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August 23, 2013

Speaking Out Against Bullfight Cruelty

Humane Society International/UK

  • Spanish politicians are considering legislation to protect bullfighting. HSI

Singer Leona Lewis, comedian and actor Ricky Gervais and poet Benjamin Zephaniah have lent their support to our #LoveSpainHateBullfights campaign—will you join them?

Humane Society International/UK is, alongside our animal protection group partners in the UK and Spain, extremely concerned that Spanish politicians are considering legislation that would protect and promote bullfighting as cultural heritage. If approved, public money could also be used to fund the blood sport.

The torment and death of animals for amusement, or for cultural reasons, can never be acceptable. Bullfighting is cruel and outdated, and has no place in a modern society.

Spain has so many treasures to cherish, but by supporting and protecting the killing of bulls for entertainment, Spain's government risks leaving a terrible legacy for future generations. The #LoveSpainHateBullfights campaign was launched to support compassionate Spanish citizens who oppose the proposed legislation.

Find out more about our campaign to end bullfighting.

In advance of the political vote, due in early September, we asked a number of well-known compassionate people to tell us what they thought of bullfighting. Here’s what they told us:

Actor and comedian Ricky Gervais: “Bullfighting is so cruel. I can think of nothing worse than inflicting terrible pain, fear and suffering on a beautiful animal for the sake of amusement. It's unbelievable that this hideous blood sport still goes on in a modern society.”

Singer Leona Lewis: “Culture should elevate us as human beings, celebrate the best of who we are and what human civilization is capable of.  I love Spain, but what does bullfighting say about us if we declare it culture? That in the 21st century we think it's okay to torture animals for fun. Please no, it has to stop.”

Poet and writer, Benjamin Zephaniah: “I love Spain. I could have recorded my last music album ("Naked") anywhere in the world, but I chose to record it in Spain. I love Spanish music, Spanish weather, its beautiful art, its inspiring architecture, and I just love the way Spanish people dance. 

“All countries have elements of history that they are proud of, and there are other elements that should be left behind.

“Animal cruelty can never be culture, it's just cruelty. It breaks my heart seeing horses and bulls terrified and hurt in the bullring. I feel ashamed as a human being that we still treat animals in this way, laughing and cheering as they are tortured and killed for our amusement.

“When bullfighting has stopped in Spain, even more people will come from all over the world for the music, the arts, the conversations, the scenery, and the climate. What's more, people will forget the barbarity and acknowledge the compassion. Spain can be even greater.”

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