The view that Britons have been put on earth in order to tell the foreigners how to behave is one that is deeply rooted in British culture. An expression of it is to be found in a letter to the Independent on Sunday:
Breeding animals for food is one thing, but breeding 40,000 to kill in the name of sport is barbaric. These bulls are taken from their mothers at a few weeks old and raised to be provoked and tortured to provide so-called entertainment for an ignorant and uncivilised crowd. It must be stopped.
Margaret Sibley, Sidmouth, Devon
The injunction in Ms Sibley’s last four words reflects exactly the attitude that sent gunboats around the world to ensure that the Natives toed the line. Unfortunately, now as then, such smug arrogance is associated with the blundering ignorance of Native customs that we see in her first seven words. The fact is that the meat from bulls killed in Spanish bullrings is sold as food; it is greatly prized for its quality and commands high prices. All Spanish bullrings are licensed abattoirs.
Oh, and nobody in Spain regards bullfighting as a sport.