24 hours before the fight the bull is put in an enclosure in total darkness so that when he is released into the arena he is dazed by the light and by the screams of the crowd. He tries desperately to get away from it, ramming his horns into the now-closed doors, all designed to give the public the impression that he is fierce and dangerous.
The tips of his horns have been sawn off (with no anesthetic) to protect the bullfighter. They have repeatedly hit him in the kidneys and testicles with sandbags, they have laced his water and food with very strong laxatives, so that his intestines are tender and weakened, and he enters the arena in a totally confused and debilitated state. They have rubbed grease and vaseline in his eyes, to make it difficult for him to focus, and his hoofs have been coated with a harsh and abrasive substance, which burns the delicate flesh and makes him continually stamp his hoofs in pain. Sometimes his neck muscles are scraped so that he can't make sudden movements with his head without intense pain. This way they avoid possible gorings.
But that's not all. He has been injected with hypnotic drugs and balls of cotton have been rammed up his nostrils to make it hard for him to breathe. Even just for this attack on the integrity of a non-human animal, this so-called 'sport' should be outlawed.
All this happens before the bull even enters the arena. When he does, he faces a slow and painful death, beginning with the taunts of the picadors, riding on the backs of blindfolded horses, who thrust barbed metal lances into his neck and back, twisting and gauging them to impair his movement and ensure that he loses as much blood as possible. Next the banderillas (brightly decorated harpoons) are plunged into his already-bloodied neck, tearing his flesh. The banderilleros run in circles around him to further dizzy him.
By the time the matador enters the bull is disorientated, in terrible pain, and exhausted %u2013 no match at all for the nimble, fresh matador, who teases and provokes him into making a final effort to charge. Frequently he fails to make a clean kill, and the executioner is called to finish the job by repeatedly stabbing the bull with a dagger. When his ears and tail are cut off the bull is often still conscious and twitching. And it's not just the bull who is abused. The picador's horses are chosen because they are of little commercial value, so the animal will die after 3 or 4 fights. Most of the time the horse will suffer from multiple broken ribs and his entrails are often gored. He too is injected with drugs and his ears are stuffed with wet newspaper in order to get him into the arena, because otherwise he would gallop off in terror.
In 1925 they began covering the horse with a blanket, supposedly to protect his flanks, but in truth it is there so that the public cannot see the horse's injuries, which frequently involve the intestines spilling out (sometimes the entrails are crammed back in and the horse stitched up so that he can make it through one more fight). And worse, so that he doesn't bellow from the pain (which would annoy the respectable public) they have cut his vocal chords. If, in his abject terror he refuses to go back into the ring, they burn his testicles with electric shocks, or gouge out his eyes.
And they call this a SPORT? This belongs to the era when Christians were thrown to the lions for fun. To say that it is an 'honourable tradition' is a paltry and feeble excuse. This blood-thirsty, institutionalized torture of innocent animals for entertainment should have no place in the pride of a nation. It brings shame on all those who watch it, allow it, profit from it and promote it.
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