Skip to content

Bulls Torn to Pieces in Barbaric Annual Ritual: First Fruits, Sample Letter

November 29, 2011

Please click on and sign:

Bulls Torn to Pieces in Barbaric Annual Ritual


The First Fruits Festival, which occurs annually in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, on the first Saturday in December, is a Zulu cultural event intended to celebrate the coming-of-age of Zulu warriors. The young warriors—teenage boys as young as 14 years old—are tasked to kill a bull with their bare hands to prove their courage. According to reports, approximately 40 young men push sand or mud down the bull’s throat, gouge out his eyes, and twist his genitals before kicking and beating the animal to death and tearing his flesh apart with their hands. Traditional rules reportedly dictate that no tools, not even a knife, be used during this event.

Please click on and sign to contact South African officials and urge them to ban this bloody First Fruits Festival tradition:

Bulls Torn to Pieces in Barbaric Annual Ritual


  • Mongezi Guma
  • Sonwabile Mancotywa
  • Keith Ramsay
  • E.A. Schoeman
  • Dirk du Toit

Message Text

I am horrified by the inexplicably cruel way in which young men are reportedly allowed to torture and kill bulls during the First Fruits Festival in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. According to reports, sand or mud is crammed down the bulls’ throats, their eyes are gouged out, and their genitals are twisted before the animals are kicked and beaten to death and their flesh is ripped apart.

Bulls are sentient beings who, like humans, experience pain and fear. Please stop allowing animals to be tortured in this cruel and archaic ritual and ban the killing of bulls during the First Fruits Festival.

Alternative Text

To Whom It Concerns,

I am writing today to share my disturbance regarding the ritual Ukweshwama, or the First Fruits Ritual, which is scheduled to occur {in December}. I have learned that this event is characterized by the methodical torture and slaughter of a bull by Zulu men in a demonstration of manhood, a ceremony celebrating the passage from child to man. During this event, a bull is systematically brutalized, his tongue, eyes, and tail ripped out; the testicles are further tied in a knot and sand and mud is forcibly shoved down his throat while he is beaten and skinned. This unremitting torture is inflicted on the bull while he is fully conscious, subjecting him to what can only be considered excruciating pain and prolonged suffering: death typically does not occur for almost an hour following this savagery. With utmost respect, I plea with you to intervene to cease this animal cruelty.

This event is considered a cultural tradition, a celebration of heritage and a demonstration of manly courage and strength. While I would never embrace such an egotistical belief that my opinions take precedent over established and sacred customs, any “tradition”, however, that is built on a foundation of extreme animal cruelty, exploitation, and suffering, and which inflicts pain and fear on innocent, sentient animals, is neither justified, nor an expression of historical or manly pride. There can be no honor amongst those who condemn animals to such depraved actions substantiating my disturbance that such animal cruelty is perpetuated by the inaccurate conviction that this ritual confirms manhood.

I understand approval is being extended based on the Constitution, Section 31, which provides freedom of religious beliefs; however, religious tolerance ends when innocent beings are targeted for harm and death. Just as one human cannot legally or morally harm another human based on freedom of religious expression, neither can a group expect immunity during rituals that clearly violate the Animal Welfare Act and any international standards concerning the practice of such. Furthermore, it is my understanding that KZN maintains the highest rape occurrences in the country, a sad and violent statistic to embrace, reinforcing the fact that violence only breeds more violence: when animal cruelty is received with cultural tolerance, both violence and acceptance escalates, the result of which is societal impunity towards human suffering.

As such, I, along with a global contingent of concerned citizens, respectfully request that you intervene to share your hope of peace that can only begin once all creatures are embraced in this vision of harmony and nonviolence. Only upon acknowledging the inherent right to life free from suffering for all creatures can humans fully realize and experience serenity and equity amongst ourselves. Please provide your voice for others to observe their obligatory duty and responsibility by protecting animals, not condoning their torture; your ethical gesture of compassion would serve as an international model of empathy.

Thank you for your time and attention to this urgent issue.


See More: Sample Letters

i cannot believe what i see
in front of me
a so called ritual
of barbarity
this is the 21st
this bloodlust fest
belongs in history!!!!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

8 Comments leave one →
  1. karen lyons kalmenson permalink
    November 30, 2011 1:34 pm

    i cannot believe what i see
    in front of me
    a so called ritual
    of barbarity
    this is the 21st
    this bloodlust fest
    belongs in history!!!!


  2. supriya patwardhan permalink
    December 1, 2011 3:30 am



  3. Anna permalink
    December 1, 2011 5:45 pm

    This may seem barbaric to us, but that is simply their culture. It’s what they’ve come to know as normal. I believe that they would see it barbaric that we alter our dogs and cats by neutering and de-clawing them. Hell, I’m sure they’d find it barbaric that we circumcise our infant males for no reason whatsoever. We add silicone to ourselves to make ourselves more ascetically pleasing, we literally vacuum fat out of our bodies purely for vanity purposes. These people are doing this for a reason, a reason driven into them by their culture.


    • Angela permalink
      August 14, 2013 3:22 am

      Is that suppose to make us empathetic towards sociopaths and sickos? Because they have some lame cop-out excuse of their society? Well, damn, eliminate such societies! Either your human or your lacking any humanity because what separates us from animals (conscience) isn’t there. Sociopaths have no place on this earth, whether caused by nurture or nature. They are under the animals.


  4. drew curry permalink
    December 1, 2011 11:37 pm

    Horrendous ritual, and not comparable to those you relate to Anna. Not one of those results in massive pain, torture and death. Open the world to this relic of the past.

    BUT how do we sign a petition or send the letter?


  5. Angela permalink
    August 14, 2013 3:13 am

    Festival of Fruits – South Africans are barbarians. Let me see their 40 male warriors go through the bull’s ordeal, then I will call them brave. Sign their king up first.


    • August 14, 2013 12:36 pm

      Wouldn’t that be empathetic – for them to experience the bull’s anguish, pain, suffering, and terror? I only wish! Thanks, Angela.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

World Animals Voice

Animal news from around the world.

Yolanda och hennes kreativa skrik

Aspergers syndrom, bipolaritet, fotografi, konst, poesi.

Once Upon An Activist

Every so often, you will get to tell someone your stories, and it will become a part of their awakening

Barbara Crane Navarro

Rainforest Art Project - Pas de Cartier !


creative design center



M4nic Digression

Bipolar, bisexual and vegan. Blogging for myself. Currently stable...ish. A blog that critics are describing as "all over the place" and "lousy with errors".

Aloe Veritas

Arts and Letters of the Earth

Cosmic Skeptic

Question Everything

Striking at the Roots

Animal activism around the world



The Bruges Vegan

more than waffles and chocolate

DirtNKids Blog

Soil, Kids, Vegan -- Connected Through Nature

Amici del Lupo - Svizzera italiana

per sensibilizzare e farlo conoscere...

Animalista Untamed

The only good cage is an empty cage

Jet Eliot

Travel and Wildlife Adventures

Organic Opinion

Finding it, aye there's the rub~

Flawless Pandemonium

Question everything~

%d bloggers like this: