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Life at № 42

Death of a Matador – and religion

barrio

Extraordinary picture, isn’t it? For the first time in decades a Matador in Spain was killed while “performing”. The bull gored him through the heart. His name was Victor Barrio.

Spain is divided on the matter of bullfighting; very much along party lines. The conservatives call the practice a cultural tradition. They’re technically right. As for the tradition part, anyway. Bullfighting is ancient. Dotted through Gilgamesh, Mithraism, Rome… and then Hispania. In Spain it has quasi religious status.

See original image

Imagery, superstitions, special clothing. And an embrace of the absurd. Bulls raised for bullfighting have wonderful lives (until they’re tortured to death.) Bullfighting is culturally important because it represents the fight of good versus evil (and the good is the man with the weapons torturing the animal?) It’s not a sport, it’s a mixture of art, dance and virility. It serves to collectively relieve anger. God created bulls to fight with man and die in the fight. If bullfighting is prohibited this breed of bull will die out. 

One specious argument after the next. Tiresome.

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101 comments on “Death of a Matador – and religion

  1. Carl D'Agostino
    July 12, 2016

    We have bull fighting in US too but the arena is cut throat politics. The bulls and matadors are both full of BS.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. darthtimon
    July 12, 2016

    It’s an act of barbarity, and to further this, the mother of the bull that killed the matador was killed, because ‘tradition’. I’m all for some traditions, but ones that are harmful…

    Liked by 4 people

  3. KIA
    July 12, 2016

    And yet we still raise livestock to be killed by the millions every year. For our food.

    Liked by 3 people

    • agrudzinsky
      July 12, 2016

      A wise Zen frog was explaining to the younger frogs the balance of nature: “Do you see how that fly eats a gnat? And now (with a bite) I eat the fly. It is all part of the great scheme of things.” “Isn’t it bad to kill in order to live?” asked the thoughtful frog. “It depends . . .” answered the wise frog just as a snake swallowed the Zen frog in one chomp before the frog finished his sentence. “Depends on what?” shouted the students. “Depends on whether you’re looking at things from the inside or outside,” came the muffled response from inside the snake.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. KIA
    July 12, 2016

    The matador may have gotten a quicker more gruesome death but when we eat animal flesh and consume their secretions and ovulations science and medical histories tell the story that we still “get the horns” in the end health wise.
    Most of the top chronic health issues are directly related to our raising, slaughtering and eating animals for nothing more than tradition and culture and “what we’ve always done”.
    We are the matador.

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s not entirely true. Mass consumption of meat is a 20th century phenomena. Before it was considered a luxury.

      Liked by 2 people

      • KIA
        July 12, 2016

        You gave me a great idea for a post. Thank you

        Like

    • silenceofmind
      July 12, 2016

      KIA,

      That’s a bunch of malarkey.

      In nature there are animals that are herbaceous, carnivorous and omnivorous.

      Human beings evolved to be omnivorous.

      Eating a balanced diet which includes animal products is much more healthy than a vegan diet simply because that’s the way Mother Nature made us.

      You can’t hallucinate an alternate reality for all of mankind simply because you have a particular bias.

      Like

      • KIA
        July 12, 2016

        Always nice to hear from you som. You’re always so kind and measured with your words of grace

        Like

    • agrudzinsky
      July 12, 2016

      I know little of traditions. I eat meat because it tastes good and is nutritious. But that’s me.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Well that was straight to the point 🙂

        Like

      • KIA
        July 12, 2016

        What is it about raw meat that you find appetizing?

        Like

      • agrudzinsky
        July 12, 2016

        I don’t like raw meat. I like it roasted.

        Like

      • I can only speak for myself… I find the flavours very fine. Finer than cooked. It’s also light. The texture of raw fish, as in sashimi, is also very pleasant.

        Liked by 1 person

      • agrudzinsky
        July 13, 2016

        I suppose, when people like something, they do it regularly. When they do it regularly, it becomes a tradition. And when it becomes a tradition it gets embedded in rituals, superstitions, rules, and regulations. Sex, eating, drinking, and killing come to mind.

        Suffering and death seem to fascinate people. They are turned into cults and worshiped around the world. Christianity is the most notable example. Just an observation of “what is” without judgment of “what ought”.

        There is an argument whether violent video games increase the tendency to violent behavior or, to the contrary, help to sidetrack those violent tendencies and channel them into the virtual world. Do you think, corrida may serve a similar purpose?

