Being vulnerable

So, one of the blogs I often enjoy reading, did that thing that I dread most and brought up bullfighting.

They referenced this article and had their post begin with:

Bulls 3, Tormentors 0.



So, I left this comment: I am a bullfighter’s daughter. I feel for all of those men and their families. The bulls did what they were bred to do.

But after all these years, I still get sick to my stomach when I reply to these things and/or bring up my familial ties to bullfights.

I still so vividly recall one day after bullfighting came up in my college English class and people were saying so many things that I knew to be incorrect that I spoke up and corrected them. After class, a woman in her 50’s that was in the class with me came up to me and said “You and your family disgust me”, she then spat on me (my feet, actually) and left before I could have replied. Admittedly, I was pretty speechless.

I can understand why people hate bullfighting, it is so in your face with forces of nature that humans tend to ignore. But, I am so lucky to have seen a very different side (through my father and our bull ranch where we raised fighting bulls), one that is so much more impassioned with things like respect and admiration between two very different animals (the human and the bovine).

I think that if there is a good side to being subjected to the vitriol of those who loathe bullfights… I know what it is like to be bullied (isn’t that an interesting phrase to use here). In my case, I did not choose bullfighting, it is what my father loves with an immense passion. I love my father, I have to include that in our relationship, I have had to come to peace with it, to dig deep and find out why and strangely enough it is through that process that I have learned that every time I want to react strongly to something I know that  I also need to dig deeper (hard to remember, but it is there), to know that there is always more to the story. I have to be gentle, I have to love and most of all… I have to learn how to forgive. It is sure hard when people spit at you though.


 My father with my son.


2 thoughts on “Being vulnerable

  1. You have a fascinating perspective on this! My ex took me to Madrid and we went to see the bullfights. I was a vegetarian at the time since childhood so I hated it and I remember every time the bull would get close to the matador and they would run behind a little fence next to the walls to hide from the bull. Did they get rid of those fences I am wondering? Sending positive energy to you and those injured. Best, candace


  2. First of all, thank you for being so gracious.

    Those fences are still there, they are very important for many reasons. However, not all bullrings are the same in that respect. Those fences serve many functions, they serve as a barrier for all the “backstage” work. Bullfighters move around a lot in the ring and need different tools (capes, sticks, swords) depending on what is going on. The helpers need to move around but not in a way that distracts the bull (for safety and aesthetic reasons), The bulls notice everything, or at least they do if they are not blind or have some other ocular anomaly. These bulls have an unbelievably old genetic line, with roots back to Africa some say, and have very specific traits that are looked for when building the breeding pairs. They are amazing animals in so many respects. I was always very fond of them when we raised them.


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