Monday, March 07, 2011

It's Not Just Whalers That I could Kick In The Bollocks

How every family in Britain is paying to keep alive the barbarism that is bullfighting

Santanero the fighting bull fell to his knees. Blood poured from his mouth, pooling in the dust. Vicious stab wounds scarred his chest and every breath only caused him more agony.

The bull was close to death but refused to die. He stared defiantly at his opponent, Javier Cortes. He slowly raised himself off the ground and prepared to charge the matador one final time.

Javier laughed and taunted the bull with his cape as the animal stumbled forward. This was the part Javier loved most of all, a time when a matador is allowed to practice his 'art' by plunging a sword deep into the heart of the bull before twisting it viciously in the shape of a cross.

The matador had already sunk his 2ft long sword three times into Santanero's body. The bull had also been stabbed eight times with barbed knives and his lungs had been punctured with spears by men on horseback - but still the animal refused to die.

The crowd waited with bated breath for the matador's coup de grace. But then, just as he was poised to stab Santanero, a tiny voice rang out from behind me in Madrid's Las Ventas bullring.

'Leave the bull alone!' screamed a five-year-old American girl who had been taken to the bullfight by her parents. 'Why are you hurting him? You're so cruel!' She stamped her feet and screamed even louder as the crowd looked at her in shock. As far as they were concerned, the girl had disturbed an artist at work.

Her pleas were worthless. The matador plunged his sword into the back of Santanero's neck and then repeated the thrust twice more. The animal bellowed in pain before falling onto his side gasping. He was finished.

All that remained now was the final indignity to be delivered by a man in a blue and pink suit covered in sequins. He sauntered over and sliced off Santanero's ears and tail before holding them aloft in tribute to the crowd.

Such shocking brutality is, of course, well known in Spain's bullrings. But what is not known is that our money is being used to finance this ritual slaughter. For I can reveal that the European Union is spending £30million a year to support Spanish bullfights, which this year will kill at least 40,000 bulls. more


A Whale and Bull Story

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