BULLFIGHTING- THE FACTS

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BULLFIGHTING: THE FACTS:

BULLFIGHTING: THE FACTS

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It seems hard to believe that in this so-called civilised age, a most vicious and cruel spectacle of blood continues to flourish in Spain and certain other countries. Bullfighting is barbaric and should have been banned long ago, as bear-baiting was. It is difficult to understand how crowds of people will pay money and take pleasure in watching one lone creature - who has never done them any harm — getting hacked to death. How can anyone with an ounce of compassion, cheer and chant olé as a banderilla or lance is thrust into the animal’s pain-racked body?

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Bullfighting has a very glorified public image — it is presented as a contest between the brave matador, who boldly risks life and limb to tackle a mad and ferocious beast. The matador is always dressed in a traditional costume of brilliant colours: the bullfight is seen by many as the mysterious ritual between man and beast, which is an integral part of Spanish culture and custom. For this reason, many tourists who visit Spain feel that seeing a bullfight is a necessary part of their holiday, just as tourists visiting Britain go to see the Tower of London.

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However, after witnessing the sheer horror of this sickening slaughter, only the most hardened and callous would consider a second visit to the bullring. The purpose of this booklet is to fully explain what the bull has to endure, both during his last hour of life in the ring, and also the other side of the bullfight not commonly known to the vast majority of people: the pre-bullfight treatment.

THE PRE-FIGHT TREATMENT:

THE PRE-FIGHT TREATMENT The bull is not an aggressive animal, and the reason he is angry and attempts to charge at the matador whilst in the bullring is mainly because he has been horrendously abused for the previous two days. In fact, what spectators see is not a normal, healthy bull, but a weakened, half-blinded and mentally destroyed version, whose chances of harming his tormentors is virtually nil. The bull has wet newspapers stuffed into his ears; vaseline is rubbed into his eyes to blur his vision; cotton is stuffed up his nostrils to cut off his respiration and a needle is stuck into his genitals. Also, a strong caustic solution is rubbed onto his legs which throws him off balance.

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This also keeps him from lying down on the ground. In addition to this, drugs are administered to pep him up or slow him down, and strong laxatives are added to his feed to further incapacitate him. He is kept in a dark box for a couple of days before he faces the ring: the purpose of this is to disorientate him. When he is let out of the box, he runs desperately towards the light at the end of the tunnel. He thinks that at last his suffering is over and he is being set free — instead, he runs into the bullring to face his killers and a jeering mob.

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THE “FIGHT” Strictly speaking, a bullfight is composed of 3 separate “acts”, and the whole thing is supposed to last for 20 minutes, though in actual fact it varies. The opening of a bullfight begins with a tune being played on a trumpet — the tune is the special, signa lure Rifle which characterises the beginning of the horror. Upon entering the ring, bulls have been known to collapse through exhaustion alter their pre-fight ordeal — they have been dragged to their feet by the bullfighter’s assistants.

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The Picadors The sequence of events begins when the bull faces the picadors — these are the men on horseback, whose purpose it is to exhaust the bull. They cut into his neck muscles with a pica. This is a weapon of about 6-8 inches long, and 2 inches thick. Once it is thrust into the bull it is twisted round and a large, gaping wound appears. The bull then starts bleeding to death. The Assistant Matadors After the picador has finished his sordid business, the assistant matadors then get to work with the banderillas (sharp, harpoon-like barbed instruments). These are plunged into the bull’s body, and he may also be taunted by capes. Up to six banderillas may be used. When the banderillas strike the bull stops in his tracks and bellows madly.

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The Kill A trumpet signals the final “act” — in fact, during the whole nightmare, strange, slow tunes are played throughout. It is, of course, during the final act that the bull is killed (and hopefully goes onto a better life). The kill should last 6 minutes, and is done by the main matador. If he has any difficulties (which is an extremely rare occurrence), the others immediately rush in to his aid and finish off the bull.

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More info: http://www.alcoso.es/ http://www.stopbullfighting.org.uk/facts.htm

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