From a personal point of view, I’m generally happier the fewer animals we kill, the better. If it were possible to grow meat in vats and avoid slaughtering animals, I’d be much happier.
Exactly why killing bulls in front of a crowd is any worse than killing them in a slaughterhouse isn’t exactly clear to me. We don’t really need to eat meat, we do it because we enjoy eating it.Thus we are really killing animals for our own enjoyment, so it’s kind of hard to draw that line at bullfighting because we care about animals. The traditional Catalan diet of meat with a side of meat doesn’t indicate a history of concern for animal rights.
From a preserving-traditions perspective, it is strange how a region that is so hell-bent on preserving every and any local tradition no matter what how silly or dangerous, the sudden amnesia with respect to the long history of bullfighting in Catalunya is a bit amusing.
The most obvious interpretation of what is happening is that over the last couple decades bullfighting has morphed into a symbol for an archaic, right-wing, nationalist culture in Spain (Franco’s designation of bullfighting as the “fiesta nacional” didn’t help much). Banning bullfighting is an obvious populist move in a region that wants to differentiate itself from this image.