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back to article Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson battles bullfighting

Former Baywatch thesp Pamela Anderson has written to the Spanish Senate asking it to reject a bill which would declare bullfighting part of the nation's "Cultural Heritage". The talented entertainer - who last month enjoyed a trip to Spain - has joined growing opposition to the move, which would see the "cruel pastime" protected …

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IT Angle

I know you're in Spain for Lohan

But what's the IT angle on this?

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Re: I know you're in Spain for Lohan

It's Lester, he lives in Spain.

And the IT angle... didn't you notice the online poll mentioned in the last paragraph?

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Re: I know you're in Spain for Lohan

No, only scanned the article for photos. Disappointed.

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Happy

Re: I know you're in Spain for Lohan

"But what's the IT angle on this?"

It's in the upper right angle of the article, where it says 'BOOTNOTES'.

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Unhappy

@Tom7 Re: I know you're in Spain for Lohan

As the old saying goes...

This story is worthless without pictures.

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"Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson battles bullfighting"

Surely "Buxom Baywatch Babe Battles Barbaric Bullfighting" would have been the way to go.

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Re: "Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson battles bullfighting"

Not quite as buxom as she once was, she had her huge implants replaced with smaller ones.

The opposite of boob job is boj boob.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson battles bullfighting"

Or, if you mirror it, "doj dood"... which would be the exclamation made by the surgeon as he removes the implant and playfully hurls it across the room at a colleague.

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Do bulls count as sentient

I honestly can't remember what the definition is any more. I thought it was recognising yourself in a mirror, but that could be something different.

I might even have to google it.

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Re: Do bulls count as sentient

My understanding of the term "sentient" is that it refers to having senses, like the ability to see and feel. The term has been corrupted by some science fiction using it where they should be using the word "sapient", which denotes intelligence.

So, yes, a bull is sentient. However, I wonder if Pam is able to make the distinction. Those PETA people are truly nuts and call any animal, even chickens, intelligent. She could very well be using sentient in the way it is more popularly known.

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Re: Do bulls count as sentient

PETA:

People Enjoy Tasty Animals.

Steak tonight I think.

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Yep, bullfights are barbaric and cruel

And I totally support Pamela's stance on the issue.

Except for the part about 'sentient beings'. If bulls were sentient beings they should also sign against the bill. :^)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yep, bullfights are barbaric and cruel

I support Pammie's stance often, especially in some of the scenes in Barb Wire...

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Anonymous Coward

>especially in some of the scenes in Barb Wire

Brings back memories of Win95 first coming out & me finding a theme manager utility to skin the OS.

On my work laptop of course. With Barbwire pix. I would reset to the default theme most of the time however.

Till the day I hit a glitch during a demo and rebooted. Straight into Barbwire theme :-(

It somehow failed to impress my female interlocutors. And I learned a valuable lesson about keeping one's PC clean @ work. Could obviously have been worse than Pam's, artistic and intellectual, movie so it was a useful learning experience.

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Try to imagine you're a male calf. You have two choices: to be born in the UK or as a fighting bull on a ranch in Spain.

In the UK (unless selected as a breeding bull, a <<1% chance) if you're from a milk breed, you'll be shot in the head by the farmer after a day or so. If you're a beef breed, you'll be castrated, kept in a field (if you're lucky, in a shed if you're not) with a herd of your fellows and after 2-3 years hauled off for slaughter.

In Spain, you'll be cosseted, kept intact in open fields and after 4 years or so taken to the bullring where you will die, but at least have a chance of doing some damage to your tormentors first.

Which do you prefer? Bear in mind that banning bullfighting does not mean herds of happy bulls living a long and fulfilling retirement - it means no fighting bulls at all.

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This act of cruelty is justified because worse acts of cruelty occur in other times and places. Or have I misunderstood?

"banning bullfighting does not mean herds of happy bulls living a long and fulfilling retirement - it means no fighting bulls at all."

The existing bulls are destined for a harsh death anyway. Ending bullfighting would mean fewer animals being born into the system in the first place. Animals that are never even conceived are purely notional: they cannot suffer hardship by not being born, since they cannot suffer, or undergo any other experience, at all. They don't exist. I know it's a duh point, but it appears to need emphasising.

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@Chris Miller

This is like arguing that Lee Rigby had it easy, as there's kids in Somalia who don't have enough to eat.

In other words, bullshit.

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@ Chris Miller

The first problem with that analogy is the idea that a calf will be aware of a choice or the fact that this is not just reality. That he will have something to judge against.

Try to imagine you're human. You have two choices: to be born on Earth or on the planet Splugrahp.

