Earlier this month, I traveled to a small Central Valley town for my first bloodless bullfight. The weekend was part of a series of Portuguese American events that occur throughout “the valley.” The bullfight was also sponsored by the Carlos Vieiera Foundation to raise money for autism.
I attended the bloodless bullfight, the same weekend that two American towns experienced deadly mass shootings. The crowd acknowledged those lost in El Paso with a minute of silence. Our crowd had not yet learned about Dayton when the evening started. I wouldn’t learn until much later that evening.
California allows bullfighting, as long as the contest is “bloodless.” As I understand the law, the animals are not allowed to shed blood. From what I learned, the people who attend these bullfights support the law.
The humans may still poke the bull, but humans use velcro sticks.
The bulls horns are covered with leather to protect the horses. Portuguese bullfighting emphasizes the horse rider’s skill more than the Spanish version of bullfighting that emphasizes the matador. In older Spanish bullfights, horses were often killed by bulls.
I was impressed how the community promoted the culture, tradition and heritage of bullfighting, and yet changed the future by creating a bloodless bullfight. I am especially impressed this month. I had already decided to write this post today, before I learned about yet another mass shooting in America. Our country is struggling to learn how to keep our traditions and move towards a bloodless society… and yet it can be done.
Maybe we need to learn from Small Town, USA.