Don’t Go To The Running Of The Bulls Festival This Year!

Every year, more and more travellers head across to Pamplona in Spain to take part in the famous festival of San Fermin – better know as the “Running With The Bulls” festival…

Sounds fun? That’s what a lot of people think… but the whole event is shrouded by cruelty. So let me explain why you shouldn’t book your plane tickets just yet…

“What is it all about?”

The event was born out of necessity, to get bulls from their enclosures into the bull-fighting ring to face their untimely death – and over the years more and more tourists have gathered to experience the adreneline that comes with running through the streets with these mighty animals.  In Europe and Latin America 250,000 bulls suffer a brutal, painful death every year in bull-fighting rings, for no other reason but for the amusement of spectators! 

Call me naive but I’m going to assume that, if you’re reading this, you already agree how cruel and sadistic this archaic spectator sport is – so I won’t go into the horrific details of the cruelty inflicted on the poor animals both before the fight and inside the ring. If you do want to learn more, however, visit Stop bull Fighting for details.

“OK, so Bull Fighting is cruel… but what’s wrong with the Running of the Bulls?”

Cooped up, confused and frightened in a dark enclosure, these bulls have already succumbed to shocking and disturbing methods of torture (see the link above). When the doors to their cells are opened, they are forced out onto the noise-filled streets with electric shocks. Temporarily blinded by the light and terrified of the crowds they run through the sharp cornered streets – most of them losing their footing, crashing into walls and injuring themselves. Personally I can’t understand ayone who would find this spectacle alone entertaining – but if that’s not enough, each of these bulls is actually running towards their bloody and merciless deaths in the ring.

“But it’s a tradition!”

This has got to be one of the weakest non-arguments I’ve ever heard – yet is the only one ever offered up in defence of the ‘festivities’. How about, in the spirit of tradition and all, we just pack a few factories full of child labour? Or why don’t we let Queen Lizzie decapitate a few Catholics in honour of her Jubilee? Oh right… because it’s cruel and ridiculous, (and the Queen might get a taste for it).

Some traditions are worth keeping alive; like Christmas and Cocktail Thursdays – others need to abolished and pushed deep into our history books so our children’s children can laugh about how, once upon a time, people actually considered this brutality entertainment.

“What can I do?”

Don’t go, don’t promote it and (if you feel strongly enough) write a letter to the Mayor of Pamplona here to ask that the cruelty be replaced for more compassionate festivities!

This glorified blood-sport is only kept in existence because tourists flock to the events to see what all the fuss is about – so by promoting or attending the festival you are only helping to fuel the bull fighting industry further.

Don’t act as their pawn hotties, you’re better than that.

44 comments… read them below or add one

plantdotty June 7, 2012 at 11:11 am

I COMPLETELY agree with you Scarlett…I too cannot understand why anyone would want to run with the bulls, as you say the poor animals are terrified and abused and end up in the ring, all for the entertainment of people who have nothing better to do with their time and lives.
I refuse to go to Spain at all while they still have bullfighting, a dreadful bloodsport that needs to be abolished.

Well done you for highlighting this disgusting practice. Brilliant post!x

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Scarlett June 7, 2012 at 11:13 am

Thanks Plantdotty! It’s good to see that people agree! There are so many ways to enjoy a trip to Spain – and so mnay ways to celebrate the traditional heritage of the country – bullfighting and the running with the bulls shouldn’t be one of them! x

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Keith June 7, 2012 at 11:40 am

I must admit I was completely unaware of the treatment of the bulls and I had no idea that so many are brutally killed – just for someones entertainment?! I can’t believe that the festival appears annually in the media and on the news and is portrayed as being a tradition and more sickeningly – fun. Well done Scarlet for highlighting this and I’d like to think that anyone who reads this post will most definitely 1) never attend this horrible event and 2) spread the word. Keith

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Scarlett June 7, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Thanks Keith! It’s great to see that people are as disgusted as me, and hopefully if enough people spread the word tourists will stop going and they will put an end to the brutality! x

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Jess June 7, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I’ve never been interested personally, but I probably would have gone if I group of friends were into it. Over the past few years, i’ve heard about the cruelty involved, and I am really glad that I never went and supported it! There are way better traditions anyway! Good on you for writing this post Scarlett :)

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Scarlett June 7, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Thanks Jess :) I think loads of people go purely because they don’t know the cruelty involved rather than being evil bastards. It’s just a case of spreading the word xxxx

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Marina June 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Thanks so much for this post! I’ve been seeing lots of posts about Pamplona recently and it always makes me feel heartsick for the animals. I don’t think most people realize how much the bulls suffer or that tourist participation keeps the tradition alive. I like to think that they don’t know, because the alternative-that they know and don’t care-is far too depressing.

