Target: Jean-Marc Ayrault, Prime Minister of France
Goal: Extend the reach of France’s ban on the cruel sport of bullfighting, to include the entire country.
Bullfighting is still allowed in the south of France due to “tradition.” In the majority of France, bullfighting is considered a violent crime against animals, with perpetrators facing up to two years in prison. However, in the south bullfighting is a protected practice that goes hand-in-hand with holidays such as Easter, or the European Pentecost festival Whitsun.
Bulls forced into a fighting ring are teased and maimed before finally being killed in front of spectators. In attempts to give the human opponents the upper hand, bulls have their horns cut to keep them off-balance, petroleum jelly rubbed in their eyes to obscure their vision, and are sometimes beaten pre-fight.
Matadors begin by agitating and confusing bulls with swift movements of a cape, before assistants enter with bullhooks and lances. The creatures are weakened by blows to their back, neck, and shoulders, which impairs their ability to raise their heads in defense. In order to maximize blood loss, assistants twist and gouge the lances after a hit.
When the bull has been sufficiently weakened and is no longer able to defend himself, the matador returns to slit the bull’s throat. If he fails to kill the bull and only mutilates it further, an executioner is called into the ring to stab the bull behind the neck and sever its spinal cord. On some occasions, the executioner’s stab leaves the bull paralyzed but still alive as it is dragged out of the ring by its horns.
Fighting bulls endure hours of fear, pain, and torture before being killed for sport. Though it may be a tradition, it is in human nature to shed past traditions that become barbaric in light of advancements in knowledge and ethics. Your signature will demand that France outlaw bullfighting entirely in all regions of the country.
Dear Jean-Marc Ayrault, Prime Minister of France,
Currently, bullfighting is banned in France – except in the south, where the bloodsport is allowed to continue due to tradition, despite the fact that 70% of French citizens want an all-out ban. Bullfight organizers in the south of the country see immunity from the two-year prison term usually associated with bullfighting.
Bulls in a bullfight are first teased and agitated by a matador, before assistants enter and mutilate the bull’s neck and shoulders with lances and hooks. The bull is beaten, maimed, and terrorized in order to weaken it to the point where it can no longer defend itself. After the bull is exhausted, its throat is slit and it is dragged out of the ring unceremoniously.
Though bullfighting may be tradition, it is part of our duty as human beings to evolve our traditions in keeping with the progress of knowledge and ethics. Similar to Roman gladiator battles, bullfighting causes incredible fear and pain along with unnecessary death, all for the sake of entertainment. I ask that the French bullfighting ban be extended to all regions of the country, including the south.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Argyriou via Wikimedia Commons