Bull Fighting: Should We Call It a Sport At All?

Though we tend to associate bullfighting with Spain, there are a number of other countries that have the bullfighting tradition, such as Oman and India. While the traditions of bullfighting of Oman are largely not violent, those of India are also less so – than the tradition of Bull fighting of Spain.

The Indian Bullfighting Tradition or Jallikattu

The Indian tradition of bullfighting is different than the Bullfighting of Spain – rather than bullfighting, this is classified as bull taming. The aim of the exercise is not to kill the animal but to tame it. The men involved in this event are required not to slay the bull but to stay atop it for a specified length of time, or as in another version, to subdue it by holding on to the horns or by the use of ropes rather than any weapon of injury.

And even though this is a less deplorable form of cruelty to the animal, the so called ‘sport’ is actually banned by statute in India. However it is still illegally and covertly practiced.

Bullfighting in Spain


This form of bullfighting is usually fatal for the bull – the aim of the event is to kill the bull. This barbaric practice means a long and torturous period of suffering for the animal all in the name of sport.

Certainly in today’s civilized society there should be little space for a sport that displays nothing other than man’s blood lust and satisfies his need to dominate a helpless animal who comes under attack from many men at once, all armed with spears or lance like weapons of aggression.

The protests against this barbaric practice have been long and vocal, with the result that the practice is banned in many areas where it earlier flourished. However this brutal sport is still legal in Spain because it is argued that it is not just a sport or a practice. It is seen as part of the national culture and is considered more a ritual associated with artistic impression and command. This is about style, technique and courage, about a fighter’s honor, it is argued.

But the question is how honorable is it to gang up on and attack a lone, unarmed animal? No matter how strong or powerful the animal may be; how can attacking it singly and in groups armed with weapons be considered honorable?