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Scarlett June 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Thanks for commenting Marina! I totally agree with you – I hope people genuinely just don’t know about the cruelty because they’ve been swept up with the tourist side – the other doesn’t bear thinking about! xxx

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Himbokal June 7, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Good post, Scarlett. Stuff You Should Know did an interesting podcast about bull-fighting in general about a month ago. They talk a little about the Running and a lot about the origins and the torture that goes on with the bulls prior to the fights. Worth a listen: http://podcasts.howstuffworks.com/hsw/podcasts/sysk/2012-05-03-sysk-bullfighting.mp3

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Scarlett June 7, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Thanks Himbokal – it’s so horrible to hear about the torture, but important to in order to spread awareness. Thank you for making that podcast x

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Nomadic Translator June 7, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Wow, didn’t know any of this was going on. Shared on all social networks I use…

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Scarlett June 7, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Thank you Maria – it means a lot! As I’ve said – one of the problems is that people just aren’t aware of the cruelty before they bok their plane tickets, so raising awareness is brilliant :) xxx

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Q June 7, 2012 at 7:51 pm

I’ll be honest with you: I pull for the bulls every time I see this on my TV. I think the whole idea is stupid and that the bulls should not be provoked like this. So, when a bull flips one of these idiots in the air, I get a kick out of it. Sure, I don’t want to see anyone get seriously hurt or killed, but to see the bulls get even some times brings a smile to my face. #karma

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Scarlett June 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Q, I know exactly what you mean. I hate to see people get hurt too… but I find it hard to sympathise considering they are CHOOSING to put themselves in harms way for a “kick” – the bulls don’t get the same choice!

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ShimonZ June 8, 2012 at 2:20 am

Yes, I’m rooting for the bulls…

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Emma Gray June 8, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Great article highlighting a serious issue. Well done for writing it! Going to share it now… x

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Scarlett June 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Thanks Emma xx

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Toni June 8, 2012 at 1:29 pm

SUCH a good post hun – people don’t realise the suffering that the bulls go through before they get to run through the streets. Whilst I don’t wish anyone to die, I do always root for the bulls to at least cause some pain to a few people because it serves their naivety right!
If you want to go to a fun festival, go to La Tomatina!
Great post sweet xx

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Scarlett June 8, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Thanks Toni! You’re so right about the naivety – these people who join in have no idea how their actions affect these poor animals – and other people. My mum’s friend’s wife actually went to Spain to protest against the cruelty – she saw a man nearly get trampled by a bull and ran to push him out of the way. She ended up almost paralysed and eventually her body couldn’t fight anymore and she died a few years later. All because she was trying to stop the cruelty to the bulls and some stupid, naive man who wanted “a thrill” chose to put himself in danger and she couldn’t bear to witness him get hurt. This is her foundation: http://www.vickimoorefoundation.org/content/vicki.php xxx

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Hannah June 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Great post Scarlett. I am so glad you are highlighting the dreadful cruelty behind the bull run, and am in 100% agreement with you. I have found it particularly disappointing to see this event garner so much attention of late, especially with some very well-known bloggers taking part this year. Thank you for putting the truth out there. Anyone in any doubt about the cruelty behind the run should watch this http://www.earthlings.com/

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Jake Barnes June 8, 2012 at 10:31 pm

First, I agree: don’t go. There are already too many people on the streets and it is difficult to get a good run in. Second, I agree that bullfighting, particularly by North American standards is cruel. The bull dies in the end – how could it not be? That said, most of the other propaganda you’ve mentioned above is nonsense. The bulls in Pamplona live 4 to 5 years roaming the Spanish dehesa, a largely free existence but for the fact that they have veterinary care. When the arrive in Pamplona, they are kept in open air corrals (with shade available if they choose.) Anyone can see them – no dark cells or blinding light. No torture in advance of the run as the abolicionistas like to claim. They run to their destiny which is death in the ring. Is that cruel? Yes. What is the alternative? a) the toro bravo is bred specifically and only for this purpose – ban it and you will send the breed into extinction: you will have done what the matador does and deprived them of life to adulthood roaming the range. Frankly, given the chance to to die in the plaza or to never have lived at all, I choose the former. Even if ranchers were for some reason to keep this agressive breed in existence as a source of meat, rather than 5 years on the range, they’ll get 2 yrs in close confined pens followed by a bolt through the back of the skull. Again, the death in the plaza is a better alternative. I’m sure most of the people who read this will react viscerally and in opposition to this view without thinking or researching any deeper than PETA propaganda. Hopefully one or two though will do so and while I could care less if they support toreo, at least they won’t propagate these lies.

