The Love of Money: Participating in the Cruelty of Bullfighting: An article from Shooting Ourselved in the Foot: The Sanitizing of Violence in Our Society
By: Frank L. Hoffman
The Group Manager of Consumer Relations for the Pepsi-Cola Company, Christine Jones, is reported to have commented, “You can be certain that as a Company, we would never condone cruelty to animals.” In my opinion, by such a statement, Pepsi is trying to sanitize their participation in the cruelty associated with bullfighting. They are trying to say that advertising in a bullfighting arena is not the same as torturing the animal to death. It isn’t, but it is most definitely supporting such cruelty. If there is any doubt about this, the photograph to the left should dispel such thoughts. Blood can be plainly seen gushing from the bull’s mouth, the result of obvious internal injuries, injuries that were deliberately inflicted as part of the entertainment of the day. And all of this is taking place in front of the Pepsi advertisement. The money paid by Pepsi and the other advertisers most definitely supports such activities. And the companies that advertise are seeking a return on their investment. It is part of their love of money at the expense of others.
The other argument that so often comes up is that this “sport”, this form of entertainment, is part of a national culture, and as such it should be considered in a different light. I personally can’t think of any other light, other than that such a nation has so hardened their collective sensitivities to pain and and suffering, that such an activity becomes an enjoyment, which it obviously has. Without too much of a stretch of my imagination, I can easily picture a human being of some “lesser position” being substituted for the bull, as they did in ancient Rome, and hearing the crowd cheer as that person is systematically tortured. Pain and suffering is pain and suffering whether it is inflicted upon a human or a non-human.
We are no longer individual nations in this world, other than politically. Functionally, we are a global community, but a community that has never learned to live together. Those whose love of money profits from bullfighting, are no different than those who profit from the manufacture of sales of weapons of war. All require the hardening of hearts to the pain and suffering that their products inflict or support. The arms merchants may not pull the actual triggers, but they have made it possible for others to do so. And this is exactly what is happening within the bullfighting “industry”. If the support for such activities dries up, so will the “industry”. The more we sanitize violence in our society, the more we are shooting ourselves in the foot. It’s time we recognize what we are doing to ourselves and change.