Bitácora de América. Respuesta inicial a los intelectuale antitaurinos anglosajones.
Un aporte y respuesta inicial es la siguiente, y en su mismo idioma del inglés (y respectiva traducción):
Spain society is not significantly divided about the “Fiesta Brava”. There is a lot of human and spiritual symbolism involved in a corrida. It is not merely about the blood and the death of the “toro de lidia”. The matador represents life and human condition, while the bull represents raw nature. The bulls belong to different “ganaderias” and live like kings for at least 4 years. Each one of these beautiful animals display their inteligence, very specific behavior and temperament when they are with the matador in the arena (“ruedo de la plaza”). The press that writes in english should research the truth of this cultural manifestation of millions of people with spanish heritage, who are by no means violent or “enjoy watching an animal be tortured until death”.
La traducción del párrafo es: La sociedad española no está significativamente dividida acerca de la Fiesta de los Toros. Hay simbolismos espirituales en una corrida de toros. No se trata, en una corrida, exclusivamente de la sangre y de la muerte del toro de lidia. El torero representa la vida y la condición humana, mientras que el toro de lidia representa la naturaleza en su estado puro. Los toros provienen de diferentes ganaderías y viven como unos reyes por un mínimo de 4 años. Cada uno de estos animales tienen belleza, inteligencia, y despliegan su peculiar comportamiento y temperamento cuando están en el ruedo con el torero. Los medios de comunicación que escriben en inglés bien podrían investigar más a fondo, sobre la verdad de esta manifestación cultural que está enraizada en las almas y espíritus de decenas de millones de personas con herencia latinoamericana, quienes absolutamente no son violentos, ni disfrutan “ver a un animal torturado hasta que muere”.
El más reciente artículo de los intelectuales antitaurinos anglosajones, se reproduce a continuación, escrito por David Fernández, hoy 6 de mayo de 2009, para El País y para Expatica.com:
“The dilemma on bullfighting in Spain”.
“The debate whether young children should be allowed to attend bullfights rages on in Spain. Bullfighting is one of those issues that leave little middle ground: supporters defend it as an ancient art with deep cultural roots; opponents call it an outdated spectacle based on cruelty to animals. In recent years, those opponents have succeeded at making their voices heard, with animal rights groups and environmentalists winning the support of some of the country’s regional governments – notably in Cataluña, where children under 16 cannot attend corridas”.
”In the Basque Country (comunidad vasca), the regional parliament approved a draft law in October 2007 saying that under-16s could only attend bullfights if they were accompanied by an adult. Prompted by animal rights groups – with actress Brigitte Bardot to the fore – the French government has said that it will discuss whether to follow Cataluña’s lead. After years of decline, the south of France has seen a surge in interest in bullfighting over the last five years, with corridas in Nimes, Bayona, Mont de Marsan, Arles, Dax, Béziers, and Ceret drawing sell-out crowds”.
”These rings are famous for their tough bulls, and are now increasingly attracting the top names from Spain – which is why the French anti-bullfighting groups are pushing the government so hard on introducing an age limit, and which they hope will be the first step to a complete ban. “Parents have the right to educate their children. The problem is that minors are not able to properly decide whether they should attend a spectacle that is based on killing an animal. This activity is not a reflection of civilization – it is barbarism,” said Nicolas Biscaye of the Société Protectrice des Animaux. The French entrepreneurs who run the country’s bullrings dismiss charges that minors should be protected from the spectacle”.
”Simón Casas has been running Nime’s bullring for the last 28 years. When he took over there was a short annual season with five corridas. There are now two seasons, with a total of 15 fights”.
“I have two daughters aged six and seven who sometimes come with me to the bullring. I watch how they react, and if I saw anything negative in their behaviour, I wouldn’t need a law preventing them from coming to the ring. I’d do it myself,” he insisted”.
”However, Echeburúa added children should be accompanied by an adult, and that a child suffering from any kind of depressive illness should not witness a bullfight. Anti- and pro-bullfighting supporters. Opponents of bullfighting say that simply preventing children from going into bullrings is not enough, and that corridas should not be allowed to be shown on television during the day. “How can it be a good thing for a child to be allowed to watch an event that consists of mistreating an animal; where people enjoy the pain inflicted on the beast, and bray for more blood?” asked Theo Oberhuber of the NGO Ecologists in Action. But bullfighting fans argue that children can learn lessons for life from what goes on in the ring. “I’m a father, and I’m much more worried about my children attending a soccer stadium where there is always so much violence,” said bullfighter Luis Francisco Esplá”.
“But in the bullring, there is no separation between supporters of one bullfighter and another. The bullfight has its order, it is a ritual, and it teaches children a series of values and guidelines that no longer exist in the wider society,” he adds. It seems clear that underlying the debate about children and bullfighting is whether the corrida still has a place in modern society. Opponents of bullfighting say it is outdated”.
”In October 2006, a Gallup poll showed that 72.1 percent of Spaniards said they had no interest in bullfighting, while 26.7 percent did. This is a significant fall from 1999, when 38 percent of Spaniards said they were interested. Joan Herrera, a former Catalan Green Party deputy, believes that bullfighting needs to undergo “deep-rooted reform” if it is to adapt to a Spain that is more aware of animal rights.”Killing an animal should never be a public spectacle,” he said, adding: “Bullfights are part of an outdated tradition with sadistic overtones.”
”In recent years, the anti-bullfighting movement has attracted wider support, beyond environmentalists and animal rights activists, and has become a political issue. In an unprecedented move, in 2004, Barcelona city hall came out publicly to condemn bullfighting. The decision has no legal status — any real ban would have to be ratified by the regional parliament — but it is a reflection of the growing influence of the anti-bullfighting movement.”
”Increase in popularity of bullfighting. The setting up of a Platform in Defence of the Fiesta which attracted heavyweights such as Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa or Catalan theatre director Albert Boadella perhaps best explains why there were a total of 1,989 bullfighting events in 2006, a 2.15 percent increase on 2005, contrary to surveys which say the sport’s popularity is declining. The appearance of a new generation of toreros included France’s Sebastián Castella and Juan Bautista, and Spaniards Cayetano Rivera Ordóñez and Alejandro Talavante, and the return of José Tomás. The number of televised bullfights rose by 16.5 percent in 2006 over the previous year”.
“This isn’t about protecting children. The idea is to prevent an interest in bullfighting from being passed down to the next generation. Cultural traditions and leisure habits are formed between the ages of 7 and 14,” said Luis Corrales of the Platform in Defense of the Fiesta about plans for an age limit on watching bullfights. He added that changing the event – so that the bull is not killed in the ring, for example – makes no sense. “It is has been proven that the bull suffers more if it is killed later, in cold blood.”
”Neither side in the bullfighting debate looks set in the foreseeable future to make any concessions. And as is often the case in debates that attract extreme positions, anybody who tries to be objective is likely to find themselves under attack”.
“Former Madrid youth ombudsman Javier Urra said that after commissioning the 1999 study on the effect of bullfighting on children: “I was insulted in the street, and sometimes even refused service in certain bars.”
Addendum. I would have to add the following: Today’s top matadors, such as El Juli, or José Tomás, also launched their careers in South America at tender ages. The famous CBS American television broadcast “60 minutes” had a special piece about Cayetano, a rising star in this area, at:
Also you can find the performance of 11 year old sensation El Andi – Andrés Roca Rey – in Aguascalientes 2008, at
Other links about this people´s-all-ages spanish tradition are in Seville 2009: