Bull-fighting has been popularly heard of as a Spanish sport. Some see it as a blood sport that must be banned while countries such as Spain see it as tradition that must be preserved. The sport has given rise to rodeo events such as calf-roping and events that involve bulls fighting bulls. Similarly, Jallikattu is practised in Tamil Nadu, India, where the bull is tamed. Bull-fighting, like any other sport, has its own terms.
- The matador is the most senior of the toreros, who are professionals and are trained to incite the bull’s movements. They have their own bull-fighting schools or styles, and forging a connection with the bull on the field is considered an art in itself.
- In Spanish, it is known as toreo, in Portuguese, it is known as tourada.
- In the Portuguese version, the final attempt is the pega where forcados take hold of the bull as it charges towards them. The bull is finally caught then.
- In Spain, they kill the bull in the arena, the final sword thrust is known as the estocada.
- The muleta is the stick on which hangs the red cape used by matadors.
Is Bull-Fighting Controversial?
This sport is now being targeted as a practice that does not observe the rights of animals. There are regional bans on bull-fighting in Spain itself, raising concerns about it as being a necessary tradition. Nearly 2,000 bull-fighting events are held in Spain each year, but decreasing numbers suggest people have growing concerns about the bulls that are reared specially for arenas.
On the other hand, farmers who raise bulls especially for these events do not wish to face loss due to bans. However, the sadistic nature of such a sport must be thought over. In many instances, the matador cuts off the bulls ears and tail and presents them as trophies. Hence, opposition is growing over such use of animals. Ecuador, Catalonia, the Mexican state of Sonora all have recently banned bull-fighting.
Myth or reality – the color red
The famously recognized red cape is sometimes used to hide the sword. Since bulls are dichromatic, the notion that red makes them angry is simply a myth. As the matador flourishes the cape, the bull is attracted. It is simply a maneuver, as bulls are drawn towards the object that is moving the most. The red color is still being used as part of a tradition. It is also to make blood stains less visible on the cloth.
Bull-fighting may be debated over but professionals of the sport will make sure it exists as long as it can. Tradition and culture are strong elements of a society, keeping it going.