Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Summary of Cathryn Bailey's Article

Cathryn Bailey wrote an article called " Africa Begins at the Pyrenees (moral outrage, hypocrisy, and the Spanish bullfight)". It was published in 2007 by Ethics & The Environment. Baily discusses the "uncivilized" torturing of bulls (or sometimes horses) at Spanish bullfights.

Many of the 45 million tourists who visit Spain each year will actually attend a bullfight, lured by the propaganda claiming that it expresses something profound about this county. Whether or not they actually experience la corrida, many will still attend.

Despite the fact that nearly 70 percent of Spaniards claim to have no interest whatsoever in bullfighting , one cannot flip through the television stations in this country without risk of seeing a bloody bull, staggering under the spears in his back and neck, waiting for the sword thrusts that will end his life. Pro-animal rights Spanish philosopher, Jesus Mosterin, claims that "Spain has the deserved reputation of being one of the cruelest, most insensitive countries with respect to animals"

"It is the privileged window on the Spanish character, if not the Spanish soul”, one Spanish poet states. Other defenders of bullfighting have insisted variously that it is an art, the secret to Spain's distinctiveness, and, along with the most famous of American tourists, Ernest Hemingway, a ritual of universal, spiritual, significance. In any case, the bull is the dominant image in Spanish souvenir shops, appearing on T-shirts, key chains, or as a cartoon figure with a big grin.

Bullfighting in Spain is also widely advertised in newspapers right alongside soccer stories in the sports section. As one protester puts it, "bullfighting is as pervasive in Spain as baseball in the U.S., and bullfighters claim the same celebrity status as do sports stars here. But Spain honors unique cruelties that are unthinkable in the U.S"

People would never consider to peep their heads around the doors of slaughterhouses and farms in the hidden places of their own towns, but to see a full view of slaughtering for pleasure is somehow thought to be moral and just. It is public torture for entertainment's sake. The idea of crowds whooping and hollering, urging on death and delighting in it, under the umbrella of legitimacy, seems to take us back to a primitive beginning that most of us would like to this that we have transcended. Bullfighting provides nothing more than pure enjoyment for sadistic people who thrive on the torturing of helpless animals, and needs to come to an end.

No comments: