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20 year old tennis star, and reigning Wimbledon champion, Carlos Alcaraz has drawn criticism after he was spotted at a bullfight in Plaza de Toros. This occurred after he was eliminated from the U.S Open tennis tournament. Plaza de Toros is located near Alcaraz’s hometown of Murcia. Animal rights organization PETA called out the tennis player for his attendance at the horrid event and implored him to pledge never to attend another bullfight.
Bullfighting is a blood sport that sees an estimated 250,000 bulls tortured and killed each year. The poor animals are weakened before they even enter the arena and may be drugged. They are taunted and jeered at by crowds and slowly killed by the matador. Bullfights are horrible events that glorify animal cruelty and suffering.
Spain is not the only country where bullfights take place. These events also occur in France, Portugal, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Ecuador. Other similar events also promote cruelty to bulls. “Bull Runs” are events where bulls are chased through the streets by large crowds who verbally taunt the creatures, and may use sticks or loud noises to further terrify them. These actions are carried out in hopes of driving the bulls into a frenzy. Bulls may slam into walls, breaking bones or otherwise injuring themselves. After these “bull runs” the bulls are then taken to the bullring where they are tortured to death. Sadly, “bull runs” remain popular tourist attractions.
Other horrifying events include “fire bull events” where a device is attached to the bulls horns and set on fire. Spectators then pull on the bull’s tail and set off firecrackers to torment him. In the Toro de la Vega fiesta, a bull is chased out by a crowd of people on foot and horseback. These people are armed with spears. They chase the bull from the town into a field where they surround him. Then, they taunt and stab him as he struggles to escape.
The Jallikattu event in India is another tortuous event that centers around pursuing and tormenting bulls. At this event, bulls have their tails yanked, twisted, and broken, are beaten with sticks studded with nails, have chili powder thrown in their eyes, and are forced to drink alcohol in hopes it will make them angry. South Korean bull events place two bulls in a ring where they are made to fight for the onlookers.
Although Support for bullfights, bull runs, and other cruel events involving bulls is declining, they still continue to occur. A poll carried out in 2013 revealed that only 29 percent of Spaniards supported bullfighting. Between 2009 and 2019, there was a 50 percent decline in these events. Many countries, including Argentina, Canada, Cuba, Italy, Denmark, and the U.K have already banned bullfights.
This loss of Support makes Carlos Alcaraz’s attendance at a bullfight even more baffling. In PETA’s statement, they remind us that bullfights are “torture not culture”. Animal cruelty is not, and never will be, entertaining. Although Alcaraz has not publicly responded to PETA, hopefully he will stop supporting these horrifying events and never attend another bullfight.
According to the Humane Society International, bullfights and bull fiestas are dependent on an influx of money from tourists. To help stop these events, do not attend a bullfight, bull run, or bull fiesta while visiting a country and refuse to Support tour operators who include these events in their tour packages. Additionally, be sure to Support legislation banning bullfights.
Sign here to Ban Bullfighting!
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