Friday, May 02, 2014

I no corrida: Why running with the tofu in Pamplona would only make things worse.

I read the comments on the internet - always have. On almost every article. Sometimes when I've finished a particularly interesting set of comments, I look for the comments button to read the comments on the comments, and of course there isn't such a thing.

Although there may be, now I've put the idea out there, hey, interwebz?

One tiny subset of the commentariat concerns itself with animal welfare.  Not the Peta types; there's another set out there that wring their hands over the sad consequences that would entail if we stopped eating animals, namely, fewer animals. OMG!

The names have been removed or changed but the quotes are verbatim.

I've run with the bulls in Pamplona and I've been to bullfights in Madrid... and I enjoyed both of them. The Bull Run is the single biggest adrenaline rush of my life and I make no excuses for loving the fiesta de San Fermin. These bulls wouldn't exist if it weren't for the bullfights so it's not like they would be grazing in Elysian fields on lush grass and daisies.         

"These Bulls wouldn't exist if it weren't for the bullfights"., that's a good thing. I'm no vegan (I'm a butcher's daughter and I do like meat), but the vegan I lived with put it very well. The animals that only exist because we eat them, use their products or use them for bloodsports...are animals we shouldn't breed. She said "we don't want fields of happy cows and chickens, let their numbers dwindle or die out or settle as they would have done before we appropriated them for our own use". Admittedly, she never provided a solution to what to do with the current generation of animals that would not be slaughtered, or what farmers would do, but her point stands if you want to hear it. We shouldn't have done what we did to animals on the scale that we did it!

Hemingway did not celebrate death [...] However, la Corrida is not about cruelty to bulls, but about the brave and artistic dance which must, inevitably, lead to the act of slaughter.The afionados take no pleasure, whatsoever, from the pain of the bull or the toreros - and be assured that toreros, and particularly matadors, get killed and maimed every year so no-one treats this fiesta spectacle lightly.
The alternative is that none of these bulls are bred and the fighting breeds are exinct within one generation for without La Corrida, not a single one has a purpose as they are totally unsuitable to breed as food alone. And that's the reason domestic cattle exists at all - because we eat them and use their skins, as we have for thousands of years.

I don't like bullfighting either, but there's a certain amount of hypocrisy here. This particular breed of bulls exists solely for this purpose. They require extensive facilities and a much nicer treatment than those poor beasts that suffer their whole existence locked in factory farms stuffed with antibiotics and diazepam. Ban bullfighting and you annihilate them all... Just like that.

I agree completely, for one reason, which was buried among all the others: animal torture.  Forget the environment, your health, everything else, that reason alone is more than enough to be vegetarian forever.
@Ramshackle Of course, many animals would never have existed, at least in their current form, if not for human consumption, so then you get into animal existentialism or something like it. Is it better to live briefly and end badly or never to live at all? Obviously for some human-consumed animals, the latter is the likely answer, but not for all.

So, is animal existentialism a thing? Does 'katy' think that a herd of heavenly cow-souls wait to be incarnated and can be heard to moo to each other in some ghostly fashion, "Oh bull, beef consumption's down again. I'm never going to be born!" Do people really worry that, while one veal calf in its crate is happy because it got to live, another calf that was never conceived is sitting somewhere as grumpy as fuck because it never lived at all? If a breed of bull goes "extinct" because we've stopped stabbing them with spears and then killing them with a sword, are the remaining unused bull-souls pissed about how they'll never get to die a romantic death? 
There are lots of people on the internets I can sort into groups and understand how they got to the positions they did. Right wingers, ok, see how it happens. Gay marriage, check, I know that's a thing. Socialists, yes, met those. Christian Identity, Sovereign citizens, evolution deniers, those people who think the government can solve nothing and those people who think the government can solve everything, met all of those. Aliens in Area 51? Yep, been there. Moms, had one of my own once. Atheists, understand that. MRAs, well, I know they're out there. And so forth. 
But I've never met an animal existentialist. Even if that's what existentialism meant. (I'm pretty sure you have to exist first, not just in potential, before you start the process of existentialism.) I can't fathom any other position than if you've never existed, you don't know you've never existed and can't possibly have an opinion on your future existence or lack thereof. But apparently there are people who think differently. 


Mike said...

Here's a comment best ignored. In case of interest, break glass:
Boogie like it's 1979 with Savages. (With Glastonbury-supplied sign language interpreter?)
Boogie like it's 1965 with The Strypes.

Lyle Hopwood said...

Hey, Mike, where you been?

I'll watch the shows. I don't know the Savages but I like the Strypes.


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