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Water buffalos in Yunnan
August 28, 2012 4:55 AM   Subscribe

"Our bull is very strong, so let's call him Optimus Prime." A look at the sport of water buffalo fighting in southwest China. (Don't miss the video on the article page.)
posted by mark7570 (13 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
"I think naming them is going to be fun..."
posted by Fizz at 5:27 AM on August 28, 2012


Grabbing a speeding bull isn't dangerous work "for professionals," said Mr. Bi, the promoter, though he added "we buy them health insurance."

Thoughtful, that.
posted by eriko at 5:50 AM on August 28, 2012


Another group, other than the Spanish, with an unhealthy fixation on taking the piss out of cattle? I'm not saying this is worse than the horrors of factory farming and the like, but I can't help feeling that if you want someone to go toe-to-toe unarmed with Optimus Prime, the task naturally falls to you, not your bull.
posted by howfar at 6:26 AM on August 28, 2012


No link can improve on my head vision.
NONE.
posted by Mezentian at 6:49 AM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's the most umbrellas I've seen in summer.
posted by cman at 7:51 AM on August 28, 2012


At least with Spanish bullfighting, I can root for the bull (though I think all sport animal fighting should be banned). No winners here--though I suppose it's less cruel in that the bulls aren't killed (I do wonder if they drug the bulls or force them to do cruel training like dog-fighters here, with forced treadmills and blood-dog victims). Despite one person's claim to love and treat the bulls like family, I have to wonder if he'd let his son run headfirst, full speed, into another child's head. :o(
posted by whatgorilla at 8:15 AM on August 28, 2012


I think they're all just farmers and these bulls are just beasts of burden tilling soil, transporting stuff, etc. The one farmer did say that they view their bull as part of the family. I'm Chinese and my parents have told me that the farmers don't eat beef for that reason. The buffalo are part of the family so they can't eat them. I don't know how true it is but it's what I've heard.
posted by pez_LPhiE at 9:35 AM on August 28, 2012


This is cool. I always like to check out where places in China are.

Optimus Prime lives in Xin Cun Po Xian, Qujing, Yunnan, China and the bull fight arena is nearby in Damoguxiang, Qujing, Yunnan, China. It's hard to tell but this might be the arena.
posted by stbalbach at 9:47 AM on August 28, 2012


Scroll about halfway down the article for the characteristic WSJ dignified pen-and-ink stipple drawing. Of a water buffalo.
posted by ostro at 12:15 PM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


ostro: "Scroll about halfway down the article for the characteristic WSJ dignified pen-and-ink stipple drawing. Of a water buffalo."

with a caption that identifies the water buffalo as Optimus Prime
posted by boo_radley at 12:45 PM on August 28, 2012


A family member? Does one tie up ones family with a rope through the nose? And then force feed this family member raw eggs? And send this family member into battle, with the possibility of injury? If so, then yes!
posted by greenhornet at 3:01 PM on August 28, 2012


In other news, the original Optimus Prime has a new name.
posted by martinrebas at 4:44 PM on August 28, 2012


Metafilter: Our bull is very strong, so let's call him Optimus Prime.

I have nothing to add to that.
posted by delmoi at 9:29 PM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


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