Costa Rican Bull Rider Bites Off the Heads of Live Cats, Dogs, and Other Animals, Drinks Their Blood, and Then Eats Their Flesh
"Je me leve et dejeune toute chose qui marche par la, une colombe, un poulet, un chat, je les saisis, je lui extrais la tete, je bois le sang."
-- Douglas Barahona
Whatever else may be said against the consumers of feline flesh in Australia and China they at least kill their victims before devouring them. (See Cat Defender posts of September 7, 2007 and February 8, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Australians Renounce Civilization and Revert to Savages with the Introduction of a Grotesque Plan to Get Rid of Cats by Eating Them" and "Stray Cats Rounded Up in Shanghai, Butchered, and Sold as Mutton in Restaurants and on the Street.") The same cannot be said for Douglas Barahona.
He is a thirty-four-year-old bull rider from the city of Canas in the province of Guanacaste in Costa Rica and he eats live cats. (See photos above and below.) In addition to cats, he also dines on live dogs, pigeons, bats, snakes, earthworms, buzzards, frogs, toads, and chickens. (See photos at the bottom of the page of him devouring a live chicken.)
"Je me leve et dejeune toute chose qui marche par la, une colombe, un poulet, un chat, je les saisis, je lui extrais la tete, je bois le sang," he is quoted on August 3rd by Kisa, a web site serving the French-speaking communities of Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guiana, and Reunion, as saying. (See "Il Mange des Chiens et des Chats Vivants!")
Barahona asserts that eating the flesh and drinking the blood of live animals gives him the strength to be successful bull rider. He also admits that he very much enjoys feeling his helpless victims squirm inside his mouth.
While there is absolutely no evidence that behaving like a savage makes a bull rider better at his metier, there is plenty to suggest that all sorts of psychopaths get their kicks by killing and abusing small animals. This is no doubt the case with this monster.
Barahona began eating live prey four years ago and has no intention of changing his diet. In fact, he has pretty much lost his appetite for traditional Latin American cuisine and instead prefers to go into the mountains and devour live game. He even brags about grabbing snakes out of trees, biting them in half, and then eating them.
Although he will sink his teeth into almost anything that moves, he is particularly fond of earthworms and buzzards; conversely, he is not overly enthusiastic about either frogs of toads. That is because toad meat causes his tongue to go numb.
He also dearly loves to sink his incisors into live cats and dogs but his neighbors have gotten wise to what he is up to and no longer leave their companion animals outside. Strangely enough, he has never been arrested for stealing and killing cats and dogs.
This must be attributable to the fact that Costa Ricans condone such behavior. In particular, Diario Extra of San Jose, which broke the story on July 20th, asked him for a demonstration and he agreeably provided one for the newspaper's photographer. (See "Man Prefers Diet of Live Animals Over Rice and Beans.")
To its credit, La Sociedad Mundial para la Proteccion Animal (WSPA) in Heredia has asked the Ministerio Publico de Costa Rica to instigate legal action against Barahona. Under the Costa Rican penal code, however, cruelty to animals merits only a monetary fine.
"En la WSPA consideramos a los animales como seres que sienten y que merecen respeto y un trato humanitario," Patrick O'Marr, regional director for the Central America and Caribbean chapter of the WSPA, said in a July 28th press release that is available on the organization's web site. "Por ello, es totalmente inaceptable la conducta de Barahona y decidimos tomar acciones legales para que cese sus actividades."
Unfortunately, Barahona's crimes have received scant attention outside the region. Just because Costa Rica is an out-of-the-way country is not any reason for animal rights groups around the world and the international media to look the other way.
Furthermore, although bull riding is not nearly as inhumane as bullfighting, it is undeniable that all rodeo events are both abusive and exploitative of the bulls and horses that are used to stage them. The mere fact that the Costa Rican rodeo circuit has produced such a monster as Barahona is an indictment of the entire enterprise.
Attendance at a sporting event used to provide a pleasant distraction for the weary but that is no longer necessarily the case. Major League Baseball, the Tour de France, and professional wrestling have been ruined by doping scandals. The National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association have had their integrity called into question by gambling scandals.
Between Michael Vick's ruthless killing of dogs, both on-the-field and off-the-field violence and misconduct by various players, and the recent spy scandal involving the New England Patriots, the National Football League has become a cesspool of corruption and violence. Only today the Formula One racing team of McLaren-Mercedez was stripped of its points in the constructors' category and fined $100 million for accepting receipt of confidential information belonging to rival Ferrari.
If people are willing to attend events that are not on the level and to cheer on players who are either doped out of their gourds or commit criminal acts, that is their business. All societies should, however, be willing to draw the line at events and athletes that exploit and abuse animals.
Photos: Diario Extra.