Death of Matador Reignites Debate on Bullfighting
Debates surrounding the controversial sport of bullfighting are nothing new. However, when a matador actually dies in the ring–on live television, the debate is bound to heat up.
In the first bullfighting related death for a matador since 1985, Victor Barrio died on Saturday during a bullfight in Teruel, Spain, after he was gored in the thigh and then in his chest, which punctured his lung and aorta. Medics were quick to arrive to the scene, but the bullfighter, 29, was pronounced dead at the infirmary. Funeral services were organized in the San Bartolome Church in Barrio’s hometown of Sepúlveda on Monday.
While many people–in Spain and around the world, expressed their condolences to Barrio’s family and hailed him as a hero, many others–again in Spain and worldwide, decried bullfighting as a danger to both animals and humans that should be abolished. Upon learning the news that the mother of Lorenzo, the bull that killed Barrio, would be killed, Spanish animal rights party, Pacma, stated:
“We reject traditions based in violence, revenge and blood. Bullfighters say the mother of Lorenzo, now know as a ‘killer bull’ after ending the life of Victor Barrio, will be sent to the slaughterhouse to ‘end the lineage’. We know of only one ethical means to do away with all this: the total abolition of bullfights.”
Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society also called into question the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” aspect of a bull’s life in the ring, stating:
“What bothers me is the injustice for Lorenzo. Slain if he loses, slain if he wins, plus the slaughter of his mother. The Spanish media actually brands a bull a murderer if he wins.”
As The Guardian outlines the social media debates surrounding this incident, it also notes that Pacma, which advocates for an end to bullfighting, attracted about 285,000 votes in Spain’s general election last month, which is a record amount in the party’s history–perhaps signifying the increasing change of attitude towards this controversial and deadly sport.
Photo Credit: www.metro.co.uk