On Earth (unless born into a wealthy family) if you're from a poor country, you'll probably live in poverty with little to no chance of going more than a week without clean water, decent food or electricity, If you're a westerner, you'll be forced into schooling and then work for most of your life to be allowed a selected conformist ‘freedom’ as long as you follow the system with a herd of your fellows and after 30-40 years hauled off for retirement when even if you have the money your body is probably too frail to enjoy life the way you could as a young person anyway, if you don’t have the money you face a life of neglect, the possibility to freeze to death in your own home and your unavoidable spiral into madness as your mind gives in, I say unavoidable, you could die first.

On Splugrahp, you'll be born with all the knowledge needed to survive, and fully formed as an physically and emotionally strong adult, you will be free to be as indulgent without any fear of getting fat, physically hurt, or disapproved of, you will spend your life with no limitations, you have no fear of hunger, death, rape, or oppression, whatever you chose to do will advance your race in some form, you will not be another number, you will be important and mean something, you will be loved, and when you die you have a 5 year warning to make sure your life is complete.

Which do you prefer?

What do you mean Splugrahp doesn’t exist? How do you know any different from the cows in the UK?

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@OP

>but at least have a chance of doing some damage to your tormentors first.

Not much. Before the brave bull-fighter enters the ring the bull is already half dead and it has been strategically impaled in such a way as to make its head drop. In reality the bull has little chance of winning and even if it does it will be killed immediately afterwards.

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I was merely pointing out that there is at least a case to be made that Spanish fighting bulls live a life no worse (I would argue significantly better) than bulls in the UK (or anywhere else in the western world). According to PETA, 10,000 bulls are killed in bullfights every year, whereas over 1,000,000 are slaughtered every year in the UK alone. If you're worried about the feelings of cattle (and Maharg is correct in his first sentence - bulls are not people in furry coats), which should you be more concerned about?

Of course it's much easier to get publicity (which is the purpose of the activity) by mounting a meaningless attack on a niche activity in a foreign country than by trying to persuade millions of your compatriots to turn Vegan. But that doesn't make it logical.

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Publicity is not an end in itself, it's a campaigning lever. The campaigning is highlighting a case that can be made relatively easily: even many a meat-eater will get on board against bullfighting, as they see the one as 'necessary' and the other as gratuitous . This may lead to a victory (compare foxhunting in the UK, albeit an imperfect win) and incrementally raises consciousness regardless.

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Sorry but you're confusing animals that are bread for food and amimals that are bread so that human can purposely inflict pain on those animals for, so called, "sport"; I use inverted commas around sport because any activity that is carried out to entertain by inflicting pain on an animal is nothing but barbaric.

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And what difference does being bred for food or sport make to the animal? If you're a Vegan, you may feel free to comment on how others treat their cattle. If you eat meat, drink milk, or wear leather, criticising others makes you a bit of a hypocrite.

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Re: @OP

To coin a phrase, this is utter bullshit. The torero enters the ring with over half a ton of highly muscled bull in peak condition and only a cape to protect himself (very occasionally herself).

It is true that at a later stage the bull is weakened by the picador's spear before the matador dispatches him with the sword but he remains extremely dangerous. Toreros do get badly injured although it is over 20 years since the last one died in the ring in Spain.

There is no concept of "winning" or "losing" in the corrida. The bull will always be despatched even if the leading torero is rendered incapable of doing so, except in fantastically rare circumstances it may be spared by the President (of the corrida, not the country) to go to stud.

There are serious arguments to be made about whether the bullfighting culture has any place in the 21st century and there is no doubt that the tide is running against it, but let's argue on the basis of actual facts.

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You could also put "sport" in quotes because nobody in Spain - pro or anti - considers it a sport. It is not reported in the sports sections of the newspapers nor does it appear on sports TV programs. It is a thing separate in itself. It is a cultural activity, an art form, a test of courage and resolve, a showcase for the skills of breedrs and much else besides. But it is not a sport.

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Re: @OP @Ian Tunnacliffe

You mean the bit at the beginning when the brave matador observes how the bull behaves while his assistants taunt it and may do a few tentative passes but nothing like as near as after the bull has been severely tortured.

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Since Catalonia became the first part of mainland Spain to ban bullfighting (although it doesn’t happen in parts of northern Spain its not ‘banned’) might adding it to a list of ‘Spanish culture’ further increase the movement of Catalonians to become independent from Spain, as its just another instance, like the use of the Spanish ‘lisp’ that is a difference between that region and the rest?

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You just know...

I'm not necessarily pro-bullfighting myself, but making comments like "I know that there is nothing remotely entertaining about stabbing bulls to death in bullfighting arenas.", when apparently a lot of people are entertained by it, shows a good deal of self-importance. "I believe there is nothing remotely entertaining..." or "I don't know what is entertaining..." would be more rational.

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Anonymous Coward

Rodeo?

Think she should out her own country's animal cruelty festivals first!

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Re: Rodeo?

