Bull Tormenting

Five sustained serious traumatic injuries in this years Pamplona bull run.
My latest rant has been bubbling inside for years. I covered the subject in my novel Zorro’s Last Stand. Each summer, something kicks off and it sparks my hatred for such things happening in my adopted country.

If you want to see blood-thirsty pack animals: tormenting, toying and torturing its victim then get yourselves to the many towns in Spain when the hot sun has them baying for blood.

The first time and last, I attended one of these despicable fiestas was in a small village, Jalon valley – a decade ago. They, as usual, erected steel bars to protect the doors and windows of local businesses and provide a safe place for the village idiots to stick their limbs out of.

The bull, which they usually have some kind of cute name for, was released and straight away darts were thrown at it – panicking the animal. Someone rushed by and prodded it with a sharp stick drawing blood to the cheers of his drunken peers. When the bull moved too close to the steel protection railings, cowards reached out and pummel the bull with bats and lengths of four by twos, more darts pierced through its skin.

The scared bull looked around for help, but nobody was coming and nobody looked on in sympathy, there was no empathy and compassion here. The laughter from women got louder, mothers, whom you would think had at least a sliver of humility, spat on the panting, watery-eyed mammal. A youth sprinted in front smacking its face with a rolled-up newspaper barely making it to the safety of the railings on the other side of the street as a bottle smashed in front of the bull – after deflecting off its bloody rump.

This went on for hours until it finally and inevitably happened. A slowcoach chanced his luck, jogged near the bull. The desperate bated animal swung its horns catching the ass-clown. Tossed him in the air got a few swipes in and gave him a hoofing. Now he was no longer cute and fun bull, he was evil bull. You think he was being punished before, what comes next is despicable and makes you ashamed to be there and part of the same race as these heathens.

I’ve seen some bad things in my life and been toughened by experience. Watching drunk cretins risking their lives in the name of fun makes you sick and angry. Not all Spanish are like this and as I look around at certain Spanish people, deemed the more educated, you could see shame creep across their faces, not daring to protest for fear of reprisal, rationalising with self-talk – this is a tradition we have been doing this for centuries.

The father and sons pulling off the heads of chickens competition had been done for centuries, but that has stopped – hasn’t it?
An incident in the town of Coria in the Province of Cáceres a few years back. A 43-year-old man, during the San Juan bullfighting festival, unfortunately, died after being gored through the protective railings by the tormented bull, whose cute name was ‘Guapetón’, which translates as “super handsome”. It soon changed to evil bull who must die and was shot to death by a local man wielding a shotgun – using firearms illegally, witnessed by two local policemen and others who cheered with lusty, bloodthirsty delight.
Welcome to Spain the sun is always shining – at least for some species.

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