Mi Bodeguita del Medio

While my blog is named after a restaurant in Havana I hope to someday visit, here you will find musings, rants, political incorrectness, thoughts on Indian Nationalism, strong straight-forward opinions and tid-bits.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Toros de Fuego / Bulls of Fire - an Old “Tradition”

I'm on the mailing list for an organization called Animanaturalis that strives for animal rights. Today I opened my mailbox and saw this image, and as curiosity led me to reading a bit more, I'm going to talk about it in this post. I can’t help but bring out this revolting “festival” that is “celebrated” in Soria and Castilla y Leon. As much as I love Spain, it is ALARMING that such activities continue to be allowed in the so called “developed world.” In this post, I am going to translate what exactly the “Toro de Medinaceli” consists of.

Read the original Spanish version here.

In this "festival," the bulls' horns are installed with metallic artefacts that are screwed on to the ends of the bull’s horns. These artefacts contain inflammable liquid balls so that the bulls horns (and consequently the bull himself) burn like torches for hours on end.

Apart from being completely antinatural, the fire causes panic and horror to all animals, as it is instinctively identified as a sign of danger. Therefore, the bull tries desperately to put off this fire that he carries on his horns. The inflammable liquid that has been applied, ensures that the fire cannot be put off.

Naturally, the consequences of this practice are terrible for the bulls. In first place, logically, the bull is burnt. Although those (retards, psychopaths, insert profanity here ___) who defend this practice argue that this is not true [I’d like to stick a pair of horns on each one of their heads and set fire to them - ooh that would be REAL fun to watch, and to make it even more fun, maybe even tie their hands and legs and watch them try to wriggle around trying to put off the fire - after all, they're not going to get burnt] the bull receives sparks that fly off and burn his head, his face and his eyes. Also, the bull’s horns are a very sensitive area which cause immense pain when burnt.

The bulls (to these retards’ entertainment) try desperately to put off the fire, and find it impossible to do so. While fighting to put the fire off, the bulls can dislocate their necks or even kill themselves due to the violent movements caused by the panic and desperation. The “Toros de Fuego” especially suffer psychological damage, and it is known in some cases for bulls to have committed suicide, throwing themselves against an object or a wall.

Ok, lets talk about Spain for a moment. Yes, there does exist an excellent public health care system. There is excellent infrastructure and Spain is unmatched in terms of Art, Music, and general liveliness. The buzz in the Spanish streets isn't found anywhere else. The street festivals, and local artists, painters, musicians, and even economists and scientists, not to mention sporting personalities.... the list just goes on.

However, in my humble opinion, I still feel that the Spanish Prime Minister is/was giving himself too much credit for considering that the lack of invitation to the G-20 block meeting, where world leaders will hold talks to bring about financial reform, could be due to animosity from Bush's side for Zapatero's withdrawl of Spanish troops from Iraq. Instead, the plain and simple truth is that Spain still has a lot of cleaning up to do in order to really become part of the developed world. There is enough 'black money' here, that could rescue the entire banking system from the liquidity shortage - if only it were declared. Enterprise-wise, good jobs tend to go to those that are "enchufados" or have vaasta or the right contacts. Culturally, too many "festivals" tend to embody the worst torture that one would hope never to see in their living lives.

So my humble message to Mr. Zapatero is, "the problem is not outside Señor Presidente del Gobierno, a lot of the mess lies in your own back-yard."

If you'd like to participate in the manifestation against this festival, here is the contact email informacion@pacma.es and telephone number: 685726737. Buses leave from Barcelona and other major cities.

Thank you PACMA, Animanaturalis, and other organizations who are working so hard, round the clock to help give a voice to these poor animals that don't have a voice in this cruel world.


  1. are you KIDDING ME.
    And Spain calls itself part of the "developed" world??

    It's a disgrace.

    People who practise and/or believe in such "traditions" deserve nothing less than the same treatment themselves.

    Argh. I'm so disturbed, and disgusted, and angry.

  2. Dear Nam, I am so lucky to have reached your blog. I am an Indian research student in JNU, Delhi working on Immigration in Contemporary Spanish Society. I have studied Spanish language and culture for the past 6 years and like you have an ambivalent relationship with this culture. I love some of the aspects like art, literature, flamenco but cannot comprehend the atrocities they practice. For my PhD thesis I plan to do some ethnographic research on migrants from South Asia in Spain. I would really like to get in touch with you cause you being someone who have lived in Spain and actually interacted with the migrants I am talking about would be able to give me insights that are impossible to find in academic articles written by Spanish sociologists on the "immigration problem". Please write to me at basu.swagata@gmail.com. Would really appreciate your help.
    Swagata Basu