Ecuador Culture: Cotacachi Bull Fights are Child's Play

Luckily, all three of the bull fights I have attended in Cotacachi have been more like child's play than bull fighting. Part of Ecuador culture involves kids and bulls in a ring together, but it's not really a dangerous situation for either kid or animal.

Young kids and young bulls prance and dance around each other in the bull ring. The crowd cheers, gasps and laughs. Nobody gets hurt and the audience fun factor is high.

As you can see in these pictures, there is give and take as the boy challenges the bull and the bull challenges the boy in return. The primary elements are a bull, a human and a red cape. Missing are the spears that bring pain and suffering to the animal.

Boys and girls all have a chance to tease and play with the young animals. Sometimes there are half a dozen children racing around a bull in the ring. There's excitement, drama, fun and a little anxiety because the bulls do have horns and some of the bulls are pretty feisty.

While some of the bulls do little more than stand around and shake their heads, others cause the kids to run for it. They leap for the wall of the ring or race for the safety of the exit.

All in all, these types of bull "fights" in Cotacachi are a lot of fun. The only moments of fear come when one of the children gets a little too close to the horns, but so far, I've never seen an accident. Adults and clowns are nearby to help out in any sort of tense situation with a bull.

There are more serious bull fights in Quito that result in harm and pain, and death to the bull. You won't find me attending those kinds of events. Since I am mostly vegetarian and don't even like to think of eating an animal, I certainly don't want to be even a passive participant in bringing pain to any animal. And that's no bull.

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