"I defend eating of the meat of the toro bravo because it's healthy for humans," Sandoval counters, adding, with a poetic flourish: "It's not just the sacrifice of an animal for its own sake. It's also because it matters to society. The bull has performed its function in culture and art, and cooks can do really good things with it, too."
So does Sandoval's celebration of the bull as culinary art in any way justify bullfighting? If the animal has to die, is it at least better to pay a proper homage to it, even in death? I pose the question to Elies, a Catalan friend who runs a gourmet food company in Barcelona. He doesn't buy it.
"It's like saying, 'Let's pass a law that everyone who gets murdered becomes an organ donor to save lives,'" he says, over a plate of jamón Ibérico. "I'm still anti-murder. It doesn't change anything."