Hundreds protest as bull speared to death by townsfolk

LAST UPDATED: 11 Sep, 2012 @ 16:55
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Hundreds protest as bull speared to death by townsfolk

A FIGHTING bull has been speared to death by Spanish townsfolk today, sparking widespread protests from animal rights protesters.

Hundreds chased the 600kg beast through the streets of Tordesillas, in Castilla y Leon, on foot and horseback before attacking it with sticks, knives and lances.

This ritual, named Toro de la Vega, has been held every second Tuesday in September since 1453.

At the weekend around 500 protestors gathered in the fortified town ahead of the event, while today a demonstration took place in Madrid.

“It is the cruellest tradition incurred upon an animal in our country,” said a spokesman from animal rights group PACMA.

“It is unacceptable that this tournament take place, sheltering under the fact that it is a tradition, and even more unacceptable that it has public support and financing,” added Reyes Montiel, president of Spain’s political party EQUO.

“It cannot be justified by tradition, because Spanish society has moved forward now. We should eliminate customs that are longer appropriate in the 21st century.”

Meanwhile Tordesillas Town Hall said its festival had 40,000 supporters, while young lancer Sergio Sacristan, 28, said that whoever did not like Toro de la Vega ‘simply should not come back’.

6 COMMENTS

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  1. “It is the cruellest tradition incurred upon an animal in our country,” said a spokesman from animal rights group PACMA.

    Raising pigs for human consumption is more cruel than killing a single bull with sticks and knives. Follow the life of a pig raised from birth to dinner plate. Baby piglets are castrated without anesthetic. As piglets they are placed in conditions so cramped many actually suffocate underneath others. As they get older they develop numerous health problems, due both to unsanitary conditions and the antibiotics they are fed. These include rickets, blindness, dysfunctional bowels, open sores that do not heal and muscle atrophy so severe that they cannot stand. As adults they are kept in pens so small they cannot turn around. Many develop nervous habits and bite the bars until their teeth break.

    And this is done on the scale of tens, to hundreds, of thousands of pigs.

    Ten thousand pigs tortured for their entire lives. One bull killed with sticks and knives. Which is really worse?

  2. Agreed, horrific cruelty to pigs, but the difference is that the Toro de la Vega fiesta is publicly and widely supported by the population. Whilst this sort of public cruelty exists there’s no hope that conditions will improve for animals farmed out of the public gaze.
    Cruelty to animals appears to be part of Spanish culture and I wonder to what degree this is linked to the relatively high level of wife-beating?

  3. Antonio2: Exactly. Whilst people are encouraged/allowed, to perpetrate such barbarity, it is hopeless to expect a change of mind-set in other areas of animal welfare. This horrible behaviour is witnessed by children, thus encouraging them to copy the acts of their idiot elders when they grow up.
    Wonder if the Spanish fondness for the use of knives rather than fists, stems from this type of thing?

  4. Spain is just a beautiful and fabulous country in so many ways with such a rich history. While I certainly understand and appreciate the proud heritage Spain has, it is somewhat disheartening that after 559 years, some things haven’t change.

  5. Antonio2 – “Agreed, horrific cruelty to pigs, but the difference is that the Toro de la Vega fiesta is publicly and widely supported by the population.”

    So the only difference is that one set of animal torture is public while the other set of animal torture is private? Why is it acceptable to torture animals in private, but not in public? Both are widely supported by the population (raising livestock in torturous conditions for food as well as raising animals for a torturous sport).

    Qualitatively there is little difference. The only difference is “people see it.” The actual event – the torture of animals – is actually worse in the case of the livestock we consume for food.

    In fact, I would say it is less moral to enjoy the fruits of a tortured animal while being completely removed from the reality of its suffering. Every person who eats meat should have to raise the animal, feed it, live with it, kill it, butcher it and then cook it. You would be amazed at how many people could not stomach it. Yet, when it’s a nice clean slab of meat prepared and wrapped in plastic I guess they can pretend it grew that way on a tree. They can emotionally distance themselves from the reality of the fact that it was a living creature – a living creature that suffered in horrible conditions before being killed for their culinary enjoyment.

    So frankly I don’t blink when I see a blood sport that occurs a handful of times yearly, versus the thousands upon thousands of animals that we all torture and kill daily – behind closed doors – in our own ‘barbaric’ civilization. And not even to satisfy our nutritional needs, but simply our culinary desires.

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