Brazil Waxes Lyrical Over Entrenched Cruelty

This came from btmao… what’s different about it? It’s just like the Spanish with their bull fights and galgo executions. Tradition is such an abused word. (Full article here)


farra_10.jpg One of the most savage and cruel rituals involving animals is Brazil’s “Farra do Boi.” Loosely translated as “Festival of the Oxen” or “Ox Fun Days,” the annual event involves the systematic and deliberate torture of several hundred oxen in more than 30 communities throughout the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.

Before the event, oxen are confined and starved for several days. To increase the frenzy, food and water are placed within the animals’ sight but out of their reach. The Farra begins when the first ox is driven from his pen and chased through the streets by crowds of villagers with sticks, knives, whips, stones, bamboo lances, and ropes. The attackers—men, women, and children—pursue the ox as he desperately attempts to escape.

Oxen are tormented in every conceivable way. Sometimes the helpless animals are doused with gasoline and set on fire. Pepper is thrown into their eyes, which are often gouged out. Participants break the animals’ horns and legs and cut off their tails. Participants may stab or hit the animals as many times as they want, as long as the blows are not fatal because the oxen must survive until the end of the event. This torture continues for three days or more. Finally, the animal is killed, and the meat is divided among the participants.

Until recently, Farra do Boi occurred primarily during the week of Easter and on New Year’s Day in remote coastal villages. Today, some communities hold weekly Farras to “celebrate” weddings, birthdays, soccer games, and other occasions, even during the elections in Santa Catarina, the state where “Farra do Boi” takes place. Prominent business people, citizens, cattle breeders, restaurateurs, and politicians often donate the oxen.

In 1997, Farras do Boi were outlawed by the Supreme Court of Brazil. However, the participants have organized in order to ignore the law, claiming that Farra do Boi is not cruel, that the animals are not tortured, and that it is part of their tradition. The governor of the state of Santa Catarina refuses to repress the events, and police do not arrest anyone, so the Farra do Boi continues despite the ban.

There is a link to sign a petition at the bottom of the page, but it is not in English so please sign or not as you deem fit.

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