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Fight the Bulls, Save the Crabs

March 31, 2009

From the Land of the Morning Calm:

Unlike Spanish bullfighting, there is no matador. In South Korea, bull fights bull. Tons of muscle charge at each other, and clumps of bloody hair fly as the animals bang heads, their horns clashing like sabers.

That may sound brutal, but bulls rarely die in the ring. The fight is over when one turns tail. Some matches stretch on for hours. Others end before they start: the bulls stare each other down, and one walks away.

Popular interest in bullfighting, once regular village entertainment in South Korea, has waned in recent decades, a victim of television, the Internet and more-global spectator sports, like soccer and baseball. But in the last few years, some cities have begun promoting bullfighting as a tourist attraction and the government now hopes to reignite the old passion by legalizing ringside gambling, starting in July.

from the New York Times

Honestly, I’d rather be a prizefighting bull sharing some refreshing rice wine with my handler than a 4 year old piece of bull being shared with fries at McDonalds.  Mr. Kang, owner of the three-time national champion bull, also has a point:

He dismissed concerns that the pastime’s revival might attract charges of animal abuse.

“All male herd animals fight each other for reproduction,” he said. “This is not about man conquering nature, as in Spanish bullfighting. We are simply observing nature in action.”

I suppose there is not much difference between tying an animal’s horns together and gauging a punker’s earlobes (or tribal customs requiring women to elongate their necks), but is it really “nature in action” to pit two angry, drunken bulls against each other in a closed ring?

Bulls are pretty tough animals, and there is a reason people practice ‘cow tipping’ on the females, but it seems to me a pretty unnecessarily cruel practice coming from a country that not long ago just had a 15,000 person, riotous demonstration on the way we Americans treat our cattle.

Clearly, there is some international cognitive dissonance here.  Just as Korea is beginning to embrace hot bull-on-bull action, an Irish university has gone and up-and-ruined seafood for everyone:

Queen’s University says new research it conducted shows crabs not only suffer pain but retain a memory of it.

The study, which looked at the reactions of hermit crabs to small electric shocks, was carried out by Professor Bob Elwood and Mirjam Appel.

The crabs reacted adversely to the shocks but also seemed to try to avoid future shocks, suggesting that they recalled the past ones.

from BBC

So basically you are telling me that boiling an animal alive as its claws grasp desperately as if to beg for mercy from its two-legged captor and proceeding to crack open its brittle exoskeleton with what looks like a Medieval torture device in order to suck out its juicy, but not quite filling, innards is somehow barbarous?  (Only if the restaurant is out of Old Bay seasoning! Am I right?)

This is bad news for all of us, as the unveiling of Dr. Lester Mordock’s giant, hyper-intelligent, construction crabs in New York City is coming up this weekend:

If I’ve learned anything in my short life, it’s that you don’t want to be on the wrong side of the crabs.  Little buggers are persistent.

Look, I don’t have the attention span to soapbox for two equally delicious animals’ rights.  Here’s an idea: Michael Vick is up for parole soon.  Let’s have a three way pass-claw-and-stab competition to see who’s eligible for protection under the law, and the remaining two can either be served an additional 5 years in prison or in a bisque depending on the outcome.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 1, 2009 4:31 am

    I’m picturing a very messy bull fight in Sunae, judged by a guy sporting a DON’T F*CK MY ASS t-shirt.

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