Bullfighting (Spanish: corrida de toros [koˈriða ðe ˈtoɾos] or toreo [toˈɾeo]; Portuguese: tourada [toˈɾaðɐ]), also known as tauromachia or tauromachy (Spanish: tauromaquia, Portuguese: tauromaquia; from Greek: ταυρομαχία “bull-fight”), is a traditional spectacle of Spain, Portugal, southern France, and some Latin American countries (Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Peru), in which one or more bulls are fought in a bullring. Although a blood sport, by definition, some followers of the spectacle prefer to view it as a ‘fine art’ and not a sport, as there are no elements of competition in the proceedings.
There are many historic fighting venues in the Iberian Peninsula, France, and Latin America. The largest venue of its kind is the Plaza México in central Mexico City, which seats 48,000 people, and the oldest is the La Maestranza in Seville, Spain, which was first used for bullfighting in 1765.
Forms of non-lethal bullfighting also appear outside the Iberian and Francophone world, including the Tamil Nadu practice of jallikattu; and the Portuguese-influenced mchezo wa ngombe (Kiswahili for “sport with bull”) is also practiced on the Tanzanian islands of Pemba and Zanzibar. Types of bullfighting which involve bulls fighting other bulls, rather than humans, are found in the Balkans, Turkey, the Persian Gulf, Bangladesh, Japan, Peru, and Korea. In many parts of the Western United States, various rodeo events like calf-roping and bull-riding were influenced by Spanish bullfighting.
The “Toro de la Vega” is a medieval bull festival celebrated in the town of Tordesillas (province of Valladolid, Spain). The tournament consists of — depending on the sources — the fight, hunt, or chase of a bull by hundreds of lancers, in which some of these will try to lance the bull to death, after it has been released through the streets of the town and led to an open field by the runners and participants.
If the bull surpasses the limits of the tournament, or the lancers are not able to kill it, it will be ‘pardoned’. The festival is celebrated yearly depending on the date of the Virgen de la Peña festivity (September 8). In recent years, this festival has acquired increasing notoriety as a result of the protests against it, which denounce the cruelty and suffering to which the bull is subjected, as well as the negative picture of the town and the whole country created by the survival of this tradition in the 21st century.
Brad Anthony, founder of Global Animal Welfare Development Society, tells us about the Top 10 Animal Cruelty Traditions in Spain: “Spain is renowned for its beauty and romantic character, but a long shadow lingers over this rich Mediterranean nation. Deeply implanted in Spanish culture are some of the most offensive animal cruelty traditions known to modern man. Surprisingly, the Spanish government subsidizes many of these events as valuable ‘cultural’ heritage. Small town ignorance has a lot to do with these traditions persisting, but the Spanish animal rights movement is gaining ground thanks to groups like Igualdad Animal and Anima Naturalis. Despite the growing popular opposition, these traditions are tenaciously hanging on in over 10,000 towns and villages who fight to protect their bloody heritage.
Cockfighting is banned in Spain except in the Canary Islands and Andalusia. Organisations such as the WWF/Adena and some political parties are trying to ban it there too. The law allows it but tries to make it disappear “naturally” by blocking its expansion. Contrasting with the rest of the country (except with Catalonia), bullfighting is instead forbidden in the Canary Islands, since it is not considered traditional, unlike cockfighting. Cockfighting is also legal in Andalusia in the cities and villages where it is considered traditional. With its famous Jerezanos race of fighting cocks, the Cádiz province is the most popular centre of cockfighting in Andalusia.
Intensive animal farming
Intensive animal farm or industrial livestock production, also called factory farming, is a modern form of intensive farming that refers to the keeping of livestock, such as cattle, poultry (including in “battery cages”) and fish at higher stocking densities than is usually the case with other forms of animal agriculture — a practice typical in industrial farming by agribusinesses. The main products of this industry are meat, milk and eggs for human consumption. There are issues regarding whether factory farming is sustainable and ethical.
Vivisection (from Latin vivus, meaning “alive”, and sectio, meaning “cutting”) is surgery conducted for experimental purposes on a living organism, typically animals with a central nervous system, to view living internal structure. The word is, more broadly, used as a pejorative catch-all term for experimentation on live animals by organizations opposed to animal experimentation but rarely used by practicing scientists. Human vivisection has been perpetrated as a form of torture.