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Aug 20

Written by: Greg Runyon
8/20/2010 8:48 AM 

I was going to write about something else next, something more frivolous after my treatise on the proposed mosque near the World Trade Center site, but now I'm so disgusted and angry, you'll just have to wait. Rest assured, frivolity is coming (I can hardly help myself, after all) but it's going to have to wait a few days.

I saw a story on the news tonight. I actually knew as they went to commercial and pre-sold the story that I was going to have some of my powerful triggers activated. Let me be frank with you: I can (as can most people, save perhaps the Dalai Lama and Mother Theresa) be quite a jerk. I can be cold, distant, uncaring, and harsh at times. One thing I cannot abide though, under almost any circumstances, is an innocent being harmed.

The story that has me, therefor, in a tizzy is that a bull in Spain broke free into a crowd and trampled a bunch of spectators, sending a number of them to the hospital. If you are thinking that my heart aches for the poor souls in the audience who were stomped upon, think again: I'm very much on the side of the bull, as this bull was being subjected to a bullfight.

Oh, I suppose I might feel a small (small) twinge of sorrow for the child or two who got mangled, but that regrettable fate to which they were exposed I blame on their parents, who brought them to such a disgusting spectacle. The bull, however, had no choice in the matter, nor any (supposedly) wiser authority upon which to rely to advocate for them. No, the bull was simply dragged to the arena for the express purpose of being taunted repeatedly prior to being summarily executed. That, dear reader, is sickening, and if you are not similarly sickened I ask you to look deep inside your soul and ask yourself why it is that anyone should take pleasure in the terrorizing and killing of another living thing.

I took a little break in the midst of writing this to do a little research. This research consisted of reading one of my favorite books of all time, "The Story of Ferdinand" by Munro Leaf. This wonderful children's book is all the research I need. If you are unfamiliar--and if you are, do yourself a favor and get familiar toot sweet--this book is the tale of a flower-loving bull who confounds those who would have him fight in the bullfighting arena.

When this flower-loving bull sees all of the ladies in the stands with flowers in their hats, he simply sits down in the ring and enjoys the smell of those flowers. Stab him as they might, the picadores and matadors are unable to arouse violence in Ferdinand. Thus, they ship him back to the pasture where he can enjoy flowers unmolested.

Regrettably, reality bears little resemblance to that tale. Bulls are not so inclined to simply enjoy flowers while they are being stabbed any more than you would be, and human beings do not so easily realize their own humanity and therefor avoid stabbing and killing other living beings for sport.

So the bull of today's news story, as many of his forebears have been, was brought into a stadium and stabbed repeatedly to arouse his anger, and was taunted with a cape in order to ensure his attention to the task at hand. His task is to be violent enough in order to warrant his execution by our 'hero,' some dirtbag Spaniard. As he has to be stimulated thusly, one might assume that a bull, sensing the untenability of his position, would just as soon go home.

He shan't be allowed to, though. No, his fate is to be tortured and executed in front of hundreds or thousands of supposedly civilized individuals for their entertainment.

There were a few fairly quiet rumblings when the Michael Vick story was hot (Michael Vick being the NFL quarterback who was running dogfighting rings on the side) that there should perhaps be some mitigation of our societal outrage because of some cultural component that would make dogfighting forgivable. I'm quite pleased that such folly of an argument fell on our collective deaf ears, but it is the same basic argument that excuses the mutilation and execution of bulls in Spain and elsewhere in the former Spanish Empire, as close as our neighbor immediately to the South.

This news story that has enraged me so ended with this stomach-turning line: "The bull was eventually subdued and killed.". Well, thank heavens. I mean, who could have predicted that an animal--and let us not forget that Man is but an animal--having been incited to extreme violence under the guise of sport, would become out of control and do anything in its power to escape the torture to which it was being subjected, including hopping into the gallery? We're all safer now that this monster has been put to its death. Honestly, had this bull somehow found the ability to kill everyone in attendance and then retreat to some field to make whoopie with Bessie the Heifer (the queen of all the cows), I'd have been fine with that, cheered it even. To be left alone to eat and procreate is probably about all the bull wanted to do (not that I asked, but I'm confident saying so) anyway. Call me callous for caring not a whit for this (hypothetical) loss of human life, but--to be blunt--fuck all of those people. They went, voluntarily, to watch a living thing be tortured to its death. The world would be better without them.

I really do hate my fellow man sometimes.

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4 comment(s) so far...

Re: There Is No Good Reason For This

Human beings as a whole have been rapidly destroying my faith in society. If you look back on human history, we have treated each other in such a distasteful manner, it is no wonder the life of such a glorious and powerful animal has little value. Humans are the most selfish creation ever made. Our sense of entitlement overrides our responsibility to 'lessor' creatures. Shame on us.

By Tamara on   8/20/2010 9:59 AM

Re: There Is No Good Reason For This

I agree with you Greg. Humankind as a whole has slowly lost its humanity through the centuries. The vicious atrocities that have been commited throughout history and that continue to be commited are a result of this loss of humanity. Wars, genocide, torture, all commited in the name of religion, country or because that's what they have been told they should want to do. No longer do people as a whole, feel any connection or compassion for the earth and the non-human beings that inhabit it. They think that those things are simply there to serve them. When in reality they are our equals in many ways, and deserve the same respect. Nowadays however, respect is a foreign concept for so many. They don't respect their fellow human beings, so why would they respect an animal. It is so sad. People need to wake up before it's too late.

By Jenny on   8/20/2010 12:44 PM

Re: There Is No Good Reason For This

Greg, as always, your insight so touches me.

By mariam on   8/20/2010 5:28 PM

Re: There Is No Good Reason For This

Yes! Yes! I agree with you, Greg, and with the other writers on this page.
Can someone (maybe someone who is more familiar than I am with the world of the internet) (Hi JRR in La.) submit this to a wider audience? Thank you.

By A different Jenny on   8/23/2010 7:04 AM

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