Best,
JB

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Scarlett June 8, 2012 at 11:20 pm

First of all Jake, (or Zac? Sorry your e-mail/name difference is confusing) thank you for the articulate comment. I would much rather people who support and promote this blood sport to speak up as to why, rather than bury their heads in the sand. So whilst I don’t agree with what you’ve said, I can at least thank you for that.

To begin with, there is a huge amount of evidence to prove that the ‘open air corrals’ and ‘enjoyable life in the sun’ (prior to the torturous death in the ring) aren’t luxuries that the vast majority of these animals get to enjoy. I’m sure a small minority of the bulls are ‘lucky’ enough to get this treatment – after all the industry has to give the illusion that it’s all above board.

Also, there is a huge amount of evidence to show that these bulls are sedated, severely injured and often given harsh medication and laxatives to disorientate, weaken and anger them prior to the fight.

Most importantly however, your argument seems to centre around the fact that breeding an animal for the sole purpose that it is slaughtered in a brutal, bloody and merciless way is acceptable. Thus implying that cruelty, so long as it is for the entertainment of humans, is fine. Which I, for one, will never agree with.

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Megan @ Roamancing June 9, 2012 at 12:26 am

I’m not gonna lie, before reading this article my only knowledge of the running of the bulls came from Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Thanks for spreading awareness!

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Scarlett June 9, 2012 at 1:13 am

Thanks for reading Megan xxx

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Beverley | Pack Your Passport June 9, 2012 at 1:42 am

Jen; such a great, well-written, aritculate post. In all honesty I knew that the whole event was bad news but I never realised that the bulls were treated so cruelly. One of my friends is running with the bulls this year and, as much as I support anything she wants to do/travel to, I can’t get over the fact that this is such a massive event and yet so much cruelty is going on.

I can only hope that the people who are running with the bulls this year and ignorant to the appalling way in which these animals are treated and that this is why there are still attending.

Great post hun xx

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Scarlett June 9, 2012 at 10:36 am

Thanks Beverley! I know a handful of travel bloggers are attending and promoting the event this year. As you said – as much as I usually absolutely love to read about their adventures and respect their choices – I just hope, as such influential people in the industry, they do their research about the event and give their readers all of the information. Thanks for reading babe xxx

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Simon P June 9, 2012 at 4:06 am

I’m a red-blooded Kiwi man who like nothing better than digging into a big piece of steak. Preferably rare. But having said that, I completely agree with you that the running of the bulls is just cruel.

It used to be that women traditionally couldn’t vote but much of the world has abolished that tradition because it’s just plain wrong. Why shouldn’t this one be abolished too?

I’d much rather go to La Tomatina!

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Scarlett June 9, 2012 at 10:38 am

Thank you Simon, that is brilliantly put! The argument of ‘tradition’ is so weak it’s almost laughable! Thanks for reading xx

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Denise June 9, 2012 at 4:19 am

good point about horrible traditions…I always mention the same point when people play the ‘it’s a tradition card’!

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Scarlett June 9, 2012 at 10:40 am

Thanks for reading Denise – it’s good to see I’m not the only one who thinks the argument is ridiculous! xx

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Nomadic Chick June 14, 2012 at 8:11 am

Clearly I need to make a comment here.

First off – if any of you are not vegetarians or vegans, it’s an interesting stance you all take on the cruelty POV. Considering the business of agra-farming and how cows, pigs or chickens are bred and slaughtered to put food on your table. For a great book on the subject, read Fast Food Nation (http://www.amazon.com/Fast-Food-Nation-Dark-All-American/dp/0060838582). You’ll never want to eat meat again. Seriously. :)

Here ya go – I was a practicing vegetarian, tried veganism and now officially a pescetarian. My decision to become veggie was based a lot on health issues, but of course – I am an animal lover as well.

And yes, I’m attending the fiesta this year. And yes, I am one of these prominent bloggers that is participating in the encierro. Here’s why.

I started GRWB to likely prove a point and mostly a feminist point. When someone is saying on FB that it’s illegal for women to run – sorry, that puts a stick in my craw. It’s not illegal for women to run. And no – it’s not something that every woman will want to do. I think my ultimate point with GRWB is, just cause someone says you shouldn’t do something, doesn’t mean you can’t. And I feel that women face those negative voices a lot. Those hurdles.

