The Barbaric Spectacle: Why Spain Must End Bullfighting Now

Mar 13, 2024By United Earth Life


In the heart of Spain's vibrant culture and picturesque landscapes lies a shadow that casts a long, dark silhouette over its rich heritage. Bullfighting, a tradition steeped in history, remains a stain on Spain's global image, an anachronistic spectacle of cruelty and death masquerading as sport. This isn't just a call to action; it's a cry for compassion, a plea for empathy and a demand for change. It's time for Spain to ban bullfighting, and here's why.

A Legacy of Suffering

Bullfighting, touted by some as a key element of Spanish culture, is nothing short of a barbaric practice that glorifies the torment and killing of bulls for entertainment. In these events, bulls are provoked and tormented, forced to fight against their nature, leading to a slow, agonising death in the arena. This isn't tradition; it's cruelty on display.

Closeup of matador & charging bull at bullfight in Madrid, Spain. Unidentified bullfighter has sword in right hand behind his back. He's leaning left holding out red cape as bull charges toward cape.

Consider the psychological and physical torture these animals endure. Before they even enter the ring, bulls are often weakened by a cocktail of drugs and subjected to physical abuse to impair their abilities. Once the fight begins, they are repeatedly stabbed with banderillas (barbed sticks), causing excruciating pain and blood loss, before the matador delivers the final, often botched, blow. The agony and distress evident in their behaviour are undeniable signs of their suffering.

Cultural Heritage or Cultural Harassment?

Defenders of bullfighting argue that it's a vital aspect of Spanish culture, a tradition that has been passed down through generations. But culture evolves, and so must our moral compass. The continuation of such practices under the guise of tradition cannot justify the ethics of today. Numerous Spanish regions, recognising the inherent cruelty of bullfighting, have already taken steps towards change, with the Canary Islands banning it in 1991 and Catalonia outlawing bullfighting in 2010, a decision upheld by its parliament despite challenges.

This shift reflects a growing societal recognition that true cultural heritage uplifts, educates and unites, rather than degrades, tortures, and divides. Spain is a country rich in history, art and gastronomy that can be celebrated without the bloodshed of innocent animals.

Economic Arguments and the Path Forward

The argument that bullfighting is necessary for Spain's economy is increasingly untenable. Tourism, a major economic driver, no longer depends on such cruel spectacles. Many tourists are either actively avoiding bullfights or are unaware of the brutality involved. Instead, they seek out Spain's other abundant attractions, from its stunning architecture and landscapes to its culinary delights.


Public opinion is turning. Surveys indicate a growing disapproval of bullfighting among Spaniards, especially the younger generations, who see it as an outdated and unnecessary cruelty. The message is clear: Spain's future does not need to be built on the suffering of animals.

The Global Perspective

Internationally, the call to end bullfighting is growing louder, with countries and territories around the world condemning the practice as barbaric and outdated. This global consensus presents Spain with an opportunity to lead by example, to show that it values compassion and progress over clinging to a cruel past.

Taking Action

The time for change is now. We must call on the Spanish government to recognise the moral imperative to end bullfighting. This is not about denying cultural heritage but redefining it in a way that respects all living beings. We can honour traditions while also embracing a future that condemns cruelty and suffering.

Tent with animal rights activists in a slaughterhouse in Los Angeles

Let's raise our voices, sign petitions and support organisations working tirelessly to end bullfighting. Together, we can turn the tide and ensure that this cruel practice is relegated to the history books, where it belongs.

Spain is at a crossroads, with the path forward clear. By banning bullfighting, it can shed this legacy of suffering and step into a future where culture and compassion go hand in hand. It's time to end the barbaric spectacle of bullfighting once and for all. Let's make it happen.