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    Posted June 10, 2014 by
    La Gloria, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photo essays: Your stories in pictures

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    Bloodless Bullfights


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Reynaldo Leal is a photographer from South Texas, who took these photos at the Santa Maria Bull Ring in La Gloria, Texas, in 2012. Bloodless bullfighting is still a controversial sport but some believe it's a better alternative to traditional bullfighting.

    Leal says, "I don't know if it is "better" than the traditional fights, but I think it's where the sport - if you want to call it that - needs to go if it wants to survive."
    - taliaday, CNN iReport producer

    Bullfighting is a brutal part of Spanish culture and heritage. While the image of the matador, the person who stands in the middle of the arena with a bull for the sole purpose of killing it, has been romanticized in literature and movies it is increasingly being condemned by a younger generation in many Spanish-speaking communities. It seems that the blood spilt by the bulls is no longer worth the pomp and circumstance for many.


    So how does one keep the culture and the bulls alive? Fred Renk, the owner of the Santa Maria Bullring in La Gloria, Texas, thinks he’s found the answer in bloodless bullfighting. Instead of slowly bleeding the bull out and then finally driving a sword into it, the matadors in his plaza try to take a flower pasted on the back of a bull’s back. They are judged more on style than on how well they kill the animal.


    The bulls are much smaller and much of the ceremony involved in traditional bullfights is omitted, but the core of the event remains intact.


    I took these images while attending one of these “fights”.

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