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Why Is Pernod Ricard, Owner Of Absolut Vodka, Supporting Bullfighting?

Pernod Ricard, which owns more than 90 brands of liquor—including Absolut Vodka, Chivas Regal, and Seagram’s Gin—supports Union des Clubs Taurins Paul Ricard (UCTPR), a collective of more than 400 clubs that support, promote, fund, and organize bullfights and other social events for bullfighting enthusiasts. UCTPR is the biggest bullfighting group in Europe.

Before the bullfight even begins, bulls endure a disorienting and stressful transport to the bullring, typically in cramped trucks, which can last for days or even weeks. The terrified animals are forced to run around an arena, sometimes while being jabbed with sharp poles, until they reach exhaustion. When a bull enters the arena in a typical Spanish-style bullfight, he’s approached by picadors—men on horses who drive lances into his back and neck muscles. Next, banderilleros plunge harpoons into his back several times. This attack impairs his ability to lift his head and defend himself. They twist and gouge the lances to ensure maximum blood loss. The matador comes in for the killing stab when the exhausted bull is already near death.

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