California’s Bloodless Bullfighting

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.

 (bryan farley)

Portuguese California Bloodless Bullfighting Photo Gallery

 (bryan farley)

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.

 (bryan farley)

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.

 (bryan farley)

The humans may still poke the bull, but humans use velcro sticks.

 (bryan farley)

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.

 (bryan farley)

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.

2 Responses to “California’s Bloodless Bullfighting”

  1. Alice J Pierson-Knapp says:

    What a great idea!
    Great pictures!
    What city??

    • bryan farley says:

      It was Stevinson? You would think I could give you a better answer. I don’t think it is officially a city. Merced is 20 miles east. Turlock is about 20 miles north.