5 min read

World's Worst Father Brings Baby Along To Bullfight

Spain's most famous bullfighter, and world's worst father, Francisco Rivera Ordóñez, has sparked a firestorm of criticism - and a criminal investigation - after posting an image depicting something that is not only cruel, but irresponsible as well.

In the photo, shared on Instagram this week, Rivera is seen torturing a wounded bull with one hand while carrying his baby daughter, Carmen, in the other.

Attached he writes: "Carmen's debut. This is the fifth generation of bullfighters in our family."

Shortly after sharing that image, which produced a bevy of negative comments, Rivera followed up with another photo showing himself in a similar scene with his father, who was also a bullfighter.

"History repeats itself," he wrote. "The best legacy alive, feeling, purity and honor."

That "legacy," of course, centers on a bloodsport in which bulls are taunted, repeatedly stabbed, and ultimately killed for the sake of entertainment. But while Rivera's post may have been intended to stir feelings of pride amongst bullfighting supporters, it's served to call focus elsewhere that the bloody tradition is still taking place.

On Twitter, noted animal welfare supporter Ricky Gervais was one of many who weighed in:

Leaders in Spain have been supportive of bullfighting, defending it as a part of the cultural heritage. But Rivera's decision to include his daughter in the activity has nevertheless prompted an investigation into whether that broke child protection laws.

"It isn't right in any circumstances to put a child at risk," said Alfonso Alonso, the acting minister of social security in the region, as reported by the Guardian. "A fireman wouldn't dream of taking a child to put out a fire nor would a football player run around with a child in their arms during a match."

Interestingly, the issue of bullfighting and children was brought to the fore by a the United Nation Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2014, who raised concerns that young people's "mental well-being" is harmed by the torture and killing.

According to committee vice-president Sara Oviedo, including children in such events should be prohibited:

"[T]he participation of children and adolescents in bullfighting activities constitutes a grave violation of the articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child... as they are being indoctrinated for a violent act."

That human toll aside, the perpetuation of bullfighting as proudly promoted by Rivera is most devastating for the animals themselves. They, of course, have no choice about being part of a "sport" which kills approximately 250,000 of them each year.

Click here to sign a petition calling for Spain to end all bullfighting.