We are at a tipping point.
More people are waking up to veganism and leaving animal products out of their diet.
More countries are banning cosmetic products that are tested on animals.
More people are speaking out against the injustices inflicted upon animals.
The same can be said for bullfighting.
On Saturday 15th April 2017 I travelled to Benidorm, Spain. There I met like-minded people (including favourite activist and very good friend Carmen!) who did not believe it was ok to kill animals for entertainment. There I would stand alongside them to raise awareness for the bulls. The protest was led by an inspiring man, Jesus Mar Cuentos.
Jesus has been devoted to animals for over 28 years, since he became vegetarian. When I asked him about this, he had informed me of his activism but stated that he was not vegan because he ate eggs from the backyard of a lady he knew – he shows great humility. Although my first impression of him was quiet and unopposing, his presence at the protest was peaceful yet formidable.
I was in safe hands.
As a new activist, I still tend to feel uneasy before a demonstration. I’ve been told it’s incredibly normal, even by Jesus himself. It didn’t help that the meeting point in Benidorm was beside the beach, the atmosphere was rowdy, loud and drunk. Lots of stag do’s to say the least.
The protest began. For a second everything around us paused. We were being judged. Then, surprisingly, the atmosphere changed. We were met with signs of approval. Our police escort began to slowly lead us alongside the beach, passing hundreds of beach-goers to our left and dozens of packed restaurants to our right.
Diners would stand up and applaud. Passersby would begin to walk with us and chant. Parents with their children would read our signs and smile, sometimes I even got a thumbs up! This was incredibly encouraging. After two hours we peacefully ended the protest outside the Benidorm townhall. Spain is changing, well at least Benidorm.
The very little negativity that we received from the public was only from the older generation. Sometimes they would snipe at us “I like the bulls” with which Carmen would reply “If you like them so much, stop killing them” a fantastic and thought-provoking response. One elderly lady approached me to ask if I ate meat. However she was incredibly disappointed to find out that I was vegan and her implied point would no longer be applicable. Let’s not label the whole of the older generation though, if my Lovely Nan lived in Spain she would have stood side by side with me at the protest.
At the same time as the protest, only a short distance away in the Benidorm bullfighting arena, six bulls were tortured to death. It is wrong and it has to end. If you need more convincing then please consider the following:
The faces of the people in the photo below display happiness and triumph. It is not normal to enjoy torture and death. Please do not silently stand-by whilst this atrocity carries on. If you are not against them, then you are with them. It’s tipping… Thanks to wonderful activists like Carmen and Jesus, people that agree with bullfighting are now the minority 💚