A prominent defender of the traditional blood sport of bullfighting has made headlines in Spain after he suggested that a bullfight was a more appropriate sight for a child than a gay pride parade.
Carlos Zúñinga, co-owner of bullfighting company Circuitos Taurinos, told Europa Press that he respected other kinds of ‘fiestas’ even if they weren’t his cup of tea and that Spain’s National Association for the Rights and Freedoms of Animals should respect the traditional ‘fiesta’ of bullfighting.
‘I don’t particularly like fiestas that stand up for people like gay pride, but I don’t attend them and I respect them [still],’ Zúñinga said, adding there was ‘no harm whatsoever’ in children being taken to watch bullfights.
Compared to bullfighting, gay pride parades are ‘what is harmful for children to watch,’ Zúñinga added.
Zúñinga had been responding to criticism about children being allowed to view bullfights – particularly those where the animals are wounded or killed by the matador.
Zúñinga’s comments drew the ire of many from the political left in Spain, including animal rights party Pacma.
‘In Spain, there are still people anchored in the past,’ Pacma chief Silvia Barquero told TheLocal.es.
‘To think that bullfighting is our tradition today is as anachronistic as to think that gay people should not have equal rights. Luckily those people are a minority.’
Zúñinga later apologized for the comments to anyone who was offended but added that he thought critics of bullfighting did not genuinely care about the quality of life fighting bulls had but just wanted to tear down Spanish national traditions.
‘All of these fantasies are a pantomime just to be against the national fiesta and against everything that Spain stands for,’ he said, adding that fighting bulls lead pampered lives compared to the young cows slaughtered for veal.
Animal rights activists had been protesting the annual bullfighting festival that takes place in a bullring in the Asturian city of Gijón which is co-owned by Zúñinga.