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Dear MEP,

Here is a collection of arguments commonly used by bull fighting supporters. We present their arguments and then we counter them. Sometimes their arguments lack scientific precision, other times they lack honesty or serious logical reasoning. But almost always they lack compassion and empathy.

We ask you to read and consider the arguments, applying common sense and modern ethics. If you need any other information concerning these arguments or answers to other possible arguments, please do not hesitate to get in touch. The final quotation is in Spanish but we will soon find the correct English translation.


The pro bull fighting people say:

The member states of the EU have sovereign rights over religious rites, cultural traditions and regional patrimony.

The citizens of the EU and members of the SOS Platform argue:

It is true that the member states of the EU have sovereign rights over religious rites, and regional patrimony and cultural traditions. However bull fighting does not rightly belong to any of these categories. bull fighting is not a religious rite as it does not form part of any Eucharistic service or other sacred religious practice. It is not a part of our regional patrimony because it is not inherited from our predecessors. And finally, we would argue that is it not a cultural tradition of any of the member states...


The pro bull fighting people say:

bull fighting is art.

The citizens of the EU and members of the SOS Platform argue:

The first definition of art is that which states that art is the skill or ability to do something which has been learned or gained through experience. Unfortunately we cannot defend that art lies in the skill or ability to kill a bull. You only have to watch the videos in this web site to see for yourself that there is no art here...


The pro bull fighting people say:

bull fighting is a fair and noble.

The citizens of the EU and members of the SOS Platform argue:

Sadly, the bull fighter sometimes makes a fatal mistake and is either wounded or even killed during a bull fight. However, to be exact, statistics show that one bull fighter dies for every 300,000 bulls (some studies go as far as to say 500,000). Thus bull fighting can only be described as the elimination or extermination of bulls and never conceived as noble or fair. It is not true to say that both bull and bull fighter have a chance of ending up alive and unwounded. Even those few bulls who are pardoned later die of their wounds. Not so the bull fighters who have operating theatres provided in the principal rings.


The pro bull fighting people say:

bull fighting is a sovereign spectacle belong to the people where they can express their opinion and where rich and poor, aristocrats and plebeians rub shoulders and are treated as equals.

The citizens of the EU and members of the SOS Platform argue:

In any spectacle or event where one can shout, applaud and cheer the people are sovereign. Thus you can see people free and equal at football matches, basketball matches and musical concerts and so on. However, the freedom to express your emotions and opinions and experience sensations in the company of all the social classes, whether noble or plebeian, in other words the element of freedom and equality among the participants of an event does, in no way, qualify the event or make it deserving of a European subsidy. So, bull fighting does not deserve privileges that other events are not given. We are confident that you think likewise.


The pro bull fighting people say:

Without bull fighting, the bull fighting bull would die out.

The citizens of the EU and members of the SOS Platform argue:

The psychological differences that bull fighting bulls are hypothetically said to have in comparison to other bulls (the supposed quality of bravery) does not appear to be automatically inherited by the off-spring; the bull fighting supporters are the first to decry the lack of bravery in the vast majority of the bulls killed in the ring.
The so-called breed of bull fighting bulls only exists, in fact, in the minds of the breeders as an ideal. And in any case, even given that this morphological and psychological ideal existed, it is an ideal which has repeatedly changed over the decades in accordance with the fashion of the time.


The pro bull fighting people say:

bull fighting is not cruel, the bulls are not ill-treated.

The citizens of the EU and members of the SOS Platform argue:

Ill treatment is the action of ill-treating. Treating ill. And ill-treating implies the inflicting of physical and moral harm or pain. All living creatures, because of their nature, try to stay alive. To cause the death of any living creature is to ill-treat...


The pro bull fighting people say:

Do not waste time on bull fighting; it is not a priority. Spend you time eradicating poverty or improving education or health care.

The citizens of the EU and members of the SOS Platform argue:

What is priority is to channel funds into causes such as education, health care, etc. and away from causes which are discriminatory and which are unnecessary, such as breeding bulls for bull fighting.


The pro bull fighting people say:

The theories of the anti-bull fighting people are morally insignificant.

The citizens of the EU and members of the SOS Platform argue:

The citizens who have come together to form this Platform come from very different social and political backgrounds. We are not trying to change the rules by which our society is run but we do feel that the dynamics of a modern ethical life oblige us to work for a society with solid ethical values for our children to grow up in. Animal rights are becoming an integral part of our moral considerations...


The pro bull fighting people say:

The anti-bull fighting people want to lower the category of man to that of animals; their theories are dangerous.

The citizens of the EU and members of the SOS Platform argue:

On the contrary, in an increasingly global and technological world, what is dangerous is not to widen our moral vision of the world. We think that our children’s vision of the interrelationship of living creatures on our planet forces us to widen the circle of moral consideration to include beings, who though not human, share many of our basic characteristics, not least the capacity to suffer and feel pain...


The pro bull fighting people say:

The anti-bull fighting people are trying to put an end to an ancestral culture.

