Today, just for fun, I did a Google image search for “Mexico.” The first 10 pictures or so are maps, and then the pictures of Mexico’s distinct cultural traits begin to come up – typical food, traditional clothes, festivals, beaches, Mayan pyramids, etc.
Two pictures turned up that reminded me of another side of Mexico that tourists seldom see – the bull fights and the cock fights.
The Bull Fights
I don’t think this practice is wide spread, but Mexico City actually has the world’s largest bullfighting stadium with spectacles every day. I believe the practice has been maintained solely because of its uniqueness and its history.
I’ve seen a bullfight or two, just to satisfy my curiosity. I can’t say it’s my cup of tea!
The Cock Fights
This a common pastime in Mexico’s countryside; it is considered an especially “macho” or manly activity. From what I’ve heard, it’s very violent and bloody.
The Moral Question
Of course, these spectacles have huge moral questions behind them and are a nightmare for animal rights.
On one hand, I can fully understand why a tourist or expat traveling to parts of the country where these are practiced would want to see them – they’re just so unique and, for some people, captivating.
On the other hand, it’s good to be conscientious of not putting money into irresponsible practices. In the end each person has to decide on their own conscience.
Yet, approve or disapprove, these practices are well-ingrained features of Mexican culture, especially of the tougher, working class “macho” culture. And, for better or for worse, they’re probably here to stay – at within our own lifetimes and well beyond.
LAST MINUTE UPDATE: I just found out that Quintana Roo, the state where we live, has passed an animal protection act! It probably won’t affect the bullfights or cockfights since those take place mostly in other parts of the country, but it’s progress! I’ll write more about it next week.
-by Bea Lozano