American Tourists who are visiting the village of Rodilhan on October 27 will see a side of France that the French government would rather not have them see. There, they can view the dirty little secret that passes as culture. That secret is bullfighting. Those who think bullfighting is illegal in France will be almost right. However, there is an exception. French anti bullfighting laws are lifted because slaughtering bulls in the bull ring is considered part of the area’s culture.
If events unfold on the 27th of October as they have in the past few years peaceful protestors will be beaten, hosed, and brutalized by bull fight fans prior to what is labelled a cultural event.. .Despite the possibility of injury by unruly fans this year members of American Animal Protection organizations will be among the estimated 1000 protestors. Edita Birnkrant, New York Director, Friends of Animals (FoA) says “Friends of Animals and Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) will participate in protesting the bullfights in Rodilhan this year.”
Carole Raphaelle Davis, CAPS West Coast Director and FoA Director of Campaigns, Europe claims “Nowhere on the French Tourism website is there any mention of the cruel blood sport of bullfighting, The French tourism board is obviously hiding this from US travelers. When Americans find out about it, they will be horrified. American’s won’t understand how this can be legal under a special judicial exemption in such a civilized country."
Americans who believe that bullfighting is a vestigial remnant of the barbaric games held in ancient Rome can do something to voice their dismay. CAPS and FoA also launched a campaign directed to headquarters of the French tourist board in New York City and French embassy in Washington, D.C. to threaten a boycott of travel to France.
“France shouldn't benefit from tourists who travel to enjoy a more refined, civilized culture," said Birnkrant, “My presence at this protest in France represents millions more Americans who will refuse tourism to France until this animal torture grotesquely labeled as 'art' is officially banned.”
Chicago area readers can voice their opinion about bullfighting in France and can email the French Consulate in Chicago, and let them know as long as France considers bullfighting as part of its culture they will look to other countries for their cultural experiences and refrain from visiting that country.