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Richard Peña

Research Paper

Principles of Communication

Bullfighting: Sport, tradition and pain

Bullfighting, also known as Tauromaquia, is a practice which takes place in some countries in Europe and America which causes exciment and controversy at the same time within followers and oponents in these countries. Because bullfihting is an old tradition it remains attached to people asa sport and part of their culture, but also in the last years it has been loosing popularity because of animal walfare groups that go through crusades trying to raise consciousness about animal rights and respect. It is important to get to know this practice closely to understand its importance and popularity.

When people attend to the bullring just a few know what happens before the showstarts, according to the animal rights organization PETA (People for the ethical treatment of animals) bulls go through different kind of mistreatments days and hours before the show like being intentionally debilitated with heavy sandbags dropped on their backs (http://www.peta.org, 2007). Another way to prepare the animal for the event is to injure and drug the bull, a study conducted by Spain’sSalamanca University found that 20 percent of bulls used for fighting are drugged with big amounts of inflammatory after some stabs which cause them to lose strength (Usher, 2010). Matadors (Spanish for “killers”) and bullfighting fans have diverse ways to handle the bulls in order to provoke them and get what they want from the animals: an irritated beast. However, bullfighting defenders state someof these actions are made in order to give the audience a good spectacle; it is very exciting to see how the animal fights aggressively while the adrenaline runs trough people’s bodies (Usher, 2010). This process that sometime takes days leads to the show time where the matador fights the bull.

In the nine countries where traditional Tauromaquia is legal, the procedure is very similar(http://www.stopourshame.com).Usually during a bullfight event people see the matador fighting the bull using a red cape (capote) and several weapons which includes hooks, swords (banderillas) and a knife. In bullfighting there are more individuals involved than just the bull and its opponent, the matador. The matador has collaborator called picadores and bandilleros whom take place almost during theentire spectacle (http://www.peta.org, 2007). At the beginning the matador tricks the bull using the capote and running the bull in circles until the animal is dizzy while the audience scream “OLE!”. While the matador is facing the bull, the animal is approached by two picadores ridding blindfolded horses. They throw spears into the bull’s back and neck muscles, prejudicing the bull’s ability to lifthis head. Then come three bandilleros on foot, they distract and stab the bull’s back with banderillas (colorful sticks with harpoon points). The point is to produce the biggest amount of blood loss possible, and they do it by twisting and gouging the spears and banderillas at the moment when they reach the bull. After this the matador takes place one more time running the bull in circles until itstops chasing because its weakness and dizziness. The matador stabs the animal a few more times and kills it by crossing his sword through the bull’s neck (http://www.peta.org, 2007). If the audience is happy with the matador’s performance, the bull’s ear and tale are cut off and presented as a gift (Flórez, 1945).

There is the cases where not only the bull dies or get seriously injured,horses and humans can become the other victims in traditional bullfighting (Usher, 2010). The journalist and novelist Wenceslao Fernández Flores describes in his book” El toro, el torero y el gato” how horses get gored and abused as well. Lot of times the bull stabs the blindfolded horse, and when this happens, people in charge of the animals fill the horse’s injuries with tow careless of any kind...
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