There is no excuse for animal cruelty, not culture, not religion, not tradition.
Yet so often, when animal rights activists protest a festival in which animals are abused or killed, that is the excuse they receive back.
"`We've been doing this for years?"
"This is our tradition."
But when it comes to the annual festival held in Mochitlan, Mexico
they no longer have that excuse. During the festival, held in July, village ranchers donate bulls to be sacrificed in honor of Santa Ana. Men then pull the bulls, tied up, down the streets of the city while the town's more than 5,000 citizens "celebrate" around them. The procession lasts three hours. But that is just the beginning.
When the bulls finally arrive to the "Casa del Mayordomo" they are cruelly slaughtered in front of the onlooking crowd of men, women, and children. Their arteries are cut and the gushing blood is then collected in buckets from which celebrants take sips of the still warm liquid. Meanwhile, the bulls lie on their sides, slowly bleeding out, as villagers sip what is considered to be "holy water".
This is animal cruelty in the name of tradition plain and simple yet in 2015 the Pope told his followers that "[e]very act of cruelty towards any creature is 'contrary to human dignity'." This fiesta is not condoned by the church, in fact, the Vatican sent a message to the town mayor demanding that the fiesta was canceled.
But still, this vulgar custom continues. Residents of Mochitlan can no longer hide behind tradition as they practice these atrocious acts of animal cruelty and it is time the city mayor, the governor of the state of Guerrero and Mexico as a whole prohibit festivals that allow animals to be abused. Please sign the petition and ask officials in Mexico to ban them now.