Bring on bullfighting to Nairobi

Locking Horns

What exactly constitutes cruelty to beasts? was it absolutely necessary for NGO types to go to court and threated to organize protestation over a bullfight that was to be staged at Kasarani a few months back?

Animal rights activists argue that pitting two animals against each other is barbaric and that the animal suffers extensively from such action. They also differentiate between killing for meat – considered to be a necessity, and killing for fun.

Proponents of bullfighting point out that the animal is eaten afterwards (not sure its always the case though, but the loosing animal should be eated anyway), so the animal’s death is not in vain. It is also claimed the animals do not suffer greatly during the event – they are usually inebriated on busaa and high on weed apparently.

In any case the idea that abattoirs/slaughter houses always kill in the most painless and efficient way is surely a myth, in Kenya they don’t use electric stunners or those pressurised cylinders that shoot a metal pellet at point blank into a bovines head, here slaughter is literal with an animal felled howling in terror and a blunt machete grated against its neck untill a major blood vessel is cut and then the sorry beast is bled to death, all this is a normal everyday activity at Dagoretti by the way. The total number of bulls that die each year in bullfighting is very tiny in comparison to the number that die in the meat trade, the campaign against bullfighting is more like a waste of resources when there are far more animals dying horrendously in unfit slaughterhouses than in any bullring. Of course, the barbarity of abattoirs does not excuse cruelty of a bullfight. But it does suggest that a disproportionate amount of time is being spent on protesting against bullfighting when there are bigger animal cruelty battles to fight.

I also find flaws in the logic of those who cling onto the idea that we eat meat out of necessity and bullfighting is for ‘fun’. The truth is that vegetarianism is a viable alternative to meat-eating and that all meat-eaters do it ‘for fun’. Whether your fun comes in the form of a 20-minute visual spectacle some regard derogatorily as a blood sport or it comes from sampling nyama choma at the local makuti pub, it seems to me we can argue the result is the same, I am sure the bulls would agree with me on this one.


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