WARNING..THIS BLOG CONTAINS TEXT AS WELL AS IMAGES THAT SOME READERS WILL FIND DISTURBING
Bull Fighting, The mechanics behind the show.
When the average person thinks of bullfighting it conjures up images of a single man against the beast.
A dance of regal nature between the bravest of the brave locked in mortal combat with a dim witted animal bent on destruction.
A fanfare of bright colours steeped in rich tradition, the likes of which we expect to see glimpses of in some old exsotic James Bond movie.
The reality is unfortunately not the case, not at all, not even close. It is a show, a circus if you will, laden with slight of hand and deception.
The machanics of this show hide a much darker and sinister side.
A bull that has been especially bred for this event is let into the areana, it is soon taunted by a team of guys to rev it up. This is to get the crowd excited as well as to encourage the bull to complete its charges, not just mock charge a few paces.( I will explain why shortly).
Soon as the bull has been “sweated up” and has been teased to the point that it blindly charges any movement,the Picadors are led in for the next stage.
Picadors are men on horses that will handicap and “bleed” the bull. This is achieved by placing a horse and the rider side on, then letting the bull charge.The horse will hold its position as the bull makes full contact often lifting most their combined weight in the air.
As this happens colorful ornate spears are driven into the back of the bull and twisted,cutting the muscles rendering it partially lame.
The bright coulours are to distact you as well as disguise the sight of blood pumping out the bull.
The bull is not aware that it is in fact the rider hurting him and not the horse, thus the horse gets the full brunt of his anger and pain.
One would be massively impressed how tough these horses are just standing there taking blow after punishing blow, untill you realise the following.
The horses are blind folded and it is commonly believed that the ears are stuffed with cotton wool as well as the vocal cords have been cut so that the horse cant cry out when the bull charges.
(Look closly at the picture below it is clear to see the horses ears have been packed)
They are now drapped in protective padding to protect the soft belly and flank,however it also does a great job in hiding terrible scars from prevoius encounters.
(It was not unusual in times past for a horse to trip over its own entrails after being gourde before the padding was introduced)
More often than not the horses that are badly ingured will be led off, only to later be put down away from prying eyes.
The bull is now slowing down,confused and hurting it is further teased to keep the heart rate up.
All the while a group of men take turns running up from all sides to drive spears into his back.
These spears are infact barbed hollow tubes with break away shafts that are desighned to make the bull bleed out.
As these spears flop down they give the impression the bull has just been tagged, the truth is these tubes are lodged deep in his back piercing viens and arteries thus weakening him further.
At this stage the bull is bleeding to death and its fate is seald.
For the bull it is a desperate struggle for survival,spinning around and charging.
Dazed,confused and panic ridden with fear.
Enter the matador, the epitome of so called Macho. For the amusement of the crowd and his own ego, he plays with the bull. Struts his stuff ,showing all who will watch how impressive his evasion skills are.
When the excitment in the crowd starts to wain he reveals a previousely hidden sword with a red handle.
This sword is now driven down between the shoulder blades, however it will miss the heart and the spine.
The target is the lungs,tendins, ligaments and connective tissue in the back.
Once the sword is placed between the shoulder blades down into the gut the bull is taunted into moving around.
The Matador will often stand directly infront of the bull, waving his cape in a figure 8.
Most people think this is all part of the dance,he is infact trying to get the bull to lurch from side to side.
This movement will ensure that the sword is systematically cutting up the insides.
With each painfull step the bull is cutting himself apart.
Sometimes the bull just cant or wont move. Fiona unfortunatly witnessed a matador stabbing and slashing at the face of a bull whilst provoking him to move.
This resulted in nasty cuts to the face as well as a popped eye.
It is deamed as weak for the bull to give up at this stage and little respect or mercy is shown towards a weak bull.
After all its about the crowd, the show and the cheers for bravery.
This will continue until thick red sometimes foamy blood and other liquids run out the nose and mouth.
This is a clear sign the lungs, through and gut have been severed.
Acting fast now not to loose the crowd the Matidor aproches the bull face on.
Drowning in its own blood with darkness closing in the bull takes its final step,the sword that is logged in its back now cuts the last muscle. The front legs give way and he collapses face first. Exhausted and in pain twitching, the rear legs still trying to drive forward make for a desperate scene.
With bravado and pride the Matador aproches after administering the coup-de-gras.
Whether this is infact true or not depends on age and skill, as shotly after a man all in white runs out and severs the spinel cord with a small knife. If the bull twiches and rolls about legs outstreached it was infact not the case.
The bull is quickly dragged away by mules and the floor is swept while the Men of the slaughter bask in glory.
Organizers of these shows rely on the following to continue:
That people somehow still cling to the fact that animals dont feel pain.
(Even though everyone has seen horses and cows twitch to dislodge something as simple as a fly)
People in high concentration or a mob seem to lust after Blood and violence.
We seem to turn a blind eye to just about anything when drunk on adrenaline.
Because its a tradishion or part of a culture and its been done for years it somehow makes it ok.
It has often been said “its a part of my culture therfore its ok”
As long as we are entertained with showmanship,lights and music we seem to be able to able to accept cruelty.
We belive that we are somehow special and we can do anything to animals for entertainment. A blind eye will be turned due to the promise of revenue.
It is estimated that 35 000 to 50 000 bulls a year have been killed this way in Europe alone.
The preperation of the and treatment of the bulls before the fight is truly hard to believe.
I could not find any reliable numbers with regards to Piscadors horses.
This is a account of Fiona’s personal experiance on a specific day (one show had six fights) but if you research other peoples accounts on the net I am sure you will have trouble sleeping. As hard as it may have been to read this it was unbelievably hard for Fiona to watch. This is a blood sport that is contrived and designed to be as inhumane as possible with no regard for any animal well being. As modern humans we can not possibly let this practice continue.
For this reason we decided to share this story so that we can all be enlightened with regards to this barbaric pass time.