Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bullfighting Season

Heroic bull-killers in Manizales
Bullfighting season is back, with its pageantry, tradition, blood and violence. The season started in December in Cali, continues in Manizales and will begin in Bogotá Jan. 15th.

Bullfighting is a central part of these cities' annual festivals, right along with parades, beauty queens and salsa music. Who'd have thought that killing and mutilating could be so family friendly?

Colombia does have a law against cruelty to animals, but the law has four exeptions, out of tradition, including bullfighting and cockfighting.

Whoa there!
Even though only a small minority of Colombians are interested in bullfighting, that minority tends to be wealthy and influential. As a result, we get headlines like yesterday's, about how many ears the bullfighters got (a great honor for the bullfighter), how many dead bulls got dragged around the arena (an honor for the bull) and the bull that got indultado, or 'forgiven' and allowed to live.

Bullfighting's popularity has unquestionably declined, and last year a court ruled that the government shouldn't spend money on the sport, perhaps dooming it to disappearance.

Such a fate would please many animal rights advocates, but sadden supporters of tradition and the fiesta brava's life and death blood sport drama.
Bullfighting posters
Torture: Neither Art Nor Culture.
Hundreds of cops defend the bullfighting stadium - from who?
Animal rights advocates protest bullfighting.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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