This image never fails to touch and disturb me deeply.
It shows a matador that during a Corrida has a breakdown, sat down in front of the bull that he was trying to kill and started crying. After that particular corrida (bullfight) the matador whose name is Alvaro Munera gave up bullfighting for good.
A poignant part of the image for me though is the bull shown already punctured and hurt by several spears inflicted on him by Picadores mounted on horses to weaken him. The bull is bleeding heavily and as he looks at the matador he seems to be saying: ”Why have you done this to me? What have I done to you to deserve it? I’ve never meant any harm to you.”
I went to a corrida during a vacation in Spain when I was young out of curiosity to see what it was all about and I was totally horrified.
What disgusted me most though wasn’t so much the Corrida itsef, for as brutal as it was, but the thousands of spectators, that included many women and children, enjoying the spectacle and inciting the bullfighter with cries of joy to kill the bull. Soon after that I went home and decided that I would never go back to Spain until the Corrida would be abolished, a resolution that I kept to this day in spite that I like Spain, Spanish culture and that I speak the language like a native.
To me those spectators didn’t seem any different from the ancient Romans that went to the Coliseum to see Christians being killed and eaten by lions or gladiators fighting each other to death. In fact historically the bullfight derives from those brutal games
The same sort of feeling I have for those millions of spectators that pay huge sums to see boxers hitting their brains until one of them is knocked out unconscious.
It may seem too drastic to decide of not going to Spain, which is otherwise a lovely country, unless bullfight is banned, especially considering that horrendous abuses against animals and people are committed in many countries such as China, to mention one, where each year they celebrate the Yulin dog meat festival during which many dogs are electrocuted, burned, crashed and skinned while alive and conscious besides allowing the sales of tigers and rhino products and ivory. However, if people would refuse to commercially support countries where horrible crimes are perpetrated against animals and humans I’m sure that such barbarities would stop immediately.
As Ghandi showed against the British boycott is the most powerful weapon.
The writing at the bottom of the photo are the words of the Toreador after the bullfight for which I give the translation in case that you can’t read Spanish
“And all of a sudden the bull looked at me with the innocence of all animals reflected in his eyes, but also with an imploration. It was a charge against the inexplicable injustice, a supplication in the face of an unnecessary cruelty. This time he felt sorry for me and I felt as if I was the worst garbage of the world.”