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In villages all over Spain, upheld and blessed by local priests, religious celebrations are carried out in which animals are ritually tortured to death. For example every year at Coria, Western Spain, in honour of San Juan, bulls are released onto the streets of the town and men, women and children use them as living dartboards, throwing steel-tipped darts into them aiming for the 'bull's eye'. The animals are covered with darts. To make them move and liven things up they twist and pull their tails, beat them and stab them with barbed metal spikes. Their tails and ears are cut off whilst they are still alive. They are drained of blood and castrated. the animals' tormentors smear themselves with blood. They then parade testicles around he town. This is not an isolated incident. Every year thousands of such 'festivals' take place. They are called Sanguinary Fiestas Populares - or blood fiestas.<br><br><br><br>
Not only does the church promote this barbarity to entertain and amuse its people - it also profits from it... for the darts these magnificent animals are peppered and persecuted with are sold by the catholic nuns who make them throughout the year for the festivals<br></div>
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- <a href="http://www.nzavs.org.nz/37page14.html" target="_blank">Source</a><br><br><br><br>
The source is hardly recent news, I'd like to see more on it.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
" Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction "<br><br><br><br>
- Blaise Pascal<br><br>
 

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It's also simply ingrained in the culture. I've seen enough video clips of bullfights in my Spanish classes to last me a good long while. It's graphic, disgusting, and from what I understand, sometimes tourists will cry through the entire first bull killing, start to watch more closely at the second, and by the third they're cheering on the amateur matadors. Sounds like your classic case of desensitization to me.<br><br><br><br>
From what I'm told, in the Spanish culture, the bullfight represents the conquering of nature by humans. Sounds like a pretty accurate description for most of our history, don'tcha think?
 

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Q: How many Blood Fiestas are there?<br><br><br><br>
A: At least ten thousand but up to 20 thousand or more.<br><br><br><br>
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Q: Where do they take place?<br><br><br><br>
A: In most regions of Spain.<br><br><br><br>
...<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Q: What types of animals are used in Blood Fiestas?<br><br><br><br>
A: The real victims of Blood Fiestas are cattle. More than 27,000 bulls, cows or calves, some as young as a few weeks die annually. In addition to the 8,000 bulls (approximately) that die in the bullring.<br><br><br></div>
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Source, recent info and faq<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.faace.co.uk/faqs2.htm" target="_blank">http://www.faace.co.uk/faqs2.htm</a><br><br><a href="http://www.faace.co.uk/bfiestas.htm" target="_blank">http://www.faace.co.uk/bfiestas.htm</a><br><br><a href="http://www.animalfrontline.nl/main/didyouknow.php" target="_blank">http://www.animalfrontline.nl/main/didyouknow.php</a>
 

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I hope and pray that all the people involved in these cruelties can have the opportunity to experience their own types of pain and punishments while still being innocent.<br><br><br><br>
Please see this link pertaining to Hispanish treatment of rabbits at a cookout here in New York City.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/local/story/62419p-58244c.html" target="_blank">http://www.nydailynews.com/news/loca...9p-58244c.html</a>
 

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Well, I'm glad to hear that the Catalans are more progressive and animal-friendly since I'm going to be studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain, next fall. Now I just have to hope that I'll either get put in a family that speaks Spanish more than Catalan in the house, or I can pick up Catalan easily!
 

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Skylark, not sure how successful you'll be, but you never know your luck! I've a book called <i>Homage to Barcelona</i>, it is by an Irish poet called Colm TóibÃ*n who lived in the city in the 1970's and then revisited it in the 1990's. It is well written and gives you a good feel for Barcelona, I am going to send it on to you, by means of an apology for burning a crappy CD that time.
 
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