Activists Run Semi-Nude to Protest Pamplona Running of the Bulls

In early July, Pamplona once again held its centuries old — and world famous thanks to Ernest Hemingway — running of the bulls. Along with thousands of spectators and runners, about 200-300 animal rights activists from 15 countries showed up to protest the event.

Sponsored by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, the activists protested by running the route the day before the event topless and in underwear. According to The Associated Press,

They had planned to run the route totally nude but did not have the necessary town hall permit, the Efe news agency reported.

So Pamplona actually has a permit allowing people to run through the streets nude? How cool is that?

Anyway, according to PETA (emphasis added),

Every year, thousands of visitors from around the world arrive in Pamplona, Spain, to join in the annual spectacle of the “Running of the Bulls.” But tourists are appalled to see the terrified animals racing through streets crawling with drinking, brawling people. The bulls’ hooves slip on the pavement as they race frantically, trying to escape the chaos. Sometimes, in their confusion, they bash into doors or the sides of buildings, breaking horns or legs. Human runners and spectators gouge them with sticks or pull their tails, and they, too, are sometimes injured, gored, or trampled by bulls desperate to escape.

So on the one hand, according to PETA, its tourists — especially Americans — responsible for the continuation of bullfighting and the running of the bulls, but on the other hand these very same tourists “are appalled” at what they see. Okay, then why do they keep on coming?

Regardless of whether or not the event is cruel, it is certainly extremely popular (in fact, according to the Associated Press, the event is so popular that there are no less than eight separate runnings of the bulls over a weeklong period).


Protesters decry bullfighting in Spain. Associated Press, July 5, 2004.

Running of the Bulls Starts in Spain. Associated Press, July 6, 2004.

Thousands run with Pamplona bulls. The BBC, July 7, 2004.

Running of the Nudes. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Undated.

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