        I think, I can tolerate corrida if they stop beheading, burning, and torturing people or selling children into sex slavery or for organ implants.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Unfortunately no. I think rather than sidetracking violent tendencies it desensitizes the population. In fact there’s a level of brutality in Spain that we don’t see in other parts of western Europe.

        Like

      • agrudzinsky
        July 13, 2016

        Then there is a question (without an answer) whether Spaniards are brutal because of corrida or they have corrida because they are brutal.

        Liked by 1 person

      • agrudzinsky
        July 13, 2016

        Russians are brutal, but they don’t have corrida implying the lack of causality between the two.

        Like

  5. clubschadenfreude
    July 12, 2016

    An age ago when I was on a high school trip to Spain, we watched a bullfight on Easter Sunday. One of the matadors was gored through the groin. It was indeed the bloodiest thing I saw at the tender age of 16. I also grew up on a farm where I hand raised calves to be slaughtered later.

    many of our health issues are from eating too much of everything, so I find the claim that every bad thing can be blamed on eating meat, milk etc to be weakly supported at best.

    Liked by 6 people

    • I couldn’t agree more. It’s a gigantic oversimplification.

      Like

    • P.S. there are those among the Vegetarians who also treat it as a religion 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • clubschadenfreude
        July 12, 2016

        ain’t that the truth 🙂 My biggest question to vegan/vegetarians is: do you want the world to eat a vegetarian/vegan diet and if so, do you want them to eat what v/v eat in first world countries or what they eat in third world countries? The fact that I’ve asked this at least a dozen times with no response can show how oversimplified the arguments for and against can be.

        Liked by 1 person

      • makagutu
        July 12, 2016

        Part of the problem with the vegan argument is there are places where people would literally starve if they didn’t eat the little available meat

        Liked by 2 people

      • Hariod Brawn
        July 12, 2016

        A lentil’s a lentil – no, ClubS?

        Like

  6. Hariod Brawn
    July 12, 2016

    Nothing to do with machismo, then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Machismo in colourful, highly embroidered, fancy dress 😀 You know the costume is called a traje de luces (suit of light.)

      Like

      • Hariod Brawn
        July 12, 2016

        That’s exactly what the top military men have always done. If you’re going to kill, you may as well look lovely while you’re at it, eh?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. acflory
    July 12, 2016

    @ Hariod Ah, but it’s how you cook that lentil that counts. I have a great recipe for dahl and rice. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dpmonahan
    July 12, 2016

    I think the ethics of animal slaughter are quite personal and can’t be generalized. For example, someone who does not want to cause suffering might be vegetarian, which is a beautiful thing if you think about it, but he can’t really make a coherent argument that everyone should be vegetarian. I take the personal position that if I am going to eat meat I should occasionally do the killing myself, but I can’t say that everyone should do that.
    Bullfighting probably falls somewhere into that category: the bull is going to be slaughtered and eaten: making a ritual of it might not be everyone’s cup of tea but there is no real right or wrong here.

    Like

    • silenceofmind
      July 12, 2016

      dp,

      The public torture of bulls or any other creature for fun and frolic is barbaric.

      There is no crime in saying what things truly are.

      The travesty is ignoring the obvious in the name of some absurd notion of tolerance.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dpmonahan
        July 12, 2016

        So it is better for the bull to be put on a conveyor belt and run through an industrial meat processing plant so consumers never have to think about where meat comes from?
        If you are a traditional-minded Spaniard that is disrespectful to the bull.

        Like

      • silenceofmind
        July 12, 2016

        Yes, it is better.

        That is because all creatures, including man, must feed themselves.

        The industrial production and processing of food has ended mass starvation on Mother Earth.

        The only people who die of starvation, are those intentionally starved by tyrants and warlords.

        Watch a baby cub lion torture a baby pig to death, sometime.

        Life on Mother Earth is brutal.

        Like

      • dpmonahan
        July 12, 2016

        I agree that mass production of food is a good thing but you can’t deny there is a certain alienation that takes place. It is good for people to have a vital connection with their food. It is good to garden, to raise chickens, to hunt or fish. Otherwise you are detached from the fact that you eat because other things die, and you live because of the sun and the soil. These facts shouldn’t be taken lightly.
        None of the above implies moral obligation. “Better” does not mean mandatory.

        Like

    • I’d agree if it were just a killing. It’s the prolonged torture beforehand that I object to.

