Everyone knows about Spanish bullfighting.
This week is the running of the bulls in Pamploma. There is a recent article where you can read about it here.
If you are still unsure whether bullfighting is something you support or not, there is a very well written article here.
I will leave bullfighting with those links as it is already well known and well documented. It is propped up by tourism, so if you are tempted to attend, please make sure you go in with full knowledge of what you are supporting.
Sadly, I have been volunteering for years in animal welfare and since I was 15 have carried the heavy knowledge in me that bullfights are not the only brutalising of animals done in Spain (or the world) in the name of entertainment, usually under the guise of ‘cultural tradition’.
How does a recently made up tradition EVER trump the rights of an animal to live free from abuse such as is detailed below?
Warning: The following is extremely distressing.
The Pero Palo Festival In Villanueva de la Vera, Spain
Every year, a terrified donkey is violently forced through the streets of the village of Villanueva de la Vera in Spain, surrounded by drunk, rowdy, young men. The men think it is great fun to beat, kick, bite, shove, drag and crush the terrified donkey, as they all laugh as it is done. The animal regularly collapses from exhaustion and fright, only to be forced back to its feet by violence from the mob of drunken men. Guns are fired close to the panicked animal, alcohol is forced down it’s throat and it is ridden by the heaviest men in the village.
The ordeal often leaves the donkey badly injured or crushed to death. After this mental and physical torture has finally ended, the shattered and traumatised donkey is forced in to a trailer and taken away to meet an unknown fate.
Animal charity campaigners, who work at the only donkey sanctuary in Spain, were refused when they asked if their vet could check the donkey over after the festival. A member of the charity, Jose Rodriguez Gil, said “”When I tried to film the donkey I was repeatedly threatened. They knew very well that what they were doing was cruel.”
Toro De La Vega – The Lancing Of The Bull
The Toro De La Vega is a cruel and bloody Spanish festival which takes place in the streets of Tordesillas.
A Bull is chased through the streets and over a bridge in the town by in excess of one hundred men and youths armed with sharp lances. Once over the bridge, the animal is attacked by the men thrusting their lances in to him. The Bull tries desperately to get away from this agonising torture, but the poor animal has lances repeatedly plunged in to him until his flesh is torn so badly, and he is bleeding so heavily, that he can eventually go no further.
On his collapse, his testicles are cut off, often while he is still alive. This is all watched by rowdy and cheering crowds. This spectacle in this Spanish festival is considered suitable entertainment for the whole famly, with many parents taking their children. This horrific tradition was illegal for years, but, incredibly, it was again legalised in 1999!
The Tradition In Spain Of Hanging Spanish Galgos
The Galgo is a Spanish Greyhound used by hunters in Spain. It is traditional in Spain at the end of the hunting season for the hunters to kill their dogs, as they do not want to look after them when it is not hunting season. Sadly, this tradition is still very much alive.
The most traditional way the hunters kill their dogs is by hanging them from a tree. There they die a prolonged, frightening extremely distressing death.
Fortunately the mindless cruelty of another stupid Spanish festival was outlawed in 2002.
Celebrated on the fourth Sunday of January, Goat throwing was a festival in Manganeses de la Polvorosa, province of Zamora, Spain where a group of young men threw a live goat from the top of a church, based on local legend. A crowd below would then catch the falling goat with a canvas sheet.
Some survived the fall and some did not. Not much attention is given to the death of this animal, the fiesta began regardless.
The goat was then paraded through the streets on the shoulders of party goers.
(Extracted from http://www.marbella-guide.com/goat-throwing-in-spain/ and Wikipedia)
This week I am happy to donate to AnimaNaturalis. God (what God?!!) knows they need it.
In times of need of, most us pray to a God to show us mercy, but here we are, with the power of virtual Gods on this earth, and look how incapable of mercy we are. What happened to ‘do unto others?’
If anyone wonders why I care so much about animal issues when there is also so much human suffering in the world, let this week’s topic form a large part of my answer to you.
From Wikipedia, as their site is in Spanish:
AnimaNaturalis is an international non profit animal rights organization whose mission is to “Establish, promote and protect the rights of all animals in Spain and Latin America. These rights include the right to life, liberty, and not to be tortured stop being considered property.” It was founded in March, 2003 by Leonora Esquivel Frías and Francisco Vásquez Neira.
AnimaNaturalis has offices in Spain, as well as several Latin American countries (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Venezuela).[3
AnimaNaturalis speaks out against the use of the animals as food (concerns with industrial farms, industrial fishing and foie gras); in laboratories (animal testing); to wear as clothing (concerns with using fur, leather, silk, wool and feathers); as entertainment (circuses, zoos, aquariums, sports, hunting, and racing); and raises awareness about cruel traditions such as rodeos, bullfighting, cockfighting, and dogfighting.
Companion animal programs include education about issues like keeping pets out of hot cars, the importance of spaying and neutering, and pet adoption. They also raise awareness about the connection between abuse of animals and violence toward humans, including children.