Plaza de Toros de Madrid – The Bullfights

Hello again from beautiful Madrid!

Culture clash…

I went to the Bullfights with my husband and some classmates on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  I had to keep telling myself that this is part of the culture and that I cannot judge it or condemn the practice without taking in the entire experience.  That being said, I tried to view the experience from the perspective of an anthropologist rather than a vegan and animal lover.  Umm…yeah that was really difficult!

Mixed feelings…

I was captivated by the pageantry and artistry of the matadors!  They danced and strutted in the bullring – encouraging the bull to charge and basked in the shouts of “Ole!” from the crowd.  I found that during each 20-30 minute bullfight (there were a total of 6), I would get caught up in the excitement of cheering the matador on.  The whole thing was infectious and exciting, but then reality would hit – the once strong and proud bull is bloodied and is eventually killed by the matador and dragged away by horses.

Final thoughts…

In the end I am glad that I went to the bullfights.  I think the death of the bulls was tragic, but I cannot dismiss the matador’s cultural importance.  Bullfighting is a dying art form (excuse the pun).  My hope is that some day soon the pageantry of the matador survives, but the bull does not have to lose his life for the entertainment of the crowd.


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