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  Laura's diary - I went to a bullfight
Updated 20 September 2004, 15.19
Laura at a bullfight
Before making the programme, like most people in the UK I thought bullfighting was cruel.

I'd been to Spain and Portugal on holiday but I'd never been to a bullfight and was glad I was getting the opportunity to find out more.

During the filming, I met Bernardo and his friends who are forcardo bullfighters. To them bullfighting is about family and cultural tradition.

Spending a day with them I noticed a really strong bond between the men. They were almost like brothers.

Like a football match

Later that evening I went to my first bullfight. There was a real atmosphere surrounding the bullring, like a football match. People were selling nuts and there was a band playing traditional music.

It was like a show as all the men came out in their colourful costumes but once the fighters started chasing the bull things felt very different.

Picture of a bull
The bull looked very distressed

The crowds clapped and cheered as the men on horses targeted the bulls with brightly-coloured spears.

As each dart went into the bulls back the applause and cheers got louder but I didn't feel like cheering.

The bull looked confused and started wobbling as it became tired and disorientated. It looked in a lot of pain and it was horrible to watch.

Scared

When Bernardo and his friends who are forcardos went into the ring and the bull charged at them I felt very scared.


The forcardo attracts the bull to charge

Bulls weigh up to half a tonne and I couldn't understand why you would want to do something so dangerous.

Bernardo was unhappy with his performance, he thought he'd let people down but I was just relieved they didn't get seriously hurt.

Make up my own mind

Making the programme I got the chance to understand both sides of the argument. I know it means a lot to those involved - to them it's not a sport it's an important family tradition.

But watching the bullfight I just felt it was cruel.

I know millions of animals around the world are killed every year for food but my problem with bullfighting is that the animals are hurt just for entertainment.

More InfoBORDER=0
Find OutHow did bullfighting start?
VoteWould you go to a bullfight?
QuizBullfighting quiz
ClubI'm becoming a bullfighter to fulfil a dream
ClubI'm trying to ban bullfighting in my country

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