Bulls and Spain go hand in hand. The animal is revered, celebrated, and also victimized in *sporting* and cultural events. These include bull fighting, running with the bulls, and toro embolado, roughly translated to “bull with balls.” Nonetheless, this centuries-old tradition has divided Spaniards with one side calling it barbaric while others are calling it part of the country’s identity. A video is making the round on social media that highlights just how cruel and inhumane this ancient practice really is and what the bull is going through.It is more common, however, in Valencia and the southern part of Catalonia. The bull has a piece of wood tied around its horns with turpentine or tar spread on it.
Terrified, the bull kicks, runs, turns, and jerks its head trying to get away from the flames. Men and women then release the animal to the street or contain it within a corral trying to run or dodge when the bull gets close.
This is accompanied by a cheering and taunting crowd. Depending on the festival, organizers also attach fireworks to the animal’s horn.
It hails from the town of Medinaceli in the province of Soria. The clip shows what happens when the bull is untied from the wooden post.
As with any fire, the more he moves and runs, the more the fire grows. It is important to add that the bull’s hair and eyes begin to feel the heat and the burn from the flames.
As the bull begins to run, the flames rise, and the men goad it by running in front of it, adding to the confusion. As seen on this image, the fire engulfs the face and front part of the body.
This is again to add entertainment for folks as well as disorient the animal further. Spain’s Animalist Party Against Mistreatment of Animals (PACMA) has fought hard for this cruel tradition to stop.
There are approximately 2,000 bullfights in Spain every year. This does not include these types of festivals though. Having said that, reports show the number of attendees at these events as well as TV viewership has seen a dramatic decline.
To add more to the spectacle, bull fighters enter the ring to poke and stab the animal. In turn, the animal trashes wildly.
Organizers counter that bulls never go blind nor are they hurt in the process. Some bullfighters and even amateurs who get in front of the bull end up getting killed by accident as the bull trashes and kicks in agony.
The Balearic Islands, which includes Majorca, Minorca and Ibiza, are expected to follow suit. A 2013 report, however, revealed that the government provides subsidies to bull fighting and bull rearing.
The Ipsos Mori poll in 2015 showed that 73% of Spaniards opposed tax funds to subsidize the bull fighting industry. As views are changing towards the treatment of bulls, it is with mixed feelings.
Still, 50% of those polled said they were against a total ban. The hope may just be in the future generations.
She points out that this old tradition is mostly popular among the 45 and over demographics. Beilin said “bullfighting does not fit in with the environmentally conscious lifestyle seen throughout the western world.”
“It’s not about Spanish culture anymore it’s more about entertainment, and Spaniards like to spend their money on other things that are aligned with European values now, more than ever,” she tells TIME.
For some it can mean a few minutes while for others it can last up to 40 torturing minutes. Some groups are swapping fire with led lights attached.
In some Latin American countries where this tradition was brought over by Spaniards, they have turned to an alternative. They make a costume that appears to look like a bull which is also set on fire or with fireworks with a man underneath. There have been tragic stories of the person underneath also catching on fire.
Bulls Defenders United posted the clip on Facebook. The crowd is cheering and clapping until the bull surprised everyone.
After hitting the post it was initially tied to, it appeared the animal died instantly. It is unclear if the bull had gone blind from the flames, causing him to not see the post, or as others suggest he chose to end his own life out of desperation.
->**This is the video that has gone viral for the disturbing way the bull died.**<-