Thursday, October 20, 2011

Taming the beast

On the spur of the moment, we decided to go to see a bull fight. I'm not sure what decision I would have made had we had more time to think about it.
About 5 minutes in a was questioning our presence there.
Why had we brought the children to see an animal get tortured? Needless to say there was lots of discussion all throughout the event.
First, I had to explain again that people kill animals all the time, either for sport or food. I reminded him that we are meat eaters and quite often consume beef.
After the food discussion I had a great talk about bravado and posturing with Shmeep. He was asking if the matadors had to stand that way and if they practiced. I pointed out how they were displaying their bravery and strength in their posture. We talked about why they did certain moves and what was going on. In the end he and I concluded that bull fighting represented man's conquering the beast. When the bull first comes into the ring he is wild and vicious. Slowly he is subdued by the strong fearless matador. It comes to a point when man has turned the bull into a docile creature. Once the bull is calm enough for the bull fighter to stand next to him, the fight is over. Man kills the beast. Shmeep said it's not so much a physical fight as a spiritual one. The Matador fights the wild spirit of the bull and kills it. I thought this a beautiful observation.
Lastly, Shnook and I discussed animal rights. As we sat, watched and even cheered on the fighters, we began to hear chanting coming from outside. I heard someone say "aaah animal rights!". Shnook wanted to know what was going on. I explained to him that just as there are people who want to see this sport there are also people who don't. Some believe that it's cruelty to kill animals in sport. We discussed what was happening to the bull. We talked about necessity versus sport and the value of an animal's life as opposed to a human. I left him with the decision to either support the matadors or the protesters. He said that if the bull was killed and the meat was eaten then it was just like other cattle we raise just to eat.
As we were leaving the stadium we actually witnessed what happens to the dead bulls. It was amazing. They skinned, cleaned and cut the bull up right on the spot in a little studio next door and packed the meat into a truck, which I'm assuming, was headed for a market.


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