Please come back to Spain, and say no to bullfights
We love you, dear visitors from all around the world, specially from the United Kingdom, Germany and USA. But when you come back, we need you to put the money away from torture and cruelty to animals. Specially bullfights.
Very soon our frontiers will open for every nationality. Hotels, restaurants, bars, music, parks, beaches. Everything we love about summer in Spain will be at its best, and we need it badly. Tourism, national and international, is an essential part of our economy. So many jobs stopped during the (still unfinished) State of Alarm caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But we are getting up and working hard to show our best smile.
Theaters, cinemas, even music venues are adapting themselves to the so called New Normal. Culture, films, music helped us deeply to ease the hardest moments during our confinement. But now that football matches are back, the rest of the sports competitions will also return, and life will taste as it used to be. Summer of 2020 might not be so bad after all (if you’re still employed, but that’s a different story).
First of all, let me explain one thing very clearly.
We hate Corridas!
Coming out of these hard times, looking at almost 30,000 deaths in Spain due to the coronavirus, no one wants to be exposed to pain, torture or cruelty as entertainment. Being alive and healthy has reached a new soulful meaning. Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive became one of the anthems for so many people at home. And we did it! We’re alive, still standing. And that’s precisely why we Spanish people need to get rid of bullfights and cruel bloody festivals for good. We need to use this moment in time to stop this dark and shameful part of our society. AND YOU CAN HELP US!
Only 8% of the population in Spain attended at bullfighting events in 2019.
First of all, let me explain one thing very clearly. We hate Corridas! Nobody likes bullfights in Spain! Nobody? Some people must like them, or they wouldn’t still exist, right? Of course, a ridiculous bunch of supporters do. But these are the facts: according to the official National Poll on Habits and Cultural Practices (Encuesta de Hábitos y Prácticas Culturales en España 2018–2019) bullfights went down 63% since 2007, and 6% since 2018. That’s a total of 1425 corridas during the last year, which is still a lot of bulls killed for fun (six bulls are killed every time, so we are looking at 8550 bulls tortured in 2019 in front of a paying audience).
But when me look closely at our cultural habits, compiled in the official report by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, we are very much like the rest of the world. We read, we listen to music, watch films, tv series, play video games, got to the movies or to the theatre, ¡even the Opera! And who goes to the bullfights? Only 8% of the population in Spain attended at bullfighting events. That’s close to 3.75 million people, out of our 47 million inhabitants. So, why do I say no one goes to the corridas? Because if it truly was so important and traditional, it would be one of the top favorite “cultural” habits in the study. And it isn’t. It’s the 12th, as you can see below:
Bullfighters know this is the end, and they are desperate!
The Covid-19 epidemic in Spain stopped our economy for three months. Hotels closed, offices shut down, shops sealed, and everybody at home. The Spanish Government issued an endless flow of special measures to support companies and workers, but a few lucky ones continued on, sometimes feeling for the first time what a lot of us do at a daily basis: working from home. With a lot of time to kill! And the creativity and imagination exploded BIG TIME all around the world, with generosity, offering a bottomless catalogue of free films, documentaries, music, books, virtual tours, webinars, and school classes.
But, did anyone missed the bullfights? NO! OF COURSE NOT! It was a great opportunity to enjoy those fictions series on the must watch list, anything from The Wire to Twin Peaks. Soccer fans in Spain went back to watch the golden times of our National Team, the unstoppable Nadal games, or in my case Atletico de Madrid’s recent finals (yep, even the ones we lost, we are like that). But no one, and I mean NO ONE was talking about bullfights. Until something disgusting happened.
Did anyone missed the Corridas? NO! OF COURSE NOT!
A group of so called bullfighting professionals, entrepeneurs and a few mobsters realised that the 2020 season for corridas was clearly not happening, so they demanded funding from our government, meaning from us taxpayers, requesting the amount of 700 million euros to compensate their losses (with the explicit support of our shamefully elected fascist party, Vox). Specially once the general measures to support Culture and Entertainment were approved, leaving this lobby out of the game. And that made sense, because even though the previous conservative government by Partido Popular had given bullfights the consideration of Historic and Cultural Heritage, the coalition Government of the Socialist Party and left-wing Unidas Podemos understood the demands of their voters against bullfights.
And while we were restricted at home, activists all around Spain reacted immediately against the bullfighters, and thanks to the initiative of Anima Naturalis, one of the leading animal rights organisations in Spain, thousands of signatures (almost 350 thousand until today) were compiled online against any public money spent to protect bullfights during the upcoming crisis.
But the pressure from the so called tauromafia is heavy and eventually they found a way to get some public money, according to their “professional” status, and now promoters will be allowed to launch corridas with a reduced attendance capacity, a special treatment that football stadiums have not reached. And trust me, soccer means BUSINESS in Spain.
Will bullfights comeback as they used to be? No way! There are so many other priorities in this country, the national debt will be again at historic levels and families need jobs and food. And those don’t come from matadores. A lot of jobs, actually, will come from tourists visiting Spain from the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the United states. These are our main sources of visitors, more than 82 million people in 2019.
What can you do to stop this?
There’s a lot that you can do. You can definitely share this story, raise your voice, be a part of this historic moment. But we all are much more powerful that our social media.
All countries around the world have suffered immensely during this epidemic, we have lost dear ones in the family, and we are enduring the impact of the economic crisis that has just started as a result of the health crisis. We are all connected, and we are slowly going back to our routines, supporting our local shops, bars, restaurants, businesses and culture. Every single drop will mean jobs, will heal wounds, will restore our hope. In my country this has just started. And we want you to be part of it, to breathe our beautiful meaning of life. That’s why torture, cruelty, blood, has no place in it EVER AGAIN.
Let’s stop Corridas, bullfights, bull runs, blood festivals all around my country, and send them into the the History books with a good solid kick. Come back to visit us, as soon as you can, and let’s share amazing tapas and wine together. Let’s spend summer nights outside, on the beach, dancing until 6am, falling in love, discovering History and uniting forces against social injustice. But PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, don’t spend a single cent on bullfights, or any other celebration involving torture and cruelty to animals. Even if it’s a free event. We’re not like that, at least a huge majority of Spanish. We are a decent, loving, hard working, party going country that needs an extra hand to feel proud of our traditions, when they don’t mean death and suffering.
We had enough death and suffering during this pandemic.
Let’s embrace life, empathy and respect for non-humans when you visit Spain.
Then, maybe we can talk about Ibérico ham… And I can take you to taste amazing traditional vegan tapas, instead.
But, my friends, that’s a different story.