Will this do you? People can protest two things at once.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/more-sports/pamela-anderson-makes-chuckwagon-plea-to-alberta-premier/article4421038/

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"Only" 8.5% attended a bullfight....

On a national scale that doesn't sound like a small number to me.

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Re: "Only" 8.5% attended a bullfight....

> On a national scale that doesn't sound like a small number to me.

Note that the survey seems to have asked whether the respondent had "attended" an event, not whether he, she, or it supported it. Did the original question mention solely and specifically bullfights ("corridas") or any of the other events where are not killed, such as encierros or Pamplona's San Fermín? Including the latter, the figures are believable. Still, attendance does not imply support.

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Re: "Only" 8.5% attended a bullfight....

The level of support is higher: about 20% of Spaniards are in favour of bullfighting, 20% against, and the rest indifferent.

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Re: "Only" 8.5% attended a bullfight....

Actually quite a lot of bulls are killed at the fiesta of San Fermin. Including the ones that run through the street goring Americans beforehand.

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Coat

maybe if pam joined in...

Naked bull wrestling would be much more entertaining, and the normal bullrings would go bankrupt.

OK,OK, it;s the shabby raincoat

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Odd - Alternative Poll Required

Don't like bullfighting? That's cool, everyone's entitled to their opinions.

I would like to know the plebes opinions on gladiatorial style human battles to the death though. My money says that the weight of the opinions would approve of such things if the fighters were 'qualified' by being prisoners/bad guys/lunatics. If fact, I bet it would be the most globally popular sporting event practically overnight.

I've got no feelings about bullfights, but it seems extraordinarily strange that many of the people I know would go to the mat for an animal (an ambulatory cheeseburger!) but would happily approve of and queue up to watch their fellow man kill one another.

I say we need a poll of El Reg readers to gauge their thoughts on this!

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Re: Odd - Alternative Poll Required

"many of the people I know would go to the mat for an animal (an ambulatory cheeseburger!) but would happily approve of and queue up to watch their fellow man kill one another."

Perhaps you know some odd people. Have you any polling to check your impression?

In any case, permitted combat sports, such as boxing, involve informed consent from all parties. Bulls are not competent to offer consent.

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Re: Odd - Alternative Poll Required

Not that I don't agree with you, but Humans don't ask for, or expect, consent from animals. If we want to make their consent the defining criteria for judgement then we can't justify any Human/animal interaction, much less domestication or use as a food source. Animals are incapable of informed consent as they can't understand what informed or consent means: It's the same reasons most countries don't execute the truly insane or developmentally challenged.

A better reason than consent must be found to override culture and tradition. That argument simply doesn't hold up to moral inspection as we crossed that line so long ago there is no going back.

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Re: Odd - Alternative Poll Required

I invoked 'consent' to distinguish between human-human combat and human-animal combat, not to distinguish between different forms of animal exploitation. But if you seek to articulate a reason "to override culture and tradition", a common view is that harming animals for sustenance is justified but harming them for trivial entertainment is not. It's not my position, but Pam & PETA will be figuring that it's sufficiently widespread (or spreadable) to be worth pushing. Just as the animals can't see much difference between being slaughtered for food or for sport, so they won't much care if they are saved by realpolitik rather than unassailable principle.

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Re: Odd - Alternative Poll Required

> I would like to know the plebes opinions on gladiatorial style human battles to the death

As long as it was completely voluntary I wouldn't care if two people fight and bash eachother's brains in.

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Re: Odd - Alternative Poll Required

Specially war mongering politicians . I often said that politicians that want to declare war should do so between them . Take the two heads of state , put them in a ring , give em boxing gloves and let them settle their personnal differences first . Then have them sit and work out a negotiated agreement which will inevitaby be done at the end of the war , less the countless useless deaths and expenses .

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Political backdrop

As Mr. Haines correctly and pertinently mentions, this is a riposte to the Catalan government's ban on bullfights in 2011. They had previously been banned in the Canary Islands in the early 90s, but since this was not seen by the Spanish government as a direct threat (nor was there any bullfighting business being conducted in the islands at that time), no reaction was forthcoming.

The polls mentioned above do not tell anywhere near the whole story, even assuming their numbers are vaguely correct: Associating bullfighting with the whole peninsula is a mistake. While in my experience it seems to gather some significant support in the south (Andalusia and Extremadura) and perhaps parts of the central plains (although that's not a region that I know well), it is met with indifference at best in the north and east, and with outright hostility in Catalonia and to a lesser extent, Galicia.

By and large though, excepting perhaps one or two southern cities, it is not something that could be considered as a popular activity in Spain. As for Catalonia, Barcelona had at a time two bullrings, only one of which was still functioning by the time the ban came. The vast majority of the public were foreign tourists (notably Americans, for some reason), which were the sole reason for the commercial viability of the spectacle--guides often made that clear. The very few Spaniards that could be seen who were not somehow involved in the business (guides, bus drivers, ring workers, ...) were generally perceived to be Francoists (supporters of the late dictator Francisco Franco, recognisable by their peculiar look).

