01 June 2009

La corrida de toros

1 June 2009

So back to this bullfight I went to. I’m going to tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly and then I want to know what you think of it!

So in Spain, a bullfight is called a “corrida de toros” (running of the bulls). During one show, 3 matadores get to challenge 2 different bulls for a total of 6 bulls at each show.

So the first thing that happens when the bull comes out is some toreros distract him so they run at their capes. They do this to see how ferocious and courageous the bull is. After running the bull for around for a bit and doing some fancy moves with the cape, they have the option to save the bull. If the white panuelos are waved in the air, the bull is spared! If not, we move on to the second phase.

2 picadores come into the ring on blindfolded horses. They each have a lance which they will use to poke and wound the bull with (right between the shoulder blades). The horses have protection on one side of them, thankfully. Based on the way the bull charges the horse, they can tell which side it favors and would that side more. This is the first time we see blood. Now when it charges the capes, it has the tendency to trip over itself and fall over. One of the bulls in our show face planted it, got his horns stuck, did a full on head stand before falling over. Not cool.

In stage 3, the banderillos come out. There are usually about 3 of them, and each have two flags (more accurately, they’re razor sharp barbed sticks) which they stab as close as possible to where the picador made the first wound. More blood loss, weaker neck and shoulder muscles, and the bulls try to shake them off since they’re so uncomfortable. Between this stage and the final stage, one of the bulls that we saw ran back to the place he had come out from and stared at it. After realizing no one was going to help him, he ran over to some people who were standing right outside of the ring and stared at them…it was so heartbreaking.

Last step—the matador. The matador does some fancy passes with his little red cape, and shows how close he will get to the bull that has now lost a ton of blood and is very weak. They use a red cape so you can’t see how much blood is on it, not because the color angers the bulls—they’re actually colorblind. Towards the end of his part, he holds the cape down low and shakes it. The bull looks down, and if the matador does his job properly, he will stab the bull between the shoulder blades and through the aorta or heart. However, stupid matador in pink did it horribly wrong BOTH times! The very first bull we see was completely tortured and suffered a horrible, horrible death thanks to that man. He stabbed him completely wrong and he just stood there. Usually if you stab them correctly, they walk for about 30 seconds and then just fall over. But this one wandered and then stood there, his whole body convulsing, with blood spewing from its mouth. It was quite possibly the most horrible thing I had ever seen. I don’t think the matador and his people even knew what to do because they all stood there and stared at each other! Not only did all of the black bulls look like Ripley, but they were so sweet. The bulls are not mean by nature, they’re actually very peaceful animals. When he wasn’t having a cape shaken in front of him, he just stood there and looked around. They only go for the capes because is a foreign, wiggling object. The matador in white was by far the best. He was very professional, unlike the pink man who seemed to be just dicking around out there. Pinky man even had the nerve to put his elbow on his dying second bull’s head to show how brave he was! No! You’re doing it wrong! They’re not supposed to be coughing up blood, you ass! The matador in red was okay except for the fact that on both of his bulls, his first kill attempt was a major fail. He would stab him, but then the sword would fall out and he would have to do it again. He had the last bull of the night, and let me tell you, that thing would not die. He was a feisty one. I thought this one should have been spared, instead of the brown cow. The last bull would not let that horse go. They had to pull its tail and try to drag him away from it after about 5 minutes. Poor horse. But yeah, he wouldn’t die, so they gave him a death jab in the back of the next and he dropped to the floor like a towel. On the way out, we followed the smear of blood and saw where they were taking the bulls. Two words: meat hooks. Yugh. All of them were skinned and hanging there except for the newcomer who was currently being attached to hooks and being raised up. Poor little guy. His head fell and splashed in the basin of blood below it =(

All in all, I thought it was interesting, but I don’t think I would go to another one by choice. I was rooting for the bull and the horses the entire time, haha!

Other facts to ponder about bullfighting:
+Spanish people yell “olé” when the bull charges the cape
+If it weren’t for bullfighting, this breed of bull would have gone extinct years ago
+While they’re living, they’re treated like kings. They get the best food and the best lady cows.
+They give the meat away, usually to the poor
/A bull fighter who does well can receive a prize of one ear, two ears, or the tail, which is the best prize
-Sometimes the horses that the picadors ride on are all doped up so they don’t even hear the bull near them
-Even if the bull falls down within 20 seconds they are still stabbed repeatedly until paralyzed and then has his spinal cord cut. Even so, it may still be conscious as its getting its ears or tail cut off, and being dragged out of the ring by its horns
-Bulls are often weakened and disoriented before a fight by means of drugs or other cruel methods
-Sometimes they shave down the bull’s horns, making them incredibly sensitive or they yank their balls to make them mad

I’m anti-bullfighting. What are your thoughts?


Corrida de toros

i decided not to put videos up for three reasons:
1. they're upsetting
2. i already packed away my external hard drive
3. i'm lazy =)

if you want to see them, just ask and i'll show them to you when i get back!


Anonymous said...

Brutal event - not much of a sport when only one is likely to die.

Anonymous said...

I think it's barbaric...I don't blame you for being upset. It's something I don't think I'd ever want to see firsthand...