|PELO FIM DO SOFRIMENTO DE TOUROS E OUTROS BOVINOS|
|PELO FIM DO SOFRIMENTO |
DE TOUROS E OUTROS BOVINOS
Tradução para o Português - Luis Martins
The goal of our efforts is to stop the suffering of bulls, other bovines or horses in bullfights and all bullfight related abusive events. If we stop their suffering, we also stop our suffering.
My professor in Social Psychiatry once told me that - if I witness all human suffering in one night in a city - I can spend the rest of my life in a closed psychiatric ward. A few months later in a dark hospital basement I walked into the still warm hanging body of a lovely young woman with the delusion that her death would stop the suffering in this world. Even witnessing suffering can drive us insane; it is a mental health threat to all of us, young and old.
Suffering of people, animals and nature is transferable. If nature suffers, animals and people are hurt as well. If we have a close bond with our pets we know that animals and people are able to cross the borders between our species sharing our suffering. Sensitive beings exposed to the suffering of whatever form of life pick it up like a disease. We cannot evade the physical and mental impact of the images, sound and smell of suffering.
So we have to stop it.
Regarding our actions so far it appears to me that we spend too much energy and money on efforts with little effect. With a small variation in campaigns we mainly knock on the same doors, answered by the same opponents using basically the same arguments. Urges to change are impaired by our inwards focused closed networks.
To fight a culture or tradition you have to fight a people protected by its nation, the EU or Unesco. These targets are too hard to fight. Culture and tradition – like religion – are disputable abstractions with long and ambivalent histories that cannot be wiped out overnight. Inflicting pain and death is a concrete act that can be stopped immediately on the spot. People will succeed in defending culture and tradition but they can never defend the suffering caused by it.
On what rights to guard people, animals and nature from suffering can we depend?
All “rights” are human inventions based on human interest. Rights are passive, null and void until they are activated by us humans and transformed in solid and enforced legislation.
It is clear that animals depend on us to do this, so the activation and exercise of animal rights – and nature rights for that matter – is a human duty. I want to stress this point: it is our human duty to stop suffering.
Consequently it is our human right to exercise our human duty to stop suffering.
I suggest to concentrate on the soft target “stop suffering” as we cannot be beaten on logic, morals and ethics on that issue. If you stick to that point you are not drawn in arguments or negotiations on the value of traditions, “acceptable” levels of suffering, being vegetarian etc.
“Stop suffering” aims at prevention: “stop before it starts”, not halfway or after the damage is done.
From the legal side it might mean a shift of focus from banning the bullfight to banning all means that are instrumental in the actual torture and killing and banning all related sources of public mental health damage. And we need legal protection for our human duty to stop suffering, preferably recognized as a human right. As faulty legislation protects violations of animal rights, we need above all an end to legal justice turning into social injustice for animals.
From the medical/psychological side we should highlight the equal and transferable physical and mental impact of suffering on man and animals, including the social and financial impact of public health damage on our society. And it might be helpful to point out that socially accepted sadism is not only a mental health problem but also a public order threat.
Being restricted in funds and number we should reflect on our strategy, our tactics and the effectivity and efficiency of our campaigns and meetings.
We need a lot of support to be effective.
“Stop suffering” will attract more support from the general public than our singular bullfight problem. I find the same commitment among friends who protect and rescue stray animals, seals, whales, dolphins, elephants, rhino's, wolves and wild nature.
Countless animal and human rights and protection organizations share our commitment. So why not share our common goals and action in strong and effective structures?
I suggest that we open up our closed network and turn outwards building or expanding effective structures and networks. With “stop suffering” we simplify our goal, we get more support, we restrict and compress our arguments and eliminate discussions on irrelevant details.
Direct action against suffering on our own turf has first priority as we are familiar with our own regional problems, culture, politicians, administrators and possible solutions. The hands-on action that counts is where we are needed and where we are physically present.
An international network can be supportive in sharing information, experience and strategies from its members.
But it can never lead us in our local actions.
So I call on you to consider the suggestions and give your comments. I think we can be more effective if we change our focus and open our closed network to attract massive support for a more feasible goal.
~ Marius Donker