The current move by the Spanish government seeks to overrule the ban in Catalonia, however, in their usual shortsighted ways, the only result will be to further undermine the Spanish government's power and credibility (internally as well as, it appears, abroad), as their decisions and any subsequent court rulings will just be ignored by the Catalans, as is already the case with recent attempts by the Partido Popular to force its way into the Catalan educational system, their tax collection arrangements or, not to mention, next year's referendum and subsequent possible declaration of independence--which is looking more probable than possible as time goes on.

Somebody should tell them than when in a hole, it's often a good idea to stop digging.

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Re: Political backdrop

I guess you could say the Spanish government finds itself impaled on the horns of a dilemma.

Sorry, I'll get my coat. The one with Pam's phone number in the pocket.

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Pirate

PETA

Home of the all-kill shelter!

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Not a fair fight

I never went to see a live bullfight when in Spain, but on my first visits - many years ago - I did watch it on hotel TV, out of curiosity. I have no strong feelings for or against the performance on principle - and it is a highly ritualized performance more than anything else. One thing, however, always struck me as very unfair to the bull compared to the matador: the bull is basically exhausted by a whole bunch of people - I think at least 5 active participants (2 picadores and 3 banderilleros) plus secondary helpers and horses - who attack and harass it in turns, tire it out, and inflict multiple serious wounds over time. They also have pre-arranged ways to escape when the bull pursues them, while the bull has nowhere to run. Only much later, when the bull is thoroughly exhausted and heavily bleeding, can hardly hold its head up, and is probably almost ready to die if only left alone, does the gallant matador step up with his cape and his sword. It is still risky, I know, but when you have watched the whole spectacle it no longer looks as a fair contest between the enormous bull and the skilled human, and rare is a fight in which the bull does not die. The many-against-one part always disturbed me. Besides, AFAIK, even if the bull does survive it is never allowed to fight again because it is considered to be too experienced and thus unacceptably dangerous.

So, while I don't get all hung up because animals are killed (in a corrida or in a slaughterhouse or during a hunt) I admit that the implicit "marketing" of a corrida as a fair contest between man and beast does bother me (hmm... maybe dishonesty in marketing - not unavoidable but fairly common - bothers me in general? who was looking for an IT angle in bootnotes?). How about having a single torero fight a bull, and be judged on success rather than (mostly) style? I guess not - the bull will stand a decent chance to win then, and we can't allow that, can we?

Don't they always let the bull live in a Portuguese corrida?

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Re: Not a fair fight

Don't they always let the bull live in a Portuguese corrida?

Yes, the bull leaves the ring alive. But not the stadium.

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I'm not really for or against bullfighting. It doesn't seem entertaining to me, but boxing certainly can be, so who am I to say. Either way, while bulls may be sentient (able to feel, specifically pain in this case), that is not to say that they are sapient. Also, it may be worth noting; other things (apparently) able to feel on some level or another include trees, insects, vegetables, etc. I'm not sure sentience (in the sense of the word that bulls are sentient) really should be a major factor in these (or most) types of decisions.

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@ MeRp

"I'm not sure sentience (in the sense of the word that bulls are sentient) really should be a major factor in these (or most) types of decisions."

This definition of 'sentient' is central to the problem. Causing pain and suffering to an animal with a complex brain is something that should be avoided at all costs, unless it's absolutely necessary -e.g. rat pest control, boar hunting, slaughterhouses,...-. In my opinion unnecessarily torturing animals is a step or two away from torturing people.

To be frank, the main issue I've with bullfights is not the suffering of the bulls -though it's an important reason-, but the way in which this 'sport' affects our minds. By supporting bullfights and similar activities, as a society, we are not only condoning animal suffering, but also human casualties, and we're doing it just for fun (and money).

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Meat Eater

I eat meat and occasionally will have a steak and in the past have kept a few steers and cows for meat but having an animal slaughtered as humanely as possible for meat has no comparison to the barbarity of a Spanish bull fight.

I live in Spain and in the season on a couple of channels each Sunday they show a fair number of well bred beautiful animals being tormented and slowly bled to death by up to ten people at a time. As soon as one dead bull is dragged out and the strutting Matador has walked off, they clean up th sand and bring in another one to be tormented to death.

Have a look at some of these to judge the glory of the Corrida for yourselves:- https://www.google.es/search?q=bullfighting+youtube+spain&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&gws_rd=cr&ei=bC9oUtrRLpHAswbF6YHwCQ

It does take some nerve to face any bull but these are not heroes.

Also I would like to know why the Matadors always have a spare pair of socks down their trousers?

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