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Running of the Bulls: Cruel Tradition or Bunch of Bull-oney?

The annual running of the bulls kicked off in Pamplona, Spain yesterday and so far one Irish tourist has been killed. Despite the risk of death and injury, thousands of people let bulls chase them for over 800 meters on the way to the bullfight arena.

While human injury upsets everyone, some animal rights activists get particularly upset about how the traditions entails "torturing and killing a defenseless animal." PETA describes the festival like this:

Bulls are bred in fields and are not accustomed to the noise of the crowd or being surrounded by people. They are kept in crowded, dark enclosures, and when they are prodded onto the streets with electric shocks, they are momentarily blinded by the sunlight. They are terrified and are hit by runners with rolled up newspapers.

In order to show their opposition, PETA supporters participate in the Running of the Nudes two days before the major tourist-attracting bull runs. Whose side are you on — PETA's or Spain's?


A fighting bull takes the curve.

Hundreds of people are chased along an 825-meter course.

The course leads to the arenas where bullfights are later staged.

New Zealand participant is helped by the Red Cross.

A protester opts for the Running of the Nude.

Participants are trampled.

The first day of the San Fermin bull run on July 7 in Pamplona, northern Spain.

A young reveler jumps from a statue.

Participants are charged by Conde de la Corte fighting bulls.

Spanish matador Serafin Martin.

Source

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bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 8 years
While I'm not a proponent of the running of the bulls in Pamplona (largely because it has ceased to be tradition, and has become mainly a thing for stupid tourists to do), I'm torn on the issue of bullfighting as a whole. On one hand, it disgusts me, because it's violent, bloody, cruel, unfair. That's the reasonable, logical reaction to it, no? But seeing a bullfight is a different matter entirely. Bad bullfights are unbearable, yes, and I've seen some where the bull just refuses to fight, so they lead it back out of the ring and it goes to pasture, but a good bullfight is - an experience. It has duende, that shiver-up-the-spine feeling... it's part of an essential piece of Spanish, and especially Andalusian, culture. And the plazas de toros DO get filled up for bullfights because it IS considered so important to many people. It's a really tough call, I think... I would be sorry to see it go, but I don't feel so great about it staying, either.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I think the running of the bulls to be very humorous. They get 6 Bulls mad, release it into the streets, and then encourage people to get in their way. IMO, they should runn the Bulls every day, to get rid of a few more people.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Sigh :oy:
stephley stephley 8 years
If I turn around and take note of something, I am not involved. I am aware of what is taking place. Awareness is not involvement. You tied it in to something more to try and support your criticism of other people.
foxie foxie 8 years
Maybe by "getting involved" we should voice the obvious wrongs being committed. Maybe it means we should fight ignorance and move for more civilized, less barbaric ways of celebrating. "Getting involved" doesn't have to mean starting wars and trying to butt in through legal or governmental means. Getting involved is as simple as learning about the cruelty the bulls face and not supporting it. So surely you can see how one wouldn't understand the comparison you made of the war in Iraq to people not supporting bullfighting, great s.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Takes adeep breath. ok: me: us getting involved posters: doesn't mean we should look the other way ergo getting involved. i have completely stuck with my original statement, and can't for the life of me see where your confusion comes in? Is it just to be obstinate?
stephley stephley 8 years
You're not expressing yourself very clearly - No one said anything that in any justifies your original comment: "I love how some of you are all about us getting involved in other country's traditions and practices, but at other times, cough, mass murder by a dictator, cough, think we should stay out." And no one issued any kind of call to action, simply stated opinions or facts.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Well, hon, that's what i'm talking about. A call for action = getting involved.
stephley stephley 8 years
That's not a call for action hon. It's a simple statement of fact: tradition doesn't demand that we ignore something.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Here's one, you must have missed it. "Just because its tradition doesn't mean we should look the other way."
stephley stephley 8 years
Re-read entire thread, no calls for action against anyone. One person would like to see bullfighting banned, another plans on being unhappy if dragged to a bullfight, otherwise, nothing but expressions of dismay at cruelty.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
oh, I get it. And I was going to say that about the people caring more for the bulls than the people, but wasn't up for it tonight. It is so hostile here and my hormones can't take it.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
Because they think their message will come across better, sex sells, great sommelier. It amazes how people get so mad about animals but when it comes to human lives, it's just total collateral.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
Because they think their message will come across better, sex sells, great sommelier. It amazes how people get so mad about animals but when it comes to human lives, it's just total collateral.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
Because they think their message will come across better, sex sells, great sommelier. It amazes how people get so mad about animals but when it comes to human lives, it's just total collateral.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
^^^^^Exactly! And why to peta people like to be nude so much?
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
Nothing should be done, quite frankly don't people have better things to do than rushing to spain to throw flour bombs and spit on people, for god's sake? The economy, the loss of 62 000 jobs, hmm i don't know.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
By "we" do you mean everyone who has posted in an agreeing manner on this thread? Because if so, if you read again, you will see they are saying something should be done.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Me personally? Well, when I invade countries I find myself to be well informed.
stephley stephley 8 years
The difference is, we'll leave them to their traditions - no one's going to rush over to invade Spain to teach them the error of their ways and maybe take over their leather or wine production. And you guys are selective about which dictators cough oil rich you want to take on.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
I love how some of you are all about us getting involved in other country's traditions and practices, but at other times, cough, mass murder by a dictator, cough, think we should stay out.
foxie foxie 8 years
So here's the score. Good reasons to stop bullfighting : 10 really good, really painful reasons. Good reasons to keep bullfighting : "Uh... they've done it a long time." Hm... compelling!!
Bebeshopper Bebeshopper 8 years
The "Running of the Bulls" makes me sick to my stomach. This is as bad as the dog fighting we have here in the U.S., and I pray that Spain develops some morals on the issue and outlaws it. If people are stupid enough to do it and get hurt or killed, so be it. The bulls have no choice but to be tortured at the hands of the cruel. It is barbaric and outdated.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Although my maternal patriarchal blood line leads right to the heart of the matter I've always found the running of the bulls to be one of the most stupefying annual events to entertain the hearts of men.
em113 em113 8 years
Just because its tradition doesn't mean we should look the other way. I'm fully aware of bull fightings place in Spain's history but that doesn't make it any more humane. Some things should be changed no matter how engrained they are into a culture. I would like Bull fighting eliminated completely, but there are ways to modify it to make it a little less cruel (not killing the bull, using a "stick" with paint that marks the bull without stabbing it.)
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