Aug 6, 2012

No Bull! ¡¡¡ A Coward In My Arena ¡¡¡

A few weeks ago I responded to a piece entitled "A Vegan, Animal Rights activist's book in favour of bullfighting" - Or something along that line. Sorry I can't be exact... Or even direct you to the original post - As the owner of the blog "The Last Arena" has deleted it and rewritten it... This edit of course removed all comments, most from others who like me, were critical of someone claiming to be vegan yet condoning this horrific brutality

The post in question was a review of the book "The Bull and The Ban" written by Catherine Tosko.  Ms. Tosko believes "Without a shadow of doubt, the world would be poorer without the culture of bullfighting", and assures her readers that every thing about a bull fight (and the welfare of the bull) is totally transparent. She went to great lengths to say how she had witnessed the "care" given to these bulls throughout their lives and even up to the time when they entered the ring. She bases her notions on the fact that there are "rules". :/

Well from notes that I saved, this is what I had to say:
Rituals and traditions based in suffering and violence to innocent victims are hardly worth preserving - let alone - glorifying. It doesn't matter to the bull that some view his torture as some kind of reverence to an archaic "history" for sacred blood letting. Because I'm trying to live my life in a just way by causing as little unnecessary harm as possible... "Fighting" bulls and other "artistic" butchery, is repulsive to me.

As to the author's assurances that all "laws" meant to "protect" the bulls are being dutifully followed... I can't help but laugh at her naivete.  Only someone very gullible would believe that folks who are employed by the bull-killing institution would follow any "rules" that would compromise their jobs. As Upton Sinclair aptly noted "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!". Likewise "not seeing things" happens all the time in our day to day lives... Does she think it would be any different regarding an animal set to be gouged and bludgeoned for the entertainment of a ticket buying audience? Absurd!

It sounds like the same ridiculous notion that American rodeo enthusiasts proclaim... I've heard it a hundred times that the animals are treated well... That there are veterinarians and officials that oversee the whole event. But time and again the undercover videos from SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness) documents what really happens in the chutes.  "Bucking" horses have their tails twisted, their eyes jabbed, their ears pulled and they are prodded with ILLEGAL shocking devices. All in clear view of the judges!  In comparison these bulls are released into the ring without the advantage of any "public" observation as to what may have gone on minutes before. I dread the knowing of it - But would be a fool to believe it isn't so.

Finally, anyone who justifies taking the life of another (as long as they lead idyllic lives prior) shouldn't mind if the friendly neighbor next door decides to burn their houses down... After all, he was very nice to you for years before that!  The point is that the lives of these bulls, cows, horses, cats, dogs and pigs belong to someone else... They are not anyone else's to steal. Let alone to preserve some kind of macho-sadistic pleasure that bull-killing surely, surely is.  I don't pretend to be a vegan without warts and flaws... But "vegan" Ms.Tosko misses the "bulls-eye" by a mile!
Blog owner Alexander Fiske-Harrison responded to my comment along the red in tooth and claw lines that tigers eat gazelles, and that my views separated man from animals... (blah, blah...). He also romanticized that the journey on life's "ship" offered fair opportunities to seize and kill others, or some other such fodder. To which I replied:
Respectfully... I'm neither plant nor rock - So of course I am an animal... A human one capable of making choices beyond what other species can aspire to. I and my fellow humans can direct our lives in more moral, more ethical and more compassionate ways. So whatever we were born "naturally" to do holds no demand on what we can opt to do by our own willful direction.  The world and it's inhabitants will not suffer if we aim our sights on kindness towards others "less" endowed than us. I'm sorry if this reality troubles you - Though the arch of justice may bend slowly, it still points evermore towards justice. 
Sail away to become a fossil sir - You surely don't stand in the way!
As I said, the piece has been revised and now Ms. Tosko is described as "a former Animal Rights activist"... For what it's worth as regurgitated nonsense... It's now here: The Barcelona Ban on Bullfighting: Two Years on…  I suppose this post will remain public until the bull-fighting-supporter once again cowars in the wake of too much verbal and intellectual conflict. (?)

Because of this re-adapting... And the subsequent removal of the rational challenges and opinions of others one can only conclude that Alexander Fiske-Harrison is indeed a moral milksop. We can also deduce that too in the way he dodges the ethical implications of eating animals. He admits that even if vegetarianism is an ethical mandate he still "lacks the will to do it".  What a total pantywaist!

Black Bull by Rosa-Bonheur
Rather than waste any more good time I'd like to close these thoughts with the mention of some authentically heroic men who have been courageous enough to recognize that real strength lies in kindness... Not in killing.

French activist Christopher Thomas rescued this bull Fadjen who was destined to be a "contestant" in a bullfighter's delusions. Both Fadjen and Christopher are now ambassadors of gentleness and nonviolence.

Christopher also explains more about bullfighting and his respectful relationship with Fadjen here and here.

There is also the story of the former bullfighter Alvaro Munera who is now an advocate against these ruthless bull murders.

And here activist Mark Hawthorne tells of his courageous journey from participating in the Pamplona running of the bulls to fighting for them. 

