Man and Animal die in the name of Sport

Stock image by Ceri Skinner via Flickr
Stock image by Ceri Skinner via Flickr

For the first time since 1985 a matador has been gored to death by a bull. Victor Barrio, 29, attempted to deflect the 1218 pound bull, named Lorenzo, with a muletazo manoeuvre when it snagged him in the side, ramming him to the ground and goring his chest, causing a perforation of the lung and thoracic aorta. Despite being rushed to hospital Barrio suffered a cardiac arrest and died. this tragedy occured during the annual festival named Feria del Angel which was shown live on TV, his wife was amongst the crowd. After this tragic occurrence the festival was suspended.

Sad as the death of a human being is, it is difficult to feel much sympathy for Barrio, he was facing an animal which had already been stabbed several times with barbed sticks in the top of its shoulder. This is done by what is called Banderilleros, a skilled Banderillero can place the banderillas in such a way as to restrict the bull’s movements limiting its offensive movements making it safer for the matador. This spectacle in animal cruelty is carried out before a baying crowd, in the name of entertainment. It is estimated that 40,000 bulls are killed in a year in European bull fights, that is in Spain, Portugal, and France, In Spain over 3000 official bullfights take place each year resulting in 24,000 dead bulls for the entertainment of 30 million people. Here we are in the 21st Century and citizens of a civilised nation are getting their thrills watching bulls being slowly tortured before finally being killed. I know that some supporters of bullfighting would argue that if you eat meat you are in no position to criticise, but i cant help thinking that conditions in a slaughter house must be more humane than death in the arena. When the time comes to kill the bull the matador is supposed to sever the artery near the heart with a single thrust of his sword, in practise this never happens. Often two or three thrusts of the blade are required before the bull’s torture comes to an end. By this time the matador will have punctured the bull’s lungs and heart and the bull will be vomiting blood, much to the glee of the cheering crowd of course.

This gruesome spectacle led to the death of one man and two, that’s right two, cattle. It is tradition that if a bull kills a matador then that bull’s lineage should end, and so the rancher will send Lorenzo the bull’s mother cow to the slaughterhouse.

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