WHY SPAIN HAS SO HIGH LEVEL OF ANIMAL ABUSE IN THE NAME OF PUBLIC PROCESSIONS?
“It hurts me to say it but the Spanish are a savage, insensitive and ignorant people”
-Miguel Ángel Rolland, the Spanish film-maker
Miguel Angel Rolland was very angry when he stated the terrible facts about his people. That was the main reason for him to make the documentary which shows the animal cruelty behind the scene of even 16,000 religious festivals across Spain. According to his observations and research, almost 60,000 animals are being killed every year in the name of some local saint or Virgin Mary. That is happening for years and none seems bothered by never ending suffering of animals in 21st century, especially not Spanish people who accept the torture of animals as the part of public entertainment. Most of the festivals are linked to the local customs and the local feelings of the people. They follow their tradition without even thinking about the moral background of it and they do not want anything to change because they would feel they are betraying their complete heritage.
The problem is how to convince people that breaking up with the old cruelty doesn’t mean forgetting God but developing the new and humane treatment of animals. Animals are not slaves but the living beings that have right to enjoy the freedom of live on the Earth. Unfortunately, that doesn’t go fast in Spain and there is too much resistance, on the basic levels, by ordinary people.
It is enough to imagine the horrible fiesta of San Fermín in Pamplona. Many tourists all over the world hurry up every year to the small Navarra town to enjoy in partying and seeing amazing bulls being killed for the pleasure of the crowd. Those bullfights are so graphic and violent that it is the big question how is possible that any mentally healthy person can find joy in witnessing the death of many innocent bulls, born to be brutally slaughtered.His movie open the eyes of the global public, calling for international campaign against abuse and for protection of bulls in Spain:“He calculates that during the 1,868 festivals involving bulls last year, more than 11,000 were tortured and killed. Aside from bullfighting, which still attracts large numbers of spectators, there are village festivals such as the toro enmaromado (roped bull), held to celebrate Corpus Christi in Benavente, Zamora, central Spain. Here, a bull has a rope tied to its horns while dozens of men chase and drag it to the abattoir. It has been declared an ‘event of regional tourist interest’ by the regional government of Castile and León.Many other such fiestas enjoy legal protection.” The Spanish public circus starts with bulls and the torture of them. It doesn’t matter if they will be chased, cruelly killed, butchered, terrorized, massacred or burnt, they must be the exploited for the sick entertainment and finally their dead majestic bodies will be used for mass laugh.
Catalonia banned Corrida de Toros-bullfighting but the abuse of bulls in other fests is still allowed. It is all over the country, more or less. The politicians, when they need support of people, promise they will encourage the supplies of bulls for local fests and that they won’t listen the critics from the rest of the world which is shocking about the Spanish treatment of animals. One statistic comes with the number of 200 animals being killed every day in Spain just for a fun. If you do maths, that’s 8 deaths every hour. Nightmare’s record for a land of flamenco, Picasso and paella.
Beside bulls, there are also other animals that suffer in the jaws of Spanish sadistic local heritage. The San Vicente de Martir Festival in Manganeses de la Polyorosa. is particularly violent because the poor goat has been thrown from the top of the church bell tower by young men on the fourth Sunday every January.Animal rights activists finally made it and the fest is banned in 2002 and each one who attempts this will be punished with $15,000 fine. Then, there is the Pero Palo festival in Villanueva de la Vera where people abuse donkeys for their pleasures. They torture poor animals for fun and it seems that this part of western Spain can not get rid of sadistic aspirations towards innocent donkeys that usually die after torture. Galicia has its own “Spanish rodeo”, known as Rapa das Bestas when primitive and often drunk locals chase after beautiful wild horses and abuse them with no mercy. Now, you would think you are in hell. No, actually you are in Spain and it is completely OK to be cruel to animals because it is a part of Spanish macho culture. After hunting season, the famous dogs Greyhounds or galgos are not important anymore so they are ended being hung in village trees. Some hunters stone them to death or put them in wells to die alone. Every year, almost about tens of thousands galgos are being slaughtered by their owners. Not to mention torturing of geese, baby birds, turkeys or chickens.
The last horror comes from The Canary Islands where the cockfighting is legal. Could you imagine that Spain contribute in this bloody sport that brings torment and misery to the rosters in the name of money and public fun, as always?The other developing countries like Philippines, Peru, Panama, Puerto Rico have the scar of dark places for animal rights but Spanish culture is getting colored also by animal abuse and violence and let us having bad feeling about any tourist interest for this country.
That is more than shameful for European country which pretends to be accepted as modern and attractive for visitors around the world. The battle between progressed world and backward Spanish traditions is keep going and every day animal rights activists find something new to be upset about when it comes to the Dali’s country of scary customs. The main problem is the family participation in local culture of torture and abuse. If you take your children to watch killing of animals, you teach them that sadism is a way of life, normal path through the life. You give them wings to become sociopaths one day. I am not referring here that Spanish people are sociopaths because I am aware that many of them are ashamed by traditions and stand up against animal abuse.However, there are not so many positive changes within the Spanish society and it seems that there is a silent agreement that tradition must be protected, no matter what is the price of it. What tradition?I am sorry but we are talking about Christian tradition and they are doing something which would make Devil ashamed. Tough walls of their cult won’t hide the pure sadism forever.
There are small steps and victories for the enthusiasts but there is still a lot of resistance towards the culture of humane treatment of animals. They think that strong must be cruel but they do miss an old truth:only weak are cruel because the strong are those who protect the weak. Spanish seem to be lost in their own wrong perception of themselves and their culture of accumulated masculine frustrations. ¡Basta!