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Bullfighting Declared an “Art Form” in Spain

Bullfighting Declared an “Art Form” in Spain

 

Much to the horror and chagrin of animal rights activists in Spain, bullfighting was given a special status as “an artistic discipline.”  The Ministry of Culture was given the task of promoting and protecting bullfighting as a “cultural product.”  Proponents lauded the measure, saying that bullfighting was a symbol of Spanish heritage, while critics accused the government of abandoning its commitment to animal rights.

Bullfighting is illegal in Catalonia and the Canary Islands.  And many say that bullfighting only exists because it is subsidized by the Spanish taxpayer.  Attendance is waning, it faces significant unpopularity among Spanish youth and a poll in a Spanish newspaper last year revealed that 60% of Spanish citizens do not approve of the “sport.”  Bullfighting has also been hit hard by the economic crisis.

The decision to officially preserve bullfighting as a cultural artifact, which was announced by Spain’s prime minister, was apparently made to stop more regions from banning it.  Animal rights activists, unsurprisingly, are furious.  Silvia Barquero, a spokesperson for Pacma, an anti-bullfighting political party, said that the decision to switch responsibility to the ministry of Culture was “complete nonsense…a measure which sends us back to the Middle Ages.”

A middle-aged man and father of one was recently gored to death in a related cultural tradition, Valencia’s “Bulls in the Street” festival.  In this festival and others like it, volunteers are chased by a bull through the streets of a town, and people are often killed or injured.  Spectators are often hurt during bullfights, which last about 20 minutes and involve a bull’s public death.

Any “sport” that centers around the death of an animal should be outlawed.  But, most puzzlingly, bullfighting is becoming less popular and often results in spectators’ death or injury.  From this perspective, there seems no logical reason why the government would want to promote or develop such a dangerous practice.  Making bullfighting into a cultural product may seem like a smart move for a country seeking tourist revenue, but from an ethical and safety standpoint (i.e. keeping the tourists alive once they’re in the bullfighting ring), it makes absolutely no sense.

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Photo from Manuel González Olaechea y Franco via Wikimedia Commons.

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149 comments

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6:21PM PST on Mar 1, 2013

Even if 100 million people repeat a stupidity IT WILL REMAIN A STUPIDITY.

7:33AM PDT on May 15, 2012

If it is an art form, let's take out the spears and all the instruments of torture and make it pure 'art', with no means of harming the bull. True art should harm none, right? It could become a dance between the 'brave' bullfighter and the 'vicious' bull. lol

3:37PM PDT on May 9, 2012

Dear Harshiita,
It wouldn't happen. If bulls ruled the world, they would never torture humans. And not even in their wildest dreams think of it as an artistic discipline.
I wish bulls and/or other animals ruled the world; it would be a much better place to live in.

2:40PM PDT on Apr 22, 2012

It's pure torture and wish that people that enjoy that get the same treatment.

2:22PM PDT on Apr 22, 2012

Not only is the bull tortured infront of the spectators, they are abused prior to this torture, they are beaten so it hurts to move, they apply something on their eyes so they cannot focus correctly, all to protect the cowards who will continuie with the torture. This iw shy I am boycotting EVERYTHING SPANISH, to the best of my efforts.

10:10AM PDT on Apr 22, 2012

MY SPANISH FRIEND SAID THUS...SHE IS REALLY NICE INCIDENTALLY, SO THIS IS THE LEVEL OF BRAINWASHING TO SMALL CHILDREN. WE DO NOT GO TO SEE THE BULLFIGHT, IT IS MORE OF A SOCIAL OCCASION, WHERE ONE MEETS WITH FRIENDS, HAS SOME FOOD AND CHATS...!!!!
I wish someone would tell the tortured bull that....
I love this girl, but talk about crazy on this one....!!!!
Let me tell those of you who do not know, NOT ONLY is this crap going on about "ART FORM", in an effort to preserve this atrocity, THEY EVEN RECEIVE EU FUNDING OF MILLIONS OF EUROS PER YEARS....yes, from our taxes!!
I suggest lobbying your EU ministers, this disgusting art is appalling, and makes the rich nobility...that's a laugh, even richer.
Like blood sports in the UK, thickos who follow it do not see how they are being used by the A....S WHO HAVE POWER AND MONEY....
nb nICE TO SEE 96% ARE IN AGREEMENT, WHO ARE THE OTHER CRETINOUS 4% THOUGH???AND WHY ARE THEY USING A SITE FOR THE PROMOTION OF ANIMAL WELFARE...sinister!

9:04AM PDT on Apr 22, 2012

Putting any animal in a ring and fighting them to their death is cruel, inhumane and should be immediately outlawed. Let's put these Spanish officials in a ring with someone trying to kill them in front of thousands of cheering people and see what they think then! This is behavior from the dark ages.

8:21AM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

Art form my arse... Depraved and utterly barbaric!

5:10AM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

Psychopaths in action are an art form...... in Spain !!!

Disgusting !!!

7:24PM PDT on Apr 20, 2012

Like the seal hunt is 'a tradition' here in Canada.
Makes me want to puke.

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