no longer a danger. If it is that easy - then why not use the big skewer at the start? ANSWER: Entertainment.
The entertainment part was the cruelest part for me which is strange aas it has nothing to do with the well-being of the bull just the morals of other people which does not help the bull at all. This really got me thinking about the fight from purely an animal welfare perspective. It is not easy to do this - you can black & white about it and say it is cruel to kill the bull - but what does this have to do with animal welfare when you are a meat eater and already responsible for aniimal deaths that you do not see each day.
The next question for me was is this a bad way for the bull to die? I found his hard to answer-clearly there are better ways, but for a bull the chase and fight with multiple wounds seems very natural - the dignity of it for them means nothing. So I still can not answer this question.
I left the stadium feeling like I wished I had not paid to see six bulls die in the same innevitable way. I did not enjoy it particularly but I think it is something that people should see to make up their minds and better understand the experience.