To mark the cancellation of this year’s Running of the Bulls, supporters of PETA and Spanish animal protection group AnimaNaturalis – some with bulls painted on their chests, others dressed in all-white running outfits – gathered in Pamplona today.
View this post on Instagram
The activists simultaneously broke “banderillas” containing multi-coloured powdered paint above their heads to signal what they hope is a new era in Spain – one without bullfighting or bull runs. Banners read, “No More Deaths. End Bullfighting.”
What Is the Running of the Bulls – and Why Is It Cruel?
The protest took place on what would’ve been the first day of the infamous bull runs, during which terrified bulls are chased through the city streets to the bullring. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the event planned for 2020 isn’t going ahead, which means the bulls who would have been stabbed to death in the bullring won’t be put through the usual ritualistic slaughter.
If things had gone according to plan, after today’s run, the bulls would have been held in the arena until the evening, when they’d have been tormented and killed in a bullfight. This process would’ve been repeated for nine days, and around 54 bulls would’ve died in agony for some people’s sick sense of entertainment.
Year after year, Australians flock to the Running of the Bulls along with other tourists, all seemingly oblivious to the fact that every single one of the terrified animals they chase through the cobbled streets will be dead a few hours later, after being tormented in a bullfight.
What Spanish People Think About Bullfighting
The activists represent the vast majority of people around the world – including those in Spain – whose tolerance of the vicious spectacle that is bullfighting ran out long ago.
More than 80% of Spanish people oppose the blood sport, and approximately 56% fewer official bullfights took place in 2018 than in 2007, but these sick displays are able to continue in large part because of tourist money. Thrill-seekers fail to realise that running with the bulls means participating in a festival in which animals are tormented and killed.
This year should usher in much-needed change – it’s time that Pamplona stopped allowing terrified bulls to be stabbed to death for this barbaric event.
What You Can Do to Help Bulls
Many tourists who attend a bullfight are horrified by what they see and would never have bought a ticket if they’d known how violent it would be. By that point, though, it’s too late: the bullfighting industry has already pocketed the money, and the bull has endured a torturous, ritualistic death that no amount of remorse can undo. The only way to shut down this abusive industry is by refusing to support it in any way if it continues in the future. Please call for a permanent end to the Running of the Bulls, and never attend a bullfight.