Brave Woman Jumps In Ring To Stop Barbaric Bullfight
This woman is a badass.
Early last night, while a young bull fought for his life, a Swedish animal welfare advocate jumped the fence at the Marbella bullring in Spain to protest what she calls "the most horrible thing I've ever seen in my life."
Amina Axelsson, a self-described Swedish stripper, blogger and PETA volunteer, says she was petrified before she entered the local ring, clutching a sign that read, "No More Bullfighting" in Spanish.
Bullfighting has long been a target by animal welfare groups for its hybridization of public entertainment and atrocious brutality - complicated by the fact many defend it as integral to a country's "tradition" and "cultural heritage."
"This was the first time I've ever done a protest," she told The Dodo. "I was really nervous because I didn't know what I would see. But this was the most horrible thing I've ever seen in my life. I was shaking. I was crying. I was feeling nauseous. I thought I would faint."
The hardest aspect of the night, she says, was seeing the bull in the throes of death. "I saw this small bull. And his eyes. He was terrified and panicked - and it was ... horrible."
Axelsson says the bull was especially vulnerable: small and very young.
He was the fourth bull to be killed that night.
"I stayed and watched the first bullfight to see what the men did: They stick the big sword into the animal's neck and the animal goes down," she says. "And then they take a knife to make a final killing - to finish the animal. But in between, [the bulls] will fight for their lives."
Axelsson says she watched the bullfighters stick the young animal with the sword. "So at the time when I went in, the bull was trying to fight again. He was getting up," she says.
"He didn't want to die at all," she adds.
Axelsson went into the ring slowly and as she tried to raise her sign, a man caught her.
"I don't know what they said and thank god I don't know Spanish, because I'm sure he didn't say nice things," she says. "But the man held me very strong and he pushed me and grabbed me very hard. And I had to wait for the police. The men were furious. There were so many people around me."
She says when the the policeman came, the situation calmed. "[The policeman] was very nice," says Axelsson.
In fact, she says, "He said to me that he doesn't like bullfighting either. So, I guess he was on my side."
Bullfighting appears to be on the decline worldwide. In 2010, Spain's Catalonia region banned bullfights. Panama banned bullfighting in 2012. France ruled bullfighting - or "La Corrida" - should be swiped from the country's cultural heritage list. Coahuila, Mexico, banned bullfighting in August, the nation's third state to do so. And according to The Economist, in Spain, the number of bullfights fell from 2,204 in 2007 to 956 in 2014.
Axelsson says that despite how nerve-wracking her experience was, she will keep protesting the tradition: "Definitely I will. I will always fight against this. I cannot stand it."