This chapter discusses whether the verse Lord Byron wrote in December 1809 about the scene he saw in July reflects the political debate he heard in May. It examines the parliamentary debates of 1800 and 1802 about bull-baiting, as well as the 1809 debate about cruelty to animals in general: reading these and Byron's verse about bullfighting in the context of wider Burkean and anti-Burkean stances in English political and cultural discourse. Such a reading demonstrates how Byron's presentation of the Spanish bullfight reflects some very English arguments which relate to the rights and treatment of animals, and to their role in the formation of what William Windham called 'the old English character'. The stanzas of Childe Harold I, which reflect a youthful and relatively inexperienced Byron's first meeting with foreign women and his first close encounter with war, show many of the same features in place as early as 1809.