Also, don’t forget that the fiesta has many layers to it other than the encierro. It’s a religious event, a place for penas (clubs with long standing members) to come together. There are many family oriented events as well.

However, your focus is on the cruelty aspect of the treatment of the bulls. As a traveller, I’ve had to learn things the hard way. You will see and witness and experience things you don’t agree with. That really bother you. I adore dogs and cats for instance, and had to face some ugly scenes. Like – seeing a dead puppy on top of a pile of garbage in India. This is how India views dead animals.

Like – realizing that the truck full of cages with dogs and cats in the back in Saigon, Vietnam wasn’t a pet farm, but for sale – for food.

Does this mean I won’t sit next to a Vietnamese person or Chinese person who’s eating a dog? Upend the table and yell at him or her because what they’ve done is considered cruel where we’re from? No. Nobody likely would do that, because it’s not our place to consider ourselves culturally dominant. Many rural Chinese (and some city dwellers) eat dogs, cats, turtles, frogs, eels, all kinds of birds – lots of animals that we consider pets, not because they suck as human beings, but because somewhere in their history they had to (think Great Leap Forward) and they don’t view those animals as loving pets, like we do – to them – they are food.

Spanish bullfighting is not simply a tourist draw — it goes back hundreds of years and many spectators are Spanish. Here’s where I draw the line and I realize it’s a thin line. I’ve been reading a lot about it and these bulls are specifically bred for bullfighting. They have their balls, so to speak, which means they are aggressive, powerful and strong animals. Because I say that, it doesn’t mean I’m saying they deserve death. Just stating the facts – the type of animal used for bullfighting. The matador trains for years and so do the animals (in their own way). Many Spanish view it as an art to be able to elude an animal that weighs 575 lbs. and could gore you to death or crush you by walking over you.

My distinction is this: they are specifically bred, not CAPTURED IN THE WILD, like other animals (think elephants) who are forced to do tricks for tourists. There is a difference. Again, does that make it okay to kill the bulls? I’m not saying that. They are bred for a certain purpose, not unlike the animals that end up on your dinner table. And the harsh reality is, the bull is either going to end up in the ring or sold for meat. Spanish food culture is meat based (traditionally).

Spanish bullfighting is based on tradition, a long-held tradition that nobody has to support or enjoy just because you are in Spain. Again, though, also consider it’s not necessarily our place to tell another culture that what they are doing is wrong. I’ll tell you a quick story. I grew up in Alberta, Canada where cows rule. And cowboys. Try being a vegetarian there, it wasn’t easy. Every year, Calgary holds a worldwide event that thousands of tourists and locals attend: the Calgary Stampede.

PETA has paid a visit more than once, because the cowboys compete in an event that is high speed horse racing, with chuckwagons. Crashes have been known to happen in history and horses have died or had to be shot. Now, this bothers me, because I think horses are regal, intelligent creatures. My ex hubby actually worked on the horse ambulance one year to make extra money during school and he was there when a chuckwagon crashed. They had to put a horse down.

The chuckwagon races are also about tradition, guess hundreds of years ago, this is what cowboys did for sport. Not everyone agrees with it, yet the sport still goes on, much like bullfighting. And much like the bulls – the horses are mainly bred for their speed and agility. You mention that just because something is tradition, it doesn’t make it right. I don’t disagree, yet, I think when it comes to sports like this – tradition seems to win. Not saying that’s right, but that’s been my experience.

However, your whole point of this post is to encourage people not to support the death of the bulls. And I agree, one shouldn’t if you feel very passionate about it, yet I also encourage you all to read up on these things more intimately. To understand the bullfight in Spanish culture and the place the bull has. You many not understand all the nuances (I certainly don’t), but the crowd and the matador actually view the bulls with respect – as a worthy adversary.

Although that’s not something we can relate to, as a traveller, I learned that I had to be less judgemental (and no, I’m not saying you are all judgemental), more tolerant and understand even though we don’t agree with what’s going on. If you’re gonna travel the world and deal with different customs and culture – you will have to. Simple as that.

So, the final thing to address is me. You all likely think my going is silent support. And it probably is, which I can’t get around. For the record: I’m not a big fan of any animal dying. However, I also urge you to remember that human beings are complex and multi-dimensional.

I go to this event knowing the factors, not agreeing with all of it, but still going, just like some of you probably eat meat, yet at the same time think killing the bulls is cruel. We should never paint people as one-dimensional (not that anyone is doing that).

