Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Bullfighting and Boxing


What do you make of bullfighting and boxing? Instinctively I am against them, and the video above, showing an 11 year old fighting bull calves, would be an easy thing to avoid on principle. And yet when they are done well there is something compelling about them. I watched the video expecting to be repelled, and yet found myself drawn into the artistry and skill that the boy showed - this is not to ignore the cruelty to the bulls - and for me the same is true of boxing - not that I watch an awful lot - but I remember when I was younger watching Muhammad Ali (OK, much younger) and thinking that he had taken the sport to another level.

If we ban the sports the artistry goes with them - and yet there is so much wrong with both sports.

The artistry of bull fighting does not (surely) require the kiling of the bull, and yet in searching the web I wasn't able to find any information on bull fights where the bull isn't killed. Similarly with boxing it would be possible to display the artistry while protecting the boxers more - wearing helmets like the amateurs would remove a lot of the risk - but it doesn't happen.

So what is the draw of the two? Is it the artistry, or is it the blood lust? I fear it is the latter and on those grounds would support a banning of both - after all, there would be other opportunities for the individuals artistry to shine through.

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