The Time: Before I leave Spain
The Place: Placa de Toros Monumental
The Event: The sacrifice of animals in a "traditional" format
I saw a short film once at Living Arts Film Festival in Tulsa that showed an image I've never forgotten. The image was of a bull in the ring letting out a horrific bellow/moan just before it fell to the ground and died. I've always thought that the "art" of "bullfighting" seemed cruel, outdated and unnecessary but, in order to come to a valid conclusion about it, I felt I must see one live and in person. So I went to one in Barcelona with some friends from the hostel.
The fiesta brava involves 3 matadors and 6 bulls. Each matador has a crew that play certain roles to assist the matador in his killing task. I don't know all of the details of who does what because, one - I'm lazy and didn't read up on the subject in advance, and two, I wanted to experience my gut level reaction to the event.
I found myself rooting for the bull. Especially after watching the progression from a fresh bull to the one the matador "fights." I didn't see the killing as "sporting" or "competitive." I saw it as a needlessly prolonged slaughter.