Tuesday, July 27, 2010


www.spanishnews.es - Lawmakers in Catalunya will vote on a bullfighting ban this week. The vote on Wednesday comes after animal rights activists collected 180,000 signatures on a petition calling for the assembly to decide on a motion on the ban. Various indications suggest that a majority of the 135 regional lawmakers are in favour of the motion. If approved, the region of Catalunya would be the first region outside of the Canary Islands in Spain to ban bullfighting. The Canary Islands passed a ban in 1991. The motion has sparked controversy throughout Spain with many suggesting that the Catalans are merely on a rampage to ban everything that is Spanish, in order to promote their own identity. Despite the allegations, the Catalan public works minister and regional government spokesman, Joaquim Nadal, stated that the issue would not be used as “an element of confrontation” between Catalunya and the rest of Spain. For many Spanish conservatives and bullfighting aficionados, the proposed ban is an outright slap in the face to the rest of Spain.

Bullfighting also has its history from the dictatorship, when General Francisco Franco promoted bullfighting as a unifying national spectacle. Bullfighting opponents believe that the “sport” creates needless animal suffering and is reprehensible, and outdated. Since thousands of years the symbol of a bull stood for fertility, sovereignty, pride, manhood and potency. Killing a bull in such a humiliating way would suggest a dark shadow exists in the collective psyche of the Spanish folk. Will this anti-bullfighting campaign mark the beginning of a new enlightenment? The animal rights group Prou! has said that if successful in Catalonia, it will take its campaign to end bullfighting to other regions in Spain.

In addition to the bullfights, many Spanish fans, who like seeing the suffering of animals, enjoy other bullfighting events as the Catalan “correbous” (bull running), which consist of - among other things - running after a bull, ignite the bull’s horns, pull the tail of the bull among several participants or chasing a heifer until it ends at the sea.

Activities which lead to heavenly enjoyment are called “punya” (piety) and activities which lead to hellish suffering are called “pāpa” (sin). … Sin is not a constitutional factor of the jiva, but rather takes shelter of the jiva in the conditioned state. Some actions or states (pāpas) are contradictory to the natural qualities (punyas) of the jiva: hatred, lying, cruelty, lust, envy, injustice. Cruelty may be directed towards human beings or animals. If a person acts cruelly towards other men he creates a disturbance to the world. A world devoid of mercy means a world filled with cruelty.

Śrīla Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thākura :
“Śrī Caitanya Śiksamrta

The Nectarean Teaching of Śrī Caitanya
Second Chapter: “Punya karma - Meritorious Action”


Paul Adriaenssens said...

Congratulations, Catalunya, with your recent ban on bullfights!
I never saw the appeal in slowly torturing a bovine to death.

dasavatara das said...

You are quite right Paul. Despite "Bullfighting" is an ancient tradition in Spain, and fans say it combines culture, ceremony and artistry, it is - without any dout - a really abominable act of animal cruelty. So we are happy that at least one region - Catalonia - became the first Spanish place to ban bullfighting after its parliament voted TODAY - Wednesday - to outlaw the tradition on animal cruelty grounds.