Toreos en España

Yesterday marked the end of a 600 year cultural tradition for bullfighting, leaving fans mournful in Spain.

Anti-bullfighting protesters demonstrated for animal rights by the Monumental bullring in Barcelona during the last event.

Barcelona Monumental. Photo from the Guardian site.

Bullfighting remains a controversial issue as many wonder why the Catalonian region banned the sport, whether to promote nationalism or present themselves with different cultural values.

The sport is a very exciting cultural experience for many locals and tourists. People enjoy watching one or more bulls being baited around the arena. The sport can be seen as bloody yet several followers regard the performance as art.

José Tomás in bullfighting mode. Photo from The Guardian site.

Usually, there are toreros who saunter across the arena with strategic moves which reflect their bullfighting style and the school in which they learned their techniques. The aim is to express a connection through their work with the audience while using the bull. The performance varies as moves are close range or wide range putting the bullfighter at risk. It’s an adrenaline rushing sport. Once the bull is hooked numerous times behind his shoulder by other metadors, the fight terminates with a killing of the bull by a single sword thrust.

From this, it can be understood why animal rights advocates interpret the sport as a blood sport where the bulls and horses suffer extreme measures. Yet there are still other bullfighting arenas around the world including France, Mexico, parts of Latin America as well as Sevilla, Spain.

Supporters carrying José Tomás out of the arena. Photo from The Guardian site.

The Monument in Barcelona will now serve another purpose as a local indoor market or religious venue.

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