Bullfighting And Social Change: A Case Study From Spain
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

Faunalytics
February 2018

On issues of animal ethics and culture, animal advocates need to approach the public cautiously. And we need to pay heed to possible contradictions without demonizing them.

bullfighting ring

ABSTRACT

The power that culture has over us when it comes to the way we see animals and ethics is tremendous. If you’ve ever had a conversation with a friend or relative justifying certain animal practices out of “tradition,” you know this all too well. One of the most common examples of this tension between culture and ethics is bullfighting in Spain. Many people consider bullfighting (and related festivals) to be “important markers and celebrations of ethnic/cultural identity.” But, increasingly, it is putting off younger generations. And there are some who believe that it should be left in the past so that Spanish culture can move forward and evolve.

For animal advocates, the results show just how complex and contradictory people can be when it comes to clashes of culture and ethics. The researchers identified two extreme clusters of people for and against bullfighting. But they also note that the “indifferent cluster” is important. Future studies need to monitor this group. More than anything, the study supports the idea that people can hold opposing views simultaneously on animal issues. For animal advocates, this recognition is important: we don’t always agree with each other, and we don’t even always agree with ourselves. On issues of animal ethics and culture, we need to approach the public cautiously. And we need to pay heed to possible contradictions without demonizing them.


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