So it's evident! We've seen who the true champions are and how generously they live their lives! While the cowards spinelessly retract their words and brutishly destroy life in a desperate attempt to fake the valor they lack. They cling to arenas full of empty people in search of praise that will massage their puny egos. With cunning they disguise their weakness with a theatrical display of "might". But it's a lie! 

Ferdinand: The matador was mad because he couldn't show off his cape and sword.
It is the kind ones... The ethical ones - The gallant ones who proudly walk away from the absurdity that killing can ever make one strong or worthy... They stand independently on their own sacred, blood-free ground for that which they know is right!  ¡¡¡Compasivo héroes¡¡¡


veganelder said...

You sure find some doozies Ms. Bea. :-)

It is indicative of a puerile and immature mindset when violence is equated with strength. Sad, silly and disgusting. What's stunning and disheartening is how widespread this sort of distortion is.

One use that can be found for it however is...when you encounter someone espousing this don't need a shrink to let you know you're in the presence of someone with stunted and flawed emotional development.

CQ said...


That's a grateful sigh for another Bea blog that directs me to something new, something I'm delighted to have discovered, something I wouldn't have wanted to miss for the world!

In this case, two new somethings!

First, the Fadjen YouTube that must've come along AFTER I saw (and made a looooong list of) every other Fadjen video that exists! :-) How can one not admire Christophe and love Fadjen (or, rather, love and admire them both)?

Second, the story of Alvaro Munera, who is blessing the bulls now after having been born into a family and indoctrinated by a subculture that mindlessly celebrates violence against innocent animals. Thank God Alvaro was thrown from the equivalent of hell on earth to a virtual heaven, where he is now acting like the angels Gabriel and Michael, exhibiting gentle strength in his activism on behalf of all beings.

David Ashton said...

Oh, Bea - right on as always! If they would only put to good use all that amazing creativity they use to justify their atrocities, we might have a cure for cancer by now.

Bea Elliott said...

Hi Veganelder - Yeah... I sure have a knack don't I? A regular magnet for the misfits. LOL!

You're right that no degree is necessary to see the infantile bully for what he really is.

Sorry the world is as such - But thanks for being the better part of it.

Bea Elliott said...

Hi CQ - Glad you found some good out of an otherwise not too pleasant story...

Myself... I could watch Fadjen being loved on all day - Such a magnificent, gentle creature that he is! That they all would be if only allowed. :/

Bea Elliott said...

David with all the efforts of fancy dancing and mind bending theatrics they use to dodge the truth... More than a cure to cancer - I think we'd find the cure for the common cold!

So much work to be cruel and so very easy to be kind. If they only knew! Perhaps even the cure for the "common war" might even be at hand?

Forever hoping with you my friend - For peace. <3

Jacob said...

Ms Tosko is, by definition, obviously not vegan. The term vegan implies more than just not eating animal products. She reminds me of the founder (Candace Lightner) of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers), who, in 1994, became a lobbyist for the American Beverage Institute. We have to be vigilant of PR efforts by the industry that promotes meat, dairy, animal entertainment etc., by presenting so-called "vegans" and "animal rights activists" that later on reverted back to carnivores. For the most part, these are obvious scams and made-up stories by people who never were vegan in the first place. These stories are fabricated to give the impression to the general public that being vegan or an animal rights activist is not a viable option. These tactics are employed, for instance, by the PR firm of Richard Berman. Incidentally, Ms Lightner also worked for Rick Berman on behalf of the American Beverage Industry (see New York Times January 15, 1994). I have no doubt that Ms Lightner's initial motivation came from the heart (her daughter was killed by a drunk driver). But in the end it appears that, in spite of her rationalization about her switch, your quote by Upton Sinclair applies here to some degree as well

Have Gone Vegan said...

I left a comment on his blog (in moderation still), although I probably shouldn't have bothered. If your comments (and those of others that we'll never see) didn't reach him, then my calling him a moral and intellectual coward for deleting those very comments isn't likely to help. Ugh.

Have Gone Vegan said...

Well, no surprise I guess, but my comment wasn't published. He's seen it though, as another post is already up. It's not only cowardly, it's also intellectually dishonest to not publish viewpoints that contradict or challenge. Bah! One of the reasons why I really dislike comment moderation...

Bea Elliott said...

Hi Jacob - Glad we're on the same page! I don't put much past those who want to falsely sway public opinion. I find it interesting that that particular post was changed repeatedly... The story just doesn't seem to have anything credible about it!

You're absolutely right that being vegan is much, much more than simply a dietary choice! It's a whole new/right way of clear thinking and consequential actions. They can slant their PR whatever way... It doesn't shift those who use their minds!

Thanks for dropping by - And for your support.

Bea Elliott said...

Hi HGV! Sorry you wheels were spun by leaving a reply. As I initially said there were countless dozens on the initial post - But the blog owner/bull killer obviously couldn't stand the heat.

I was hoping to attract him into my "combat" ring... Even twittered him as an invite - But as you said and we all agree... He's a coward!

You're right about those (many) sites that will not post honest, intellectual challenges. I do and have done so! The only ones I delete are one liner's who abrasively chant "eat meat" - They just might as well be spam for as little as they contribute.

(Sigh) - Thanks for your efforts anyway. Your smart comments are always welcome here! ;)