Someone I know and respect just posted something about the atrocities imposed on bulls as part of the bullfighting culture in Portugal.
Things we don’t like to think about.
But then there’s this…
When I was 13 and was still an innocent child and yet also a budding bleeding hearted liberal, my family went to Spain.
We travelled all over the country going to castles and vineyards and eating tapas.
My mother who was the most incredible tour guide ever, always wanting us to experience the true culture of wherever we were, announced that Bullfights were on the agenda.
She’d never had a bad idea before so we all said yes.
My parents were concerned that their daughter, Elly May Clampett, wouldn’t be able to handle the murders, that they had a plan for extricating me from the arena if it looked like I might run into the ring to throw myself in front of the matador’s sword.
I surprised everyone, mostly myself.
I fucking loved every second of it. A good bullfight is a glorious thing.
It’s insane. You are hanging on the edge of your seat from the second the bull is released into the arena.
Six matadors. Six bulls.
It’s horrible when you think about it – truly cruel.
And yet, I was cheering them on.
Then, just to add to the experience, my mom found out about an artist who had been a bullfighter and lived in a tiny old stone home within the walled city and he painted using bulls’ blood.
And he had taken in a young orphan boy named Frederico and raised him and we came home with a portrait of the boy painted with blood.
So when I read that bit on Facebook, I felt a little defensive.
Does that make me a bad person?