      Like

      • dpmonahan
        July 12, 2016

        But that has a logic to it, the point is to bleed the animal to weaken it and give the matador the advantage. It isn’t just inflicting pain for no reason.
        And if I understand correctly, the matador can spare a particularly good animal. So a bull in an arena actually has a slight chance as opposed to the bull in the slaughterhouse.
        Once you look at the internal logic of it, it makes sense. That doesn’t mean we all have to become bullfighters if we want a hamburger.

        Like

      • That’s not internal logic. It’s a justification for the spectacle. An animal in a (decent) slaughterhouse will suffer less. And the “chance” of a bull surviving is near to non-existent. Not to mention the absurd idea of killing the bull’s mother if he kills the Matador.

        Like

      • dpmonahan
        July 12, 2016

        So people just go to enjoy the blood and death? I’d think a trip to the slaughterhouse would fill that need if that were the case.

        Like

      • As I said, it’s become a quasi-religion. They’ve dressed up torture in pretty clothes. And they’ve done it, as is usually the case in these matters, for profit. Bullfighting was (and still is) in the interest in of the Spanish elite. From the landowning breeders subsidized by the state, to the construction companies who used to build and now maintain bullrings in almost every town in the country.

        Like

      • dpmonahan
        July 12, 2016

        Well, I know nothing about those aspects of it, but professional sports generally stink. Anything can become a racket.

        Like

    • Arkenaten
      July 12, 2016

      the ethics of animal slaughter…

      You are an animal. Explains the ethics of slaughtering you?

      Liked by 2 people

      • dpmonahan
        July 12, 2016

        Oh-oh. I think somebody’s cranky. Time for a nap?

        Like

      • Arkenaten
        July 12, 2016

        Hello , DiPshit. Maybe you would like to enlighten us about the ”ethics” of animal slaughter?
        Ethics and slaughter in the same sentence. This should be interesting.
        Is this another DCT?
        I’ve had my nap, thank you so much for your concern, and all my vitamins and my nurse cut up my lunch in small pieces and says I can stay up ’til 21:00 so you have my full attention. But try to keep it succinct as you know I have a tendency to nod off if you use sophistry or similar.

        Away you go, DP.
        The floor is yours….

        Like

      • dpmonahan
        July 12, 2016

        No. We’ve been over this topic before.
        Seriously, step away from the internet and go take a nap or something.

        Like

      • Arkenaten
        July 12, 2016

        Okay. But only if you promise to get down on your knees right now and ask Jesus to take away all the pain and horrendous trauma a pig suffers as it is bled out just so a dumb fuck like you can enjoy bacon.
        If Jesus says he will do this then you can eat meat all the live long day. Fair enough?

        Like

      • silenceofmind
        July 12, 2016

        Ark,

        The mass production and processing of food has ended starvation on planet Earth.

        Should humanity go back to the good old days of mass starvation just you and your fellow nut cakes can feel good about yourselves.

        Grow up! Learn some science.

        Like

      • Arkenaten
        July 12, 2016

        Ah, som. Maybe you rethink that question.

        How much land and water is required for you to enjoy a weeks supply of meat?
        Do you know?

        Liked by 1 person

      • silenceofmind
        July 12, 2016

        Ark,

        Human beings are at the top of the food chain.

        That makes whatever we do to feed ourselves ethical.

        If you don’t like it, become an atheist and hallucinate any of a variety of alternative universes where mankind is fed manna from heaven every morning and evening.

        Like

      • Arkenaten
        July 12, 2016

        I am an atheist, you fucking moron and am perfectly healthy.

        Like

  9. makagutu
    July 12, 2016

    I like the costumes.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. silenceofmind
    July 12, 2016

    Weren’t the Spaniards those mean sons o’ bitches who ruthlessly destroyed the Aztec and Incan civilizations?

    Spanish “machismo” is eerily similar to Japanese Bushido which espouses cruelty beyond imagining.

    Like

  11. Liberty of Thinking
    July 12, 2016

    I would call it a fair fight, if the matador would be bare handed, or if the bull would have daggers fitted to its horns…
    Until then, it’s just prolonged butchery…

    Like

  12. Cara
    July 12, 2016

    Bullfighting is big in Spain, I’ve heard…as is The Running of the Bulls (where the bulls can gore you and you just have a rolled up newspaper to…insure that you antagonize the bull). And bullfighting is somewhat like the Catholic Church…the costumes, the pageantry.

