Condors Heave Their Last Sighs at the Peruvian Blood Festival


I have always been against abusing animals (or humans) in the name of tradition and culture. Unfortunately, the same old story unfolds in every part of the world. In distant India, chickens are made to fight each other, bulls and other four legged animals are made to run in a vicious race, in Spain bulls fight until their gruesome death and in Japan, whales are killed not only for luxury cuisine, but also to prove they can get away with murder, literally. And they do. Japan has indicated that it will not stop whaling in the great southern oceans.

Peru is no exception when it comes to perpetrating atrocities on animals. The Peruvian Blood Festival takes place at the Coyllurqui and is also known as the Yawar Fiesta. The “festival” consists of a bull that has an endangered and drunk condor strapped to its back. The condor tries to gouge out the bull’s eyes and the bull tries to get the condor off its back and trample it down.

The Peruvian villagers believe that the condor is a representative of ancient Inca gods and that the bull represents the Spanish colonizers, who were extremely brutal to indigenous populations. Obviously the revelers want the condor to win, but most of the times, it doesn’t survive the bloody game. There are less than 1,000 condors left and many are killed by farmers or during festivals such as the Peruvian Blood Festival.

This is one festival that I would not attend, if I visit Peru. Even if I did, I would probably be sitting on the side of the animal rights activists. What are your thoughts on this? Do you support the killing of innocent animals in the name of tradition and culture or you deplore these practices?

Jude C

I am a travel enthusiast who has closely worked with different communities. My interests range from alternative rock to English literature. I also happen to love cats a lot.

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