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Stop Bull Being Killed with Bare Hands!

November 6, 2012


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Background | Source UNLEASHED

While the world wakes up to the fact that bullfighting is an outdated and cruel tradition, in a small province in South Africa a fully grown adult bull is unaware that he is about to suffer the most brutal death imaginable – all in the name of ‘culture’. We need your help to speak out for this bull.

In the home of the Zulu monarchy, KwaZulu-Natal, the Festival of Fresh Fruits (the Ukweshwana) begins in December. The ‘highlight’ is the ritualistic killing of a lone bull, by 40 young Zulu men, with nothing but their bare hands.

Over an agonising 40 minutes, the defenceless bull has his tongue pulled and torn out, his eyes gouged, his genitals twisted and tied in a knot, sand shoved down his throat and his head is painfully wrenched around by the horns in an effort to break his neck. The men then stomp and trample on the dying bull until he is dead.

This shockingly violent death is anything but quick, and it’s difficult to imagine the sheer terror the bull would be feeling during the long drawn out torture.

The killing is supposed to prove how brave the men involved are, but there’s no bravery in torturing an animal. And tradition is never an excuse to abuse an animal!

No animal should ever be made to suffer like this. The South African branch of Compassion in World Farming is campaigning for this to stop, but this issue is crying out for international support. Please show South African officials that the world is shocked by this animal abuse and politely call on them to ban this brutal event now!

CAMPAIGN UPDATE (9th December, 2010): The South African government has appointed an investigator to determine if the bull slaughter constitutes animal cruelty under South African Law. This goes to show that international campaign efforts are having an impact.

CAMPAIGN UPDATE (19th September, 2012): A South African court decided that the bull killing ritual should be allowed to proceed. Now more than ever the decision makers in South Africa need to know that people from around the world are appalled by animal cruelty – no matter what “tradition” it supposedly continues. If you haven’t sent a protest letter yet, please send a one now to help stop this bull torture!

Provided letter

I am absolutely shocked and saddened to learn of the violence and torture inflicted upon a bull each year in KwaZulu-Natal. This cruelty is of a level that is condemned worldwide, and there is no place for it in civilised society.

Allowing this horrific animal cruelty to continue taints South Africa’s good international reputation.

Please ban this terrible event and ensure that South Africa’s progressive image is not overshadowed by this brutal injustice to a defenceless animal.

Alternative sample letter

I am writing today to share my disturbance regarding the ritual Ukweshwama, or the First Fruits Ritual. 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.

this “festival” of bloodlust,
agony and pain,
is beyond disgusting
and must never
happen again!!!!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

8 Comments leave one →
  1. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    November 7, 2012 4:39 am

    this “festival” of bloodlust,
    agony and pain,
    is beyond disgusting
    and must never
    happen again!!!!


  2. November 7, 2012 11:14 am

    people who enjoy causing suffering to other creatures should not be allowe to occupy a spot on this planet


  3. November 8, 2012 9:47 am

    What the hell kind of shit is that? My blood is BOILING! Sent message thanks Stacey never heard of anything like this its disgusting and shameful


    • November 8, 2012 2:02 pm

      Yup, I had the same reaction, this is pure evil. Thanks for your help, Florence.


  4. November 9, 2012 3:37 pm

    I’m from South Africa, unfortunately I don’t see this cultural tradition being abolished any time soon, or ever really.

    Our country is one of gross educational neglect. Our president has 4 wives and a documented 22 children, it is his cultural beliefs you are opposing. We are home to some of the most vile acts of animal cruelty all in the name of ‘culture’.


    • November 9, 2012 4:41 pm

      I don’t think any place is immune from animal cruelty, but I understand your frustration, thanks, Gabbi.


  5. Elizabeth Saa permalink
    November 17, 2012 2:26 am

    Stacey, would you be so kind as to communicate with me via tweeter (or email as provided) please? Thku, most grateful @saaliz1


  6. Anita Verma permalink
    November 10, 2015 11:00 pm

    This tradition is very cruel and barbaric ! We have evolved and we now know that all animals feel pain! A new tradition should be started that believes in loving all living beings and teaches the people love and compassion ! This horrible practice should be banned forever !!!!


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