    Like

  13. Arkenaten
    July 12, 2016

    @clubschadenfreude

    ain’t that the truth:) My biggest question to vegan/vegetarians is: do you want the world to eat a vegetarian/vegan diet and if so, do you want them to eat what v/v eat in first world countries or what they eat in third world countries? The fact that I’ve asked this at least a dozen times with no response can show how oversimplified the arguments for and against can be.

    Which is about as arse-backwards a question as asking if meat eaters should eat dogs as they do in China?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think club means it’s a first world issue. Almost 13% of the entire world population is undernourished. They’ll take whatever they can get.

      Like

      • Arkenaten
        July 12, 2016

        Then that is a social issue and can be sorted.

        Maybe if eating dogs and cats was the only meat option is western/first world society there would be more impetus to stop eating meat altogether?

        People just don’t like to think about it, and this is why people like club write such asinine comments.

        Maybe if club spent a summer vacation slaughtering pigs or at least watching the process there might be a change of perspective?

        Liked by 1 person

  14. john zande
    July 12, 2016

    May every supporter of bullfighting contract syphilis.

    Liked by 6 people

  15. Arkenaten
    July 12, 2016

    Once you look at the internal logic of it, it makes sense. That doesn’t mean we all have to become bullfighters if we want a hamburger.

    The internal logic? From a Christian

    Fucking hilarious!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Arkenaten
    July 12, 2016

    @Pink

    An animal in a (decent) slaughterhouse will suffer less.

    Are you really sure about this? I am thinking this may be your conscience working overtime so you can ”switch off” when you tuck into that juicy piece of veal.

    And we all know how veal is produced …. or at least we should, not so?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I spent much time growing up on a farm. So I know the process well; from birth to slaughter. I’ve seen it in person many, many times.
      I don’t eat veal, btw. And I only buy meats from local organic farms.

      Like

      • Arkenaten
        July 12, 2016

        Is this not a bit like differentiating between ”normal” christians and fundamentalists?

        In most societies and western especially eating meat is a choice but is very much pumped in the way cigarette smoking was once pumped.

        If you were offered an alternative and it tasted okay would you stop eating meat?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Interesting comparison. The thing is there are palpable differences between the average Christian and the Crazy Christian. But I don’t see how religion applies in this case.
        In a perfect world we’d aim for sustainability- but looking at the developing world, I find that highly unlikely as a world project. In all probability we’re going to drain the planet’s resources until conditions deteriorate to the point war breaks out and disaster ensues.
        Where meat is concerned I really don’t have a problem with an animal consuming another animal. That’s just how the animal world works.

        Like

      • Arkenaten
        July 12, 2016

        Wild animals do not display quite the same capacity for choice as we do.

        That’s just how the animal world works.

        The ”animal world” does not have industrial processes for procuring its lunch, and if you wish to use that argument I invite you put on a loin cloth , grab your bow and arrow or blow pipe and wander off into the forest.
        You might look ”hot” but I suspect you will go hungry before you catch anything and I would wager berries and other fruits and vegetables will look immensely appealing after a day or two.

        You exercise choice by not eating (your) dogs and justify eating a cow or sheep?

        We decimate vast tracts of land just to graze animals. We then have to cultivate other almost as large tracts of land to grow food for these animals.

        And you avoided the question of an alternative if it could be procured as easily ( probably easier) and tasted as good, would you stop eating meat?
        It isn’t a ”gotcha” question, I promise.

        Liked by 1 person

      • … except, I have hunted. I’ve killed and gutted animals. So I understand that side of things.
        I don’t think we can assign morality to the process itself. We can assign it to our choices in how we treat the process (industrial vs. domestic production)- but we can’t say consuming another animal is “wrong” because that’s linked to survival.
        I don’t eat my dogs because they’re companion pets. Not because I think there’s something wrong with an animal consuming another animal.
        I didn’t answer the question because I’m not sure of the answer. I’m for de-industrialization to a degree, but in essence what would that entail? What would the consequences be for the majority of people?

        Like

      • Arkenaten
        July 12, 2016

        Now you are thinking ahead as if trying to justify eating animals.
        All I asked was if the option was (widely) available would you take/embrace it?

        Like

      • I’m not sure, I’d have to think about it more carefully. I’m not sure if disconnecting humans from the cycle of life is the best idea. We deny it enough as things are.

        Like

      • Arkenaten
        July 12, 2016

        How is not eating other animals in any way a disconnect?

