Skift Take

There's room for disagreement on the bullfighting issue. It's certainly a cruel "sport," but it's also part of Spanish culture. We wouldn't be sad to see it banned.

Nobel Literature laureate J.M. Coetzee has called on Spain to abandon plans to protect bullfighting, making a rare public appeal against what he called “an archaic form of entertainment.”

In an open letter to Spain’s legislature released Thursday, Coetzee called bullfights “a throwback to a time when people took no heed of the feelings of animals.” which he said had no place in 21st century Spain.

Cape Town, South Africa-born Coetzee is a noted opponent of animal cruelty, and touches upon the theme of nonhuman suffering in his books, including “The Lives of Animals.”

Spain is divided over bullfighting. The ruling Popular Party wants to enshrine it as part of Spain’s national heritage, but some regional governments have enacted bans.

Spain’s parliament has been debating the issue since February.

Copyright (2013) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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Tags: spain

Photo credit: Spanish bullfighter David Galan performs with a Jose Escolar's ranch fighting bull during a bullfight of the San Isidro fair at Las Ventas bullring in Madrid, Monday, Daniel Ochoa de Olza Daniel Ochoa de Olza / Associated Press

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