The citizens of the EU and members of the SOS Platform argue:

Culture is the promotion of knowledge, of excellence in the artistic fields; culture is the accumulation of learning as a result of study, of reading, of travel, of experience...


The pro bull fighting people say:

Without bullfighting the “dehesas” will disappear. Dehesa = meadows where the bulls graze

The citizens of the EU and members of the SOS Platform argue:

This is an absurd argument. It is like saying that without jeeps the mountain tracks would disappear. The dehesas are privileged natural spaces and are essential to the survival of valuable trees, plants, mammals and birds. The day bull fighting subsidies are withdrawn by democratic decision, these natural spaces could be turned into protected natural parks where bovines and other animals can continue to live. With car and planning they could be developed into rural tourist attractions or even used for extensive farming. Thus, at one and the same time, the lives of countless farm animals would be greatly improved. The members of the SOS Platform wish to maintain the dehesas and request that the owners be appropriately compensated for the reconverting of their economic activity.


The pro bull fighting people say:

bull fighting bull breeders have as much right to EU subsidies as farm animal breeders.

The citizens of the EU and members of the SOS Platform argue:

The fact that the breeding of bull fighting bulls is receiving EU subsidies is not precisely for the ecological value of the activity, nor is it for the value of the bulls as meat production. The breeders need the subsidies because interest in bull fighting is on a steep decline in bull fighting countries. Opinion polls and similar research demonstrate this. There is also a steady succession of town which have declared themselves contrary to bull fighting...


The pro bull fighting people say:

bull fighting bulls have better lives than beef cattle.

The citizens of the EU and members of the SOS Platform argue:

This is true. bull fighting bulls generally do live in privileged conditions in comparison with other food-production animals because they live in the open-air. These bulls, however, are required to “pass” a bravery test when they are one year old...


The pro bull fighting people say:

The anti-bull fighting people should spend their time on humanitarian projects.

The citizens of the EU and members of the SOS Platform argue:

The people who belong to this Platform also belong to a multitude of projects and entities which promote the rights of many different causes. We are not anti-establishment people who promote the “return to the wild” or the disappearance of industry, technology or machinery. We are not “anti-progress” people and nor do we seek the end of the human race. We have families, children, parents...


The pro bull fighting people say:

The bull fighting world is comprised of many people and provides jobs for many people.

The citizens of the EU and members of the SOS Platform argue:

Our Platform is also comprised of many people from all walks of life, of different ages, social backgrounds, countries, ethnical groups and so on. We seek to end the subsidies given to the bull fighting bull breeders. We are united in the idea that we must stop causing unnecessary suffering to animals...


The pro bull fighting people say: (they write in an extremely flowery way)

“The bull is not killed in the ring to satisfy an unhealthy appetite; on the contrary, it reveals qualities and essential characteristic such as dedication, bravery, intelligence, creativity and solidarity and the event allows thousands of “aficionados” to commune together in the simple belief that Man triumphs over Chaos and in so doing elevates his condition. The experience, which has a strong metaphysical connotation, can at times give the participants a taste of eternity.

The citizens of the EU and members of the SOS Platform argue:

This idea, peppered with a medieval interpretation of metaphysics and religious fervour, is a negation of that which they hope to achieve: the elevation of the human condition. To start with, this line of thinking negates the scientific basics of evolution and perhaps situates their theorists alongside the creationists...


Finally, we have included some fragments written by Wenceslao Fernández Flores, bull fighting critic who relates the suffering of the horses, who we haven’t even mentioned in this collection of arguments, but who are also forced to act in this degrading spectacle of which we are so ashamed.

...Había un caballo loco entre los adquiridos para una corrida. Nadie quería montar en él, ni era prudente hacerle aparecer en el ruedo. ¿Imaginan ustedes cómo se consiguió domar sus enfermizas impetuosidades?Piensen algo abominablemente monstruoso. ¿Lo han pensado?Pues peor aún. Le saltaron los ojos. Le arrancaron los ojos fríamente, tranquilamente. Anonadada por el dolor, la bestia salió con manso paso a la arena...

...Yo he estado en el patio de caballos de la plaza de toros de Madrid una tarde de corrida. Yo he visto a los monosabios hundir sus manos en el sangriento vientre de los caballos para rellenar con estopas las tremendas heridas. Un incesante dolor corría por las patas de los infelices animales, y sacudían su lomo y su cola mutilada al temblor de un sufrimiento horrible. La sangre goteaba a través de los puñados de hebras enrojecidas. Después, para reanimar a la bestia moribunda, arrojaban contra ella el agua de un balde y la víctima del largo martirio volvía a vacilar bajo el peso del picador, y tornaba al ruedo. Yo podría haber escrito después de aquella visita un artículo estremecedor, suma de crueldades presenciadas y oídas, compendio de impiedades, de brutalidad, cuyo recuerdo se obstinase en la memoria de las gentes de buen corazón. Sólo algo igualaría al horror de ese artículo: su inutilidad.

Now you can do something useful to put an end to the subsidies which support bull fighting.

Sign the proposition.

Millions of people will be eternally grateful.

 
 

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