        Like

      • (most) animal life is a cycle of predation (and growth, then deterioration, then death.) It’s not pretty.
        Denying predation is disconnecting from what life really is.

        Like

      • Arkenaten
        July 12, 2016

        No one is denying predation.

        But you appear to be doing several things here.
        1. You seem to be implying that as we have a predatory nature we should embrace it and eat meat as a matter of course – why deny our nature?
        But we also evolve. To suggest otherwise might suggest we are not evolving.

        2.Suggesting that by NOT eating meat we will somehow become disconnected/alienated from nature/the ”circle of life”, but you don’t explain why?

        3. Yet, you acknowledge that eating your dogs is an abhorrent idea as they are companions. Many Chinese do not feel this way. Are they abnormal or simply more connected?

        Surely, not eating a fellow animal demonstrates you are extending respect and compassion toward the animal; that you have a higher level of ethics, perhaps?

        Hindus generally don’t eat meat and they would argue they are more connected to life because they do not.

        Also, is not eating animals as much a sign of an ingrained cultural habit as one that says it is okay to eat them?

        If we truly do not need to eat animals, can provide perfectly acceptable alternatives, can thrive in fact – physically as well as mentally, then why eat them?

        Like

      • 1. & 2. I’m implying I think it’s healthier to accept the imperfections of animal life. Predation, disease, decay. To attempt to minimize is one thing, but to deny a process altogether denies pain, and ultimately our own mortality. It disconnects us from the cycle by making us believe we’re stopping the cycle.
        3. I never said the idea of eating dogs was abhorrent. I said my dogs were pets. Not raised to be eaten.

        In the end this topic can’t be discussed on individual terms. What’s the underlying proposition? People in developed countries shouldn’t eat meat? How about everywhere else? Are you trying to make a personal point based on ethics or a socio-political point? And what are the ramifications of each?

        Like

      • Arkenaten
        July 12, 2016

        I’m implying I think it’s healthier to accept the imperfections of animal life. Predation, disease, decay. To attempt to minimize is one thing, but to deny a process altogether denies pain, and ultimately our own mortality. It disconnects us from the cycle by making us believe we’re stopping the cycle.

        But this then becomes highly subjective/selective. I shan’t deny my urge to eat meat but I will definitely take a vaccine.

        If I use myself as an example I can illustrate the point easier.
        I once ate animals, now I don’t. It was a choice made solely on ethics.
        I reasoned if I didn’t need to eat animals then there was no good reason why I should.
        The reason I had not stopped previously is because I simply did not think about it.
        Once I did, I could not think of a single justifiable reason to eat animals. So I stopped. Straight away. It was that simple.

        It is not for me to solve the economic problems of underdeveloped countries, but to use this as an argument might imply a personal unwillingness to even address the issue?
        Why are there concerted efforts made to stop hunting/eating whales or
        using rhino horn etc.
        How selective are we willing to make this discussion? And based on what criteria?

        Like

      • But isn’t selectiveness behind everything? How do you deal with ants or other pests in your garden? Ticks or fleas on dogs? Parasites on plants or even in humans?

        Like

      • Arkenaten
        July 12, 2016

        Ants and pests in my garden:
        I generally plant other stuff to discourage, but I never use pesticides etc.
        Fleas and ticks:
        Fleas I will discourage, ticks I will destroy as they are harmful.

        Liked by 1 person

      • silenceofmind
        July 12, 2016

        Yeah, Ark…

        …like you are the arbiter of normal.

        Jeez! Give us all a break, will you?

        Like

      • Arkenaten
        July 12, 2016

        So, we should all bow down to your level of normal?
        I love it!
        The wardens treating you all right?

        Liked by 1 person

  17. agrudzinsky
    July 12, 2016

    Vegans are so loving and non-aggressive. Never heard a rude word from a vegan.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Arkenaten
    July 13, 2016

    [I think s/he’s being ironic, Ark]

    Ironic? Really? Well frak-me, I never would have guessed.
    And I always thought Christians were honest as the day is long.

    Like

  19. kertsen
    August 9, 2016

    Whose anger does it relieve ? the bulls , the Mattador , or the spectators? Its purpose is to watch the battle and enjoy the blood-letting. It encourages the barbaric side of our nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. queencitypetite
    November 2, 2016

    I love reading all these comments. Interesting

    Like

  21. Vikas Acharya
    November 26, 2016

    Reblogged this on Journal Edge.

    Like

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