While I dreamed of spending time basking in the sun of the gorgeous Canary Islands, this backpacker girl wasn’t able to take a holiday from my travels. Instead, I ended up spending countless days in Madrid, falling more and more in love with the city. Each day, I took it upon myself to explore the best of Madrid and the countless beauty and culture it had to offer.
One afternoon, I stumbled across this protest to end bull fighting. While, personally, I don’t condone the killing of animals as a pasttime, the history of this sport is very deeply ingrained in the Spanish culture. However, more and more, people are beginning to speak out against it.
7 thoughts on “Daily Wanderlust: a protest in Madrid”
When I traveled to Palestine I protested the apartheid wall. It was a great experience and I learned a lot from it. I’d love to see the running of the bulls but I think it would break my heart.
I’d like to see the running of the bulls, too. It’s just the ultimate death which makes me sad.
I admire courage above all else. The best quality of people is truth, but courage is my favorite. I can see the courage in facing down a bull with an espada and muleta or squaring off against another fighter for money and applause. In today’s internet entertainment world, real courage is rarely seen. The most courage one can show online is by always leaving a name with a post, signing ideas and owning them. Keyboard warriors abound and largely embarrass themselves in this observer’s eyes, especially when they are anonymous.
On the streets, protests are common and popular these days. I don’t see anything intrinsically courageous in holding a sign here in the USA. Sometimes riot police show up and arrest the slowest dozen running away. Generally, protest success is measured in how many people show up for the protest, but as protestor count goes up, danger and courage goes down. 100,000 people with an easily adaptable message say one thing, but five people demonstrating says another.
However, I always prefer my conflict ritualized and spectator-friendly. Boxing matches and bullfights show me more as a poet than picket lines and sign-bearers. Of course soldiering and personal courage are to be respected on a more profound level, but the battlefield and personal issues are not for the crowd in an afternoon. We don’t have many ways left to show courage or watch it. I’d like to leave bullfighting’s fate to the Spanish; its their culture. However, bullfighting’s demise will sadden me. Courage is rare and should be celebrated.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Thomas. You bring up some valuable points very eloquently.
I know bull fighting is an important cultural tradition for Spain, but I still don’t think that justifies the practice. Putting the animals through that fear and pain seems cruel. I’m glad to hear that more people are speaking up against the practice.
I am saddened that people use culture as an excuse for animal and people cruelty. Personally I don’t buy it. If you want to dress up in your culture’s pretty outfits, do rituals with candles and rosaries – fill your boots. To torment and slaughter innocent animals to satisfy some old ritual? Beyond comprehension. From female genital mutilation, beating women and children to tormenting a bull to death, all in the name of culture is a slippery slope. We live more and more in a global village, many see first hand the horrors perpetrated and can no longer stand by mute and I count myself as one of those and proud of it.
If I need to prove my courage I can climb a mountain or put myself in a situation that takes me out of my comfort zone, raft the Zambezi, jump from a plane, reach out to a stranger or risk breaking my heart by opening it to an animal in need. To use an animal for that? To me, the epitome of self-centred egotism.
Me, too!! I have a hard time with it. I do understand the cultural ties to things like bull fighting, animal sacrifices, etc. but it does not make me happy. But, at the same time, how can I — who has no ties to that culture — say that they should not do it (I’m thinking more towards religious acts like sacrifices)? Who am I to judge a religious practice, etc. just because I find it horrible? It’s tough.