So, those are my comments and reasons. I hope you support my reasons for doing the encierro, but if you don’t – I also understand your POV.

I’d suggest further reading with these materials before making other conclusions:
http://www.amazon.com/Running-Bulls-Americans-Adventure-ebook/dp/B004L62HWI

http://www.amazon.com/Pamplona-Running-Barrios-Fiesta-Fermin/dp/0972122303

http://www.amazon.com/Death-Afternoon-Ernest-Hemingway/dp/0684801450

http://www.amazon.com/On-Bullfighting-A-L-Kennedy/dp/0385720815

Cheers!

Jeannie

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Scarlett June 14, 2012 at 9:36 am

Thanks for your articulate and balanced comment.

To start with, yes I am a vegetarian and very selective over any eggs/milk I consume – a decision I made purely because of my issues I have with the way we farm and slaughter meat. Along with that I also volunteer at my local animal rescue; where I see a whole range of shocking cruelty on a weekly basis (see: http://scarletwonderland.com/whipped-a-puppy-what-a-big-brave-man-you-are).
So I am all too aware of the awful things that happen right on my doorstep… not to mention across the world!

That said, I wouldn’t shun someone who does eat meat – it’s simply my choice not to.

Also, as you said, nor would I storm away from a table in China because the person next to me ordered dog – although I would make a concious decision not to attend the restaurant in the first place, knowing it would make me uncomfortable. Again, a personal choice.

Whilst all of the points you stated above are all completely relevant examples in the case of humans ‘v’ animals (thank you for bringing them to the attention of anyone reading this), and I could discuss for days with you over a few cosmos – in the interest of avoiding going backwards and forwards with this, I’ll stick to the bullfighting issue.

Whilst I don’t agree with your arguments about it being part of the Spanish culture and there for we can forgive it, I can understand why people would have that point of view. Although I should also point out that recent statistics have shown that over 70% of Spaniards are not in favour of the fights.

The reason I wrote this post, however, was not to lead a one-woman mission to ban bullfighting forever (although when I was 7 I wrote a letter to John Major, the Prime Minister at the time, asking why he didn’t just tell Spain to stop it. He wrote back… and my mum actually framed it). Instead it was to help to make potential tourists aware of the other, darker side to the festival. With the festival gaining so much attention and hype of late, there is a risk that many people will head across on the back of that rather than fully reading up on the cruelty involved.

The post was not, as you may believe (and I got the impression you may have thought from your comment on Will’s blog that you directed at me) a personal attack on you.

However, as you have brought personal issues into it let me be completely honest:
As I mentioned above – I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog and think your style of writing is fabulous. I would (and have) recommend it to anyone looking to learn more before they set off travelling.

With regards to GRWB, however, I think that the way you are promoting the event is one-sided. Being such influential and respected bloggers in the travel community, I personally believe that – out of respect to your readers – your site should at least acknowledge the cruelty involved and give all the facts… rather than simply promote the ‘adrenaline junkie’ side by posting quotes such as “The bulls are big and mean and dangerous. They don’t take any prisoners. Luckily the surgeons in Pamplona are experts in treating gorings”.

Again, this is just my opinion. At the end of the day, I understand that you have your own personal reasons for doing the encierro, and whilst I might not fully understand or agree with them, I do respect your decision. It’s not my place to judge what you do or try to stop you from doing it, and one hand I do admire your passion to prove that us women are just as physically capable as men.

The only thing I can do as a blogger, is to write about a subject I feel passionately about. So I hope you can also support my reasons for writing this post.

Thanks for commenting x

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Nomadic Chick June 14, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Thank you Scarlett – for your thoughtful response. When I mentioned vegetarians, it was mainly directed at the commenters. I figured you were a vegetarian based on the nature of the post. And good on ya for writing what you believe in. :)

Don’t worry, I’m not saying in any way people need to forgive the Spanish – I suggest people should try to understand. My father was a horrible, shitty dad who cheated on my mother (a lot) and gambled our household money away. I completely understand why he did the things he did and clue into his mental state, but that doesn’t mean I forgive his acts.

In travel, in culture – understanding why a culture behaves a certain way does not mean you’re supposed to condone it. It just means you get why they are doing it. Doesn’t mean you have to like it.

