Here is a photograph that looks very moving.  It was posted by or on behalf of someone called Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche (or, any rate, a Facebook page bearing his name) on 18th July 2012 on http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dzigar-Kongtrul-Rinpoche/43516433142 with this caption:

Compassion: This incredible photo marks the end of Matador Torero Alvaro Munera’s career. He collapsed in remorse mid-fight when he realized he was having to prompt this otherwise gentle beast to fight. He went on to become an avid opponent of bullfights. Even grievously wounded, the bull did not attack Munera. May we all support the welfare of non-human species.

Now, anyone visiting this page might find their bullshit antennae twitching.  He pasted a picture of an old woman with this:

This wonderful lady is almost 150 years old… She lives on the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi. She is hugging Rinpoche after he bought her some idly – a south Indian breakfast – early one morning this last March.

In the real world – not the same thing as the world of Mr Rinpoche, perhaps – people do not live to 150.  Maybe 120, at the extreme stretch. But 150 years? No. That is, well, bullshit.

So what about the bullfighting picture? I should say at once that I dislike bullfighting too. But it might be relevant to note that this image (or its caption) is bogus. Alvaro Munera’s bullfighting career was ended when he was gored by a bull called Velvet (or Terciopelo) in 1984; he has been in a wheelchair ever since, it seems; see http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%81lvaro_M%C3%BAnera. This photograph looks much more recent. So the impression of a sudden moment of remorseful mid-fight compassion by Mr Munera is false. Or, as they say on bovine circles, bullshit.

There are some very good reasons for saying that bullfighting is beyond the pale.  But bogus stories are not among them.

For a forum on this, see http://fiskeharrison.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/this-photo-is-not-what-it-seems/#more-2843.



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Filed under Culture, Politics, Sport

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