Aficionados International

A majority wants bullfighting banned

This is a popular myth corroborated by PETA and other animal rights organizations. They base their claim on various GALLUP polls over the years which in return have then been repeatedly quoted by various media outlets such as The Guardian, CNN, Time Magazine and others.

Bullfighting is a sport

Bullfighting is seen as a fine performance art rather than a competitive sport by its followers and performers. A Matador/a sees himself / herself as a performance artist rather than as an athlete.

Is bullfighting in decline?

Excerpt from “How To Watch a Bullfight” by Tristan Wood: “Animal rights organizations have far more developed links with the media than does the bullfighting world and it is consequently easy to get the impression that the bullfight is an outdated and cruel spectacle, receiving less and less support in its birthplace Spain. Some lobbyists even claim that it is only spectating tourists who keep the event alive.

Bullfighting is an ancient tradition

While it is true that taurine culture has been around for thousands of years, and that other bull-events such as the running of bulls have been recorded for hundreds of years, the modern corrida de toros as you would see it in Spain, Mexico, France and other countries today is a relatively young spectacle. 

Bulls are trained before the fight

Bulls enter the ring completely untested. Indeed, to train them or acquaint them with the movements of the matador would be counterproductive and very dangerous to the bullfighters as bulls do pick up on the visual ruse played on them after a while.

Bulls charge at the color red

Bulls are colour-blind. They react to movement. They react to movement. A fighting bull instinctively recognizes a jurisdiction within which it will attack everything that moves. This jurisdiction will contract and expand during the bull's performance in the ring; at times it can reach right across the width of the bullring, or be as close as a few centimetres away from his horns.   A bullfighter or torero will have to learn to judge the distance from which the bull will attack at any given moment during his performance.

The Bull is still alive when it is dragged out

Every Matador’s third Banderillero (one of the members of a bullfighter’s "supporting band"in the ring) also functions as the puntillero.

Once the Matador has executed the so called moment of truth, the death trust, and the bull has collapsed onto the ground, it is the puntillero’s job to approach the bull and sever the bull’s spinal cord to ensure death. This is done with the puntilla, a broad bladed dagger, to ensure a quicker and painless death to the animal.  

Bulls are weakened before they enter the ring

This is one of the common allegations that radical animal right groups often make against bullfighting and its promoters. The idea is of course to play into the common misconeption of the corrida being a fight between man and beast and an unfair one at that.


What happens when a matador gets injured?

Contrary to popular belief a matador cannot really lose a bullfight as it is not a sport in the first place. Bullfighting is seen as an art form rather than a sport (see here.). However bullfighters can and often do get injured in a manner that impedes them from continuing their performance.