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The Last Arena PDF
Friday, 12 November 2010 00:00

In Search of the Spanish Bullfight

I recently came across this blog by Alexander Fiske-Harrison, who is learning about bullfighting and training to be a matador. His views on whether bullfighting is right or wrong and should be banned or not are especially interesting and well-argued. 


The Rights and Wrongs of Bullfighting

By Alexander Fiske-Harrison

As a liberal, it is not my intention, or my place, to tell people whether or not they should approve of or enjoy bullfighting anymore than it is my intention or place to tell them whether they should approve of or enjoy opera. However, when people ban an art form from existing, so that other people may not enjoy it, then certain questions have to be raised.

To read on click here

Tags: Spanish Bullfight, Bullfight, the last arena, Alexander Fiske-Harrison, bullfighting, matador, paul whitelock,




0 #3 2010-11-25 15:38
The toro bravo is the most privileged of all managed animals. For four or five years he ranges over the campo with his family and friends and with very little contact with humans. Compare this to a beef cow – kept indoors, fed on silage, crowded into a lorry and moved through many European borders for tax advantages, with little food or water, then shot in the head (killed first time if lucky, but not always) in an abattoir.
When the toro bravo travels, he goes Pullman-style: the laws of toreo regulate the size of each compartment, the temperature, the food and drink.
Anti-toristas may garner more sympathy for their argument if they first call for changes, on land and at sea, in the way that the food that we eat is produced. I fear they regard toreo as an easy target. Do any of them think what will happen to the toro bravo if they get their way? Mass slaughter of an indiscriminate kind and the loss of a great cultural tradition.
0 #2 2010-11-20 19:54
Pablo has it, I am afraid - strange when you go to comment and someone has already expressed it with perfection, respect to you Senor P!

There is no 'fight' involved, it is the torture and protracted execution of a terrified and tormented creature. In no way can it be described as an art form or source of pleasure.

We censor many things in our society - genocide, paedophilia, etc - because they are beyond the pale of anyone's supposed freedom to enjoy them. This is because their 'freedom' comes at too high a cost to another human. In many societies today, this sensibility also prevents dumb animals from dying in pain and terror. Perhaps one day in Spain this will also be the case.
0 #1 2010-11-12 20:18
You got it wrong. Opera is an art form. Bullfighting is an art form in southern France, where the animal is unharmed, and where it's not fighting at all, not in Spain or Mexico. Raising a cape doesn't take much intelligence nor talent. Killing a defenseless animal for fun and games and vanity, goes beyond art form, that goes even beyond abuse. Think for once outside of the human side of things, and look what the animal goes through. Why should an animal undergo this senseless slaughter? Would you? It never volunteered, and it is not fighting. Bullfighting is a misnomer. It is a ritualistic sacrifice of an innocent and beautiful creature. Assassins are cowards.

Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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