Friday, November 16, 2007

Bulls and Bears

When most people talk about bulls and bears, they're usually talking about the Stock Exchange and Wall Street. I only know a little about these things myself. Well, I actually know absolutely nothing because as a former international fashion model and current freelance Good Will Ambassador bear, I have my own financial manager and accountant to worry about things like that. So really, this post should be called "Bulls and the Bear". But it's not. I think I need a new secretary.

Anyway, a few Sundays ago my bipedal attendants took me to visit La Plaza de Toro de las Ventas, which is Madrid's prem
ier bullring. It's a really nice building but the fact is, a lot of animals die there, and it made me really sad. An animal myself and a current freelance Good Will Ambassador bear, I can't help but be affected by the suffering of others. I did have my photo taken with Las Ventas' iconic statue (top left) in which it appears that a matador is flying through the air after being charged by a bull. I like that statue because it seems that the bull is winning. Very few bulls win though.

There are many MadrileƱos who want bullfighting banned. Last month, with the backing of 2 left-wing deputies and about 70 associations, some 30 arts and sports personalities presented a motion before the Spanish parliament, which demanded the "abolition of all types of ritual spectacle that includes the ill-treatment, death or torture of animals." They neglected to ask me to join them - obviously an oversight on behalf of their planners - but I support them 100%! Parliament is debating a draft law on animal rights but I'm not holding my breath - bullfighting has deep roots in Spain. It's been around for thousands of years - at least since the days of Emperor Claudius 2,000 years ago.

In 2004, Barcelona voted to become a bullfighting-free city but unfortunately, that decision was overturned. Fellow blogger Kalebeul recently featured a video prefaced with these comments:

"Village bullfighting is far more exciting and beautiful than the formalised crap on offer in big rings like Barcelona’s Monumental, but if the photo above gives some idea of the upside, the downside involves stuff like dwarf bullfighters cutting fillets off animals as they race past because they’re too short to plunge the sword in from above."

The photos were pretty grizzly and I couldn't even look at the video. That just makes me so sad. By the time we all left La Plaza de Toro, we needed to exorcise the spirits of those poor tortured bulls. On a warm autumn day the only thing that came to mind was a pint on a sidewalk pub. That helped. But only just a little.

If, like me, you want to see an end to this horrific 'sport', you can e-mail Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero at and the Ministry of the Interior (which governs bullfights in Spain) at

Until then, maybe I should extend my duties and become a
freelance Good Will Ambassador bear for bulls.

1 comment:

H-Face said...

Great post GB!

I think we all need to do our part to put an end to bullfighting!