Monday, 8 February 2010

Do Local Traditions Really Matter?

In my opinion the world should be an addition of cultures. The planet is a big melting pot of cultures and each region must be taken part in.
At the same time, a global conscience is being built and some traditions cannot be allowed  because they involve animal abuse or else don’t respect human rights. 

For talking on this topic, the first thing that springs to mind is the Spanish bullfight. From now on I am only going to talk about this local tradition.
Firstly, what I want to set is the four components of this tradition.
First, the human beings are fierce animals, voracious predatory animals, with the further fault that thanks to our mind we can do our atrocities more sophisticated.
Second, for some people the bullfights are a kind of art. The bullfighters’ look is as the classical dancer and several writers, musicians and painters loved this supposed art.
Third, it is a fiesta, a big festival, an ancient enjoyment, and a sort of Roman circus.
Fourth, it is a national fest. As a patriotic performance it is a way to set the national identity. Thanks to this ritual Spain says that it is different and people who take part in it feel they are building a country.
However a neutral spectator does not see any of those four points. When he looks at the ring and sees the bull’s blood on the sand, he cannot avert his glaze. When he stares at the bull and listens to its desperate bellows, it is impossible for him to think of art or enjoyment. He only sees a beautiful, young and strong animal being killed among jokes and insults. He only sees an animal bleeding to death. And he is horrified when the animal is killed with a thrust to the neck and dragged out of the bullring. 
Regardless of the fact that killing animals in slaughterhouses is also cruel and the traditional pig slaughter in small villages is even more bloodthirsty, the bullfights are especially cruel because are a public show.

As a Spaniard one appears to be doomed to liking bullfights. But some voices start to ask for the closure of the bullrings. Over the last few years the Catalonian government has been at the centre of a row over a petition for bullfight to be forbidden in Catalonia. People have  been mobilised again this ruthless tradition and they are putting pressure on the Government to make a resolution.
Our leaders must take this issue on board and solve it. We cannot take this ruthlessness for granted. It is time to be better human beings.


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