IMO, that is how one respects another’s culture. I’ve met my share of inflexible, intolerant travellers who barge into where ever (a restaurant, spa, hostel) who start wailing about why this “place” aka, culture is wrong and what they do is insane, etc. That’s like someone turning to you and saying, “Everything you do is utterly and completely wrong, and should be corrected.” I’m sorry, but that is like stating that the first world is better and the things we do are more superior than the third world. Untrue and arrogant of anyone to do that.

To seek understanding will relieve anyone of much pain, anger and pointless emotion.

However, Spain is considered first world and still do things that are vastly different than what we are use to. Polls are quoted frequently in media and certainly have immense power, but the tide of things these days is based on popularity as well.

Being eco-minded, vegan, vegetarian and environmentally informed is popular, now mainstream, when years ago people use to think Greenpeace were quacks. Trust me, I’m much older than you and remember those times. That’s how old I am. :) It doesn’t mean I’m smarter, just older.

The stats make sense at 70%, yet the sport of bullfighting still persists. In my estimation, it’s survival can’t be based on tourism alone. Much like the chuckwagon races where I grew up, despite people disapproving, the sport continues.

Considering that I just started GRWB, I beg you to not assume what I plan to write. In fact, a post of that nature will discuss the contraversies and what the bulls are bred for. See – that’s the kind of writer I am. :) If you decide to read more of my work, the more you’ll discover that. 😀

Oh, and I swear on a bible that I had no idea that you, Scarlett, was THE Scarlett from Will’s blog, thus never once thought this was a post directed at me. LOL. Funny! I felt like it should be addressed, because hey – I am one of those prominent bloggers and to be silent on the subject just seemed wrong.

And of course, I understand why you wrote this! Makes perfect sense to me.

Cheers, lady! Keep writing, keep being passionate and keep inspiring!

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Scarlett June 18, 2012 at 7:42 am

Thanks Jeannie,

You’re right, I shouldn’t presume what you intend to write on GRWB – and I’ll certainly stay tuned to find out more :) As I said – I think you’re a beautiful writer and, from your balanced and understanding comments I know you’ll look at the festival from a similar perspective :) xxxx

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James June 17, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Very true. This is a barbaric practice and has been glamorised by travel writers without any imagination.

You can run with the bulls in London without any of the danger or cruelty to animals! Just beer and good times :)

http://www.runningbulls.co.uk

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Scarlett June 18, 2012 at 7:39 am

Love it James x

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Lesley Peterson June 18, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Agree 500%, Scarlett. The bulls do indeed look more confused and blundering than threatening whenever I’ve seen this televised, and the runners are provoking them to chase. Idiotic, pathetic and cruel. Some “festivals” and traditions definitely need to be scrapped, in Spain and elsewhere.

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Scarlett June 18, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Thanks Lesley – I’m glad that you agree :) It truly is barbaric, and it’s hard to understand why this cruelty continues in the 21st Century. Thanks for your comment xx

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Lesley Peterson August 1, 2012 at 5:41 pm

I just returned from a great time in Key West where hundreds of bearded, burly Ernest Hemingway look-alikes participated in a faux running of the bulls. Check out my website for fun pics and memories. I may not have the right to tell others how to live but I certainly can decide where I invest my tourism dollars. It won’t be in countries with a poor record of human or animal rights. Whatever its origin and religious meaning to the locals, Pamplona for tourists is just another box to be ticked on the generic bucket list they’ve all printed off of the internet.

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Scarlett August 1, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Thanks for reading Lesley – I’ll check out those pics! I complete agree about the generic bucket list – I just hope people research it a little more before they go! x

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Rich August 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Hi Scarlett

I feel totally the same. I couldn’t go to it. I once worked for a travel company who sold trips to the event. I didn’t sell any and didn’t want to!

Also, the tradition argument. Such a non-starter it’s comical!

Great post.

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Scarlett August 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Thanks for reading Rich – glad that you didn’t sell any, and it’s good to hear some agreement about the “tradition” argument:) xx

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Jaillan August 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I couldn’t agree more. In fact this year I was quite astonished at how many travel bloggers went to the running of the bulls with seemingly no idea that it was even controversial let alone that if you stop to think about what it entails, it’s quite repulsive. I shared a link at the time from a Spanish native living in London about how ashamed it made him to be associated with this ‘tradition’. I personally would not support any kind of animal cruelty by attending or promoting it and am glad to hear so many feel the same. Well done on addressing this issue. Also agree it has somehow got on some ‘list’ of must-dos and it is time it came off that list!

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Scarlett August 16, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I was astonished too Jaillan! It’s good to see your Spanish friend is against it – another reason the “tradition” and “culture”arguments are non-starters! Thanks for reading! xx

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