Debate: Is Bullfighting a Sport?

By Jake & Glenn 

America has had strong feeling about bullfighting ever since Tito Santana left his Strike Force partner Rick Martel to focus on his matador career, leaving Martel to become another arrogant model. This is a very popular, albeit barbaric, sport that most commonly takes place in Spain, Portugal and several Latin American countries. What makes this spectacle so controversial is they kill the bull at the end. This is a Beyond Thunderdome style deathmatch, which nearly always ends with the bull being murdered by a man in a garish outfit. The question that we will pontificate on is: is bullfighting a sport?

Jake Bullfighting is a sport. It is the ultimate showdown between man and beast. One man enters, there's a bull, and then the man kills the bull and leaves. How is that not a sport? If boxing or feeding Christians to lions are sports, then surely bullfighting is. Matadors are the ultimate macho men. Every man, even Harvey Fierstein, worries about their machismo level. Show me a man who does not and I will show you a woman. Bulls are stupid and mean. Who gives a shit about bulls? I have not met a single person who cares about them. The most common sayings or phrases about bulls are about them wrecking china shops or their feces. Shit from a bull is the absolute worst kind of shit. If something is "bullshit" then you know it must be pretty bad. I say, let the sexy macho men kill every bull in the world. Nobody would care.

Glenn: This is the worst logic to justify an immoral policy since the War On Drugs was established in 1971. You might not think of bullfighting as a "policy" per se, but it is an integral part of Spain's fucked up society and the best reason I had for supporting Franco during his reign. If killing an innocent creature is a sport, then Ted Bundy would be the most popular athlete in America. Instead, he was relegated to serving two terms as the Attorney General of Florida and then eventually prison. I have watched, and masturbated to, several bullfighting events in my life and found each one more revolting than the last. This is not a sport, it is murder. This is like televising an abortion, Clarence Thomas's Supreme Court confirmation hearing or the Challenger explosion. There is nothing macho about killing an animal any more than there is something macho about providing for your family.

Jake: Spain must continue to have bullfights because it is part of their national tradition, akin to male circumcision in the US. Plus bullfights are just cool. Going to a bullfight is like attending a live taping of a Faces of Death video. There is a reason that Faces of Death is a huge hit and it is the same thing that makes bullfighting so popular: the excitement of seeing things die. What is more exciting that seeing a life snuffed out? Not even sexual intercourse can hold a match to it, and most people love sex! There is so much danger involved in battling with bulls. It is the kind of heart-stopping, captivating action that Spaniards cannot live without. Who are we, citizens of the United States, to tell Spain what to do? It is their bulls, swords and arenas, and I say it is their right to choose what happens to, with and in them, respectively.

Glenn: Speak for yourself in regards to loving sex. The few times I've ever had sex in my life, the experience was humiliating and incredibly painful. My partners, coincidentally, were all bulls. You might say that biases me against bullfighting, but I've been a vegetarian for thirty years. Never would I support this kind of killing. I agree you with you, in a sense, that Spain has the right to do what they want but only in the way that Serbian forces had the right to commit mass murder at Srebrenica. They are welcome to try it, but they need to understand that NATO - bound by its charter - has to protect all bovine-related creatures from violence and itself will have the right to bomb historical sites all over Spain. If you were a bull and found yourself running through the streets of Pamplona, you'd change your tune. All of a sudden you'd try to scream out "Don't kill me!" but you couldn't form the words. Bulls don't have vocal chords. That's why I speak for them.

Jake: I am a pescatarian, which means that I eat fish. I do not eat any type of cow product, including bulls and Rocky Mountain oysters. There we are on an equal moral playing field when it comes to devouring bulls. I'm also sure that you are right, bulls probably do not like to die. I am not so sure that they don't enjoy a good fight. Maybe the bulls like the thrill of a good match-up as much as any human. I know that you think of bulls as second class citizens, which I think is quite unfair. Teams named after bulls have won more sporting championships in my lifetime than any other team named after animals. I think this is because bulls are spiritual animals. If we do not let Spain slice them open, then how are we going to get their spirits out? I know one of the side effects of ketamine is the spirit leaving the body, but I am pretty sure that only happens in humans. How are we supposed to harness the sacred power of bull spirits without bullfights?

Glenn: Although I am thrilled to hear you invoke a k-hole and think that would be a great topic for a future debate, to use such a beautiful drug in defense of such an awful sport is enough to make me cringe, like someone has just stuck a sword into the back of my neck. You say that bulls might enjoy a good fight and I might be tempted to agree - lord knows I've been tempted with worse. However, bulls would only like a good, FAIR fight and that's not what this is. This is a bunch of sweaty Spaniards stabbing a bull with swords and knives while the bull desperately tries to run away. Sure he can use his horns, but those are an imperfect weapon. Just ask Dennis Brain, famous British horn player from the 1940's and 50's. If you wanted to make "bullfighting" truly fair and something that a 27 year old, practically impotent vegetarian could support, then arm the bulls. Help them develop opposable thumbs and then learn how to use them for firing a shotgun or other small artillery. Only then will bullfighting be a sport of kings instead of what it is now: "brutal meaningless self indulgence."


  1. Is there nothing the writers of OYIT will not compare to the Challenger explosion? It was the 9/11 of the 1980s, both because it was tragic and because it was also caused by Osama Bin Laden working in conjunction with the Democratic Party.

  2. i'm glad glenn finally revealed his true age in this deb8.

  3. I liked doing this debate a lot!

  4. This was great, and really nice that Franco got props for the one thing he deserved; disapprovement of bullfights - wtf were you thinking anarchists?!? I get the reactionary stance, but still, that was to borrow a phrase bullshit. I saw you in Seattle in 1999 but not in Barcelona every single day since... I would have been there at least to make a point... We can at least be thankful the capital is in Madrid