Protesters Go Topless In Pamplona To Oppose Annual Running Of The Bulls
July 5 / Rick Chandler / SportsGrid
The San Fermin Festival in Spain begins on Thursday -- featuring the annual Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, an event by idiots for idiots which begins on Friday. In it, tourists are herded through the narrow streets of Pamplona by bulls headed for the slaughter, and I can think of no more apt example of the human condition.
From 50 to 100 people are injured every year at the bull run, and 25 have been killed since 1924. One was an American -- in 1995 Matthew Peter Tassio, 22, from Glen Ellyn, IL, was gored to death during the run, and authorities suspect the murderer was a bull. Tassio is a rare example of someone who kicked the bucket while working on his bucket list.
It's important to remember that the bulls are the ones suffering here -- most end up the the bull ring, where they are tortured with spears and swords before choking to death on their own blood. And protesters show up every year to oppose this (go figure), with this year's protest so far being the biggest yet.
Bulls have no bucket list -- they're just trying to get through the day and mate with as many cows as possible. And if they have to be killed -- humans are part carnivore, after all -- all they ask is that they not be tortured beforehand. Or mocked and prodded by morons running down the street (I'm looking at you, Rick Reilly).
Like the bulls, bullfighting itself is enduring a slow and painful death in Spain -- the events are so poorly attended that some large arenas are closing. The main thing that keeps the "sport" alive is tourism dollars, and the largest tourist event is the Running of the Bulls.
So before you go off to earn your "I Taunted Cattle" merit badge, remember that in this case, tourism kills. There are plenty of other items on your bucket list that, frankly, you're never going to get to -- like watching the Northern Lights, or dating a Jonas Brother. Why not work on those? And why spend all that money to aid the torture of innocent mammals? You can watch the Dodgers in the playoffs for that.
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