_ Bullfights are bloodsport. That is changing.
Last year when I went to my first bullfight in Quito, Ecuador, the bulls were killed in the arena with the crowd hollering enthusiastically. It was cruel and reminiscent of the blood thirst of the days of the early Romans.
This year, the killing of the bulls for entertainment is banned in Quito. This does not mean that they are not treated cruelly or eventually to be killed after the event. Instead of the matador thrusting his sword deep into an exhausted, once magnificent, beast, he stabs a bayonet size spear into its upper back. If the bull has been extremely testy, the crowd may call for it to not be put to death, a carryover from previous years habits. The bullfighter may then just tap the bull on the head as it charges past him and let it leave the field peacefully.
Yesterday, the matadors, characteristically and in full splendor of costume, strutted in front of the cheering crowd. Danger, however, was ever present.
_ Here, a matador quickly rolled out from under the feet of his charging opponent when he was about to be trampled.
_ In this scene, a quick escape over the boards seemed appropriate.
_ Bull fighting is deeply ingrained into the culture of many Spanish speaking countries and is not about to disappear soon. However, province by province, country by country, there is increasing recognition that the torture of any living creature is wrong and should be banned.
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