Apart from Spain, Mexico has more bullfighting rings and high quality bullfighters than any other country in the world. Bullfighting was brought to Mexico more than 500 years ago by the conquistadores. In recent years however, many Mexicans have decided that the event is both unnecessary and uncivilized.
There are mixed opinions regarding the topic of bullfighting in Mexico, with some people feeling that it is traditional and other feeling that it should be abolished. Mexico is one of the eight countries in Mexico where Bullfighting is a legal sport. Some Mexican states have animal protection laws but unfortunately for the creatures themselves, and many animal rights activists, these laws do nothing for the protection of bulls. Bullfighting has been illegalized twice in Mexican history but at this moment in time, it is completely legal.
Even children are allowed to watch the spectacle as long as they are accompanied by a responsible adult. This never used to be the case – minors never used to be allowed to watch Bullfights in Mexico – but the law has been amended in recent years. Mexico City is home to the biggest bullfighting ring in the world: La Monumental built in 1942 has enough space to accommodate over 40,000 spectators.
The Mexican city of Aguascalientes is home to two Bullfighting Rings where many fights take place every year. Mexico is well-known for child-bullfighters. Given that European children under the age of sixteen are not allowed to practice bullfighting in public, many relocate to Mexico to advance their training so that they can return to their home countries and have an edge on their competitors. Like Spain, Mexico has many religious festivals linked to bullfighting.
Undoubtedly, the most famous Bullfighting Festival of them all is called Embalse de Toros. This involves the bulls imbibing a certain amount of alcohol before swimming across a river whist tied with ropes to little boats. While many people find this sort of spectacle entertaining, there are many more people who deem this sort of activity to be cruel and unnecessary. In order to voice their disapproval, many people have taken part in Anti-Bullfighting Protests.
Don Sergio and his son are trying to keep the tradition of Mexican bullfighting alive. They have a ranch called Rancho Seco (Dry Ranch) in the Mexican state of Tlaxcala. The 73-year-old owner has mounted the heads of some of the most Famous Bulls from days gone by onto the inside walls of his farmhouse.
One particularly powerful looking black head belonged to a bull nicknamed Pajarito (Little Bird) because of his tendency to jump into the stands! Alongside, the famous bull head, Don Sergio had framed newspaper clippings showing Pajarito in mid-flight with hind legs pushing off from a wooden barrier and his forelegs outstretched in front of him.
While Pajarito’s leap made international headlines a few years ago, the next headline about bullfighting might be about its demise. Don Sergio’s son, Sergio Hernandez, says that about a million people living in rural areas in Mexico depend upon the Bullfighting Tradition for their livelihood. Anti-Bullfighting tendencies: Animal rights activist, Gustavo Larios, said that bullfighting is decreasing in popularity. He claims that La Monumental in Mexico City is only filled to its capacity about five times a year for Bullfighting Events.
The rest of the time, it is musical performances that draw in the crowds. Many people, like Mr Larios, believe that bullfighting should be abolished so that the large stadiums can be used for entertainment purposes such as concerts and theatrical productions instead. Like in Spain, many people, especially the younger generations, are of the opinion that bullfighting is an outdated tradition that has no place in a forward-looking modern society.