Bullfighting is a traditional sport that can be found in Western Europe and some limited locations in Central and South America. It’s a spectacle that is built on tradition. Bulls are baited in to charge the bullfighter and then repeated hit with spears, knifes, and other sharp objects until the animal has been killed. It has been banned in many areas while others have modified the sport so that the animal is not killed. There are pros and cons to discuss with bullfighting, so here they are in some greater detail.
What Are the Pros of Bullfighting?
1. It gives bulls a longer, better life than other animals.
Bulls are often bred for human exploitation – namely food. When bulls are placed in a bullfighting program, their lives are often longer and more fulfilling than those that are being exploited for meat. A bullfighting animal will leave to the minimum age of four.
2. It is more humane than the butchering process.
Crowds love to see a bullfighter who is able to achieve a quick, clean kill in the traditional versions of the sport. For the bullfighter who is unable to achieve such an accomplishment, there is a good possibility that they won’t find any more work in the arena. Respect and appreciation is given to a humane kill that is often more humane than the processing plant.
3. It allows people the chance to see what death is really like.
Humans fear that which they don’t understand. That means the one subject that humans fear the most is death. By witnessing death first hand, even if just from bullfighting, the subject can be understood more fully and feared less than normal.
What Are the Cons of Bullfighting?
1. It is essentially the slow torture of an animal.
Although the goal of bullfighting might be a swift kill, that usually isn’t what happens. It is not unusual for an animal to have body parts cut off of it and kept as a trophy. This means that the animals wind up dying in slow agony, which shows up in the acidity of the animal’s blood, and that’s a big difference from the butchering process.
2. The animals may be conditioned to feel more pain.
The matador is taking on some risks in this sport, so it is not uncommon to have the horns of a bull shaved to give the bullfighter an added level of protection. In return, the bull has been conditioned to feel even more pain than they normally would and potentially be more sensitive to pain overall.
3. Bulls aren’t the only animals that suffer.
Matadors may use horses in their quest to kill a bull, which means the bull will view the horse as an enemy. It is not uncommon for horses that have been gored to be required to be put down because of the horrendous nature of their injuries. In essence, the matador is killing two animals for entertainment.
Bullfighting may have some advantages to certain societies, while many disadvantages also exist in this sport. By weighing the pros and cons of it, each community can decide if they want to allow the spectacle to continue or join the others who have placed outright bans on it.