Animal rights activists protest against the revival of bullfighting in Mexico City

Animal rights activists have taken to the streets of Mexico City to protest against the revival of bullfighting in the area. After a hiatus of almost two years, the city held its first bullfight since 2022 on Sunday, sparking controversy among supporters and opponents of the practice.

The suspension of bullfighting was ordered by a judge who sided with animal rights activists, stating that it is a form of torture rather than a cultural tradition. However, the Supreme Court overturned this decision last month, leading to a legal battle between the two sides. While the judges ruled on technical aspects, the case’s merits are yet to be decided.

Outside the Plaza de México bullring, the largest bullfighting arena in the world, demonstrators expressed their opposition to the cruel treatment of animals. Chanting slogans such as “Torture is not art, it is not culture,” they waved banners advocating for the end of bullfighting and the protection of innocent lives. Some activists even donned bull masks and painted themselves in red to symbolize the brutality of the sport.

Inside the venue, however, there was a sense of celebration as thousands of people gathered to witness the return of bullfighting. Supporters of the tradition chanted “long live freedom” and embraced its cultural significance. The clash between those who view bullfighting as an art form and others who perceive it as a form of animal cruelty highlights the polarizing opinions surrounding the practice.

The President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has proposed a referendum to determine the future of bullfighting in Mexico City. This suggests that the issue is not only a matter of public debate but also a potential decision made through democratic processes. The outcome of the referendum could have significant implications for the future of bullfighting in the country.

It is worth noting that bullfighting remains legal in many areas of Mexico, despite the suspended period. In fact, Mexico is one of the few countries that still allows this practice, along with France, Portugal, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Ecuador. Even in Spain, where bullfighting is legal, some cities have chosen to outlaw the tradition.

The revival of bullfighting in Mexico City raises important questions about the treatment and welfare of animals, as well as the preservation of cultural practices. The controversy surrounding this issue extends beyond national borders and resonates with animal rights activists worldwide.

According to Humane Society International, an estimated 250,000 bulls are killed in bullfights around the globe each year. This staggering number highlights the scale of the issue and adds urgency to the ongoing debate. Supporters of animal rights argue that bullfighting perpetuates violence towards animals, while proponents of the tradition argue for the preservation of cultural heritage.

The outcome of the legal battle and the subsequent referendum in Mexico City will undoubtedly make a significant impact on the future of bullfighting. It will not only shape the destiny of this controversial practice in the country but may also influence similar debates occurring in other parts of the world.

As society becomes increasingly aware of animal welfare and ethics, it is crucial to approach these debates with well-informed perspectives and empathy for all parties involved. While opinions on bullfighting may differ, promoting respectful dialogue and understanding can help pave the way for a more compassionate future.

In conclusion, the revival of bullfighting in Mexico City has sparked protests from animal rights activists and celebrations from its supporters. The clash between these opposing viewpoints highlights the inherent controversy surrounding the practice. With a proposed referendum on the horizon, the future of bullfighting in Mexico City remains uncertain. The outcome of this decision will have broader implications for animal rights and cultural preservation, not only in Mexico but also around the world.