Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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Raging Party Survival

The Roman coliseum was inaugurated in the year 80 AD, in the first century of our era, and gladiators paraded there who, among other shows, fought to the death with ferocious and hungry beasts from Africa. Man has been living in this way with animals since the beginning of our existence because it is part of the history of dominance of one species over the others. The lions dominate and eat the zebras, in the same way that we humans kill cattle and pigs to satisfy our hunger.

The bullfighting festival, not so old, does have a history that goes back some ten or twelve centuries, and begins in Spain. It came to Mexico from the peninsula since the Conquest, five centuries ago: the luck of fighting the brava with a cape until it is killed… or until the beast wounds or kills the bullfighter.

Last week a judge in Mexico City banned it, at the request of an association that, with its own ideas, opposes animal abuse. In the exercise of interpreting the law, can a judge shape the history and public morality of a people in this way? Would it not be rather an aspect of public life that should be entrusted to a body of political deliberation, to a body of national representation such as the Legislative Congress?

The growth of voices defending animals and opposing the festivity has been opening the way and imposing itself over the last few years, first in Europe and now in Latin America, where bullfighting is still alive. Regardless of what, in my opinion, is a constitutional blunder, in which judges are excessively empowered to get involved in an issue that must be deliberated in the political arena, there are relevant legal aspects that will soon have to be addressed, in terms of which will become the parallel discussion, not political, around this problem.

I anticipate, necessarily, that I am not a lover of bullfighting, although I do not identify with its detractors either. Yes, on the other hand, I must admit that I am, like the entire human species, an omnivore, and that in such quality as beef, which I enjoy very much every time it is part of the menu of the day. Should we oppose the bullfighting festival knowing that we will continue to kill cattle, pigs, chickens and fish to satisfy our appetite?

That is the point. On the occasion of the discussion around the possibility of a municipal or state government protecting the cultural value of a bullfight over and above the obligation not to make animals suffer, the problem that our ministers or magistrates will have to face, a Once the problem of competences has been overcome, it has to do with the weighting of a couple of rights and guarantees that, in this case, clearly collide: culture and animal abuse. In my opinion, some criteria supported by the Supreme Court of Justice could shed some light on the way in which the issue should be addressed.

The thesis has been sustained that the law must comply with parameters of proportionality and legal reasonableness. Among other requirements that have to do with the concept, it is said that a law is proportional in those cases in which the measure adopted by the legislator ends up being the one at his disposal and is the least harmful among those that could have been used to solve a problem.

The slaughter of animals for the sustenance of the human species, for purely nutritional purposes, continues and there is no desire or interest in avoiding it – not even on the part of animal advocates: we head the food pyramid.

Could it be assumed that the right to survival of humanity through the consumption of meat is comparable to the right to its identity and culture, through the realization of bullfights? Undoubtedly, behind the latter there is history, and although there are people who deny it, there is sport, art and culture. There is a whole group or social conglomerate dedicated to bullfighting that enjoys and enjoys bullfighting, and that has, like its detractors, the legitimate right to see their identity and personality protected, in the same way as those who oppose it. . Could it be said that the support of the wild party is not valid on the grounds that a defenseless animal is deprived of its life? No, to the extent that there are cattle that are taken to a slaughterhouse and killed to satisfy the hunger of human beings, the slaughter of wild cattle in the ring is lawful from its origin. This is where the principle of proportionality lies.

To the extent that the deprivation of life of the res obeys a legally protected purpose, and in both cases there are comparable means, it could not be intrinsically legitimate to kill the animal for one reason, but illegitimate to allow it for the other. It is a process of disposing of the life of an animal for different purposes, in which some may or may not agree, but this does not mean that a party must be illegal, while the other way of slaughtering the animal remain allowed. Is it bad taste of who goes to the brava party? Possibly, but it would not be more or less reprehensible than it would be to criticize someone who likes to attend fights, attend a boxing match or a party to dance reggaeton.

The vast majority of those who are dedicated to law will end up agreeing that the performance of a bullfight does not deprive the bull of “rights”, because as an irrational animated entity it lacks them. The imposition of obligations of care and preservation of the life of the bull, with a view to economic aspects that in a field of sustainability of the biodiversity of reses bravas would lead to protecting the industry, would come to mean a useful discussion, only if it were demonstrated that the celebration of the bullfight disturbs public order. Discussing the feelings of the animal and its suffering in the arena would lead us to a field as precarious as that of debating whether or not a horse should be ridden, or a dog should or should not be subjected to the use of strap. The performance of bullfights has never meant a disturbance of public order. Should the charra party also be prohibited?

To the extent that we remain the only rational species on the face of the earth, and wish to continue eating meat and, therefore, slaughtering cows, there is a legally proportional act of the government in allowing bullfights to take place, if there are ends of an ecological and cultural nature that can be protected, such as the one concerning the sustainability of the development of that animal species. The intrinsic value that a group intends to impress on an act of authority, to suppose that a cattle suffers more in the ring than in a slaughterhouse, constitutes, above all, a subjective sentimentality on the part of those who support the thesis, which is not opposable to those who argue otherwise.

In short, there is a social purpose behind the performance of bullfights that has its origin in history, which is comparable in terms of its object and purpose to the slaughter of cattle for food purposes, which can be protected by the norm , if after a political discussion by a national representative body it is so decided. The involvement of the judges, once again, constitutes a lack of deference in favor of who, in the current state of things, should solve this problem: the legislature.

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