Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bloodlust Traditions Must End

Lawmakers have thrust a sword deep into Spain's centuries-old tradition of bullfighting, banning the blood-soaked pageant from the Catalonia region from 2012.
In practical terms, the ban's effect is limited: Catalonia has only one functioning bullring, in Barcelona. It holds 15 fights a year, out of a national total of roughly 1,000 bouts per season. But animal rights activists say it's the "beginning of the end" for all bullfights across Spain.
There're some customs and traditions that can't remain frozen in time as society evolves. We don't have to ban everything traditional, but the most degrading and torturous things must be abolished. Bullfighting is one such cruel tradition - the bloodlust sport dates back to 711AD, but that's no justification for its continuence.
The same argument can be levelled at the Faroe Islands' traditional pilot whale "grindadráp". While there have been efforts to develop more efficient killing weapons, the fact remains that it too is a cruel inhumane tradition.
Supporters of bullfighting maintain it is an art-form: Spanish newspapers publish bullfighting reviews not in the sports pages, but in the arts and culture sections. The Faroese are under no such illusions about their "grindadráp": it has always been a harvest. Originally that meat ensured the survival of the isolated population, but today it is just an unnecessary indulgence for those who still eat it.
I hope the Faroese who read my blog (and there are a few) may see the parallel, and reconsider their position. Traditions are important - they're a part of who we are and where we've come from - but cannot be used as an excuse for perpetuating cruelty and violence.

PS: 26 Sept.2011 - Today, Catalonia's final bullfight.


Janus said...

Tell me how grindadráp is more cruel than the killing of pigs in Denmark or of chickens in Europe?

Writer of the Purple Sage... said...

Dear Janus:
Please read well the posts I've already written (and the detailed responses to other questions similar to yours).
If you click on "whales" in the Search Tags, this will lead you to everything you need to know...and perhaps some things the Faroes don't want to face up to as well. Happy reading!

KatyTold said...

Our treatment of animals is a mirror of ourselves. Thanks for your horrific post. sadness

KatyTold said...

Janus- the intention says a lot. Respectfully killing an animal to eat it is not the same thing as sticking it with knives in celebration spectacle until it dies. What is in the human heart? Search the phrase "Respect life animal quotes" and you can read at my blog a summary of thoughts that may illuminate.