Call it the “Third Battle of Bull Run” - over thirty animal rights activists spelled out their opposition to bullfights, bull runs and other such “exploitive” events with their painted bodies before the traditional Running Of The Bulls at Spain's annual San Fermin festival.
The protest, organized by PETA and AnimaNaturalis, took place on July 5th, 2012 and involved 32 participants wearing little more than red and black bodypaint posing in front of a large and lurid banner. The protesters lay down upon a scorching-hot brick road in central Pamplona, twisting themselves into letters and words that formed the statement “STOP BULLFIGHTS.” Previous protests have employed painted animal rights activists forming wounded bulls with their assembled bodies:
The graphic display is only one of many similarly themed protests leading up to the traditional Running of the Bulls (in Spanish, “Encierro”) at Pamplona's San Fermin festival. The event's origins date back to the early 14th century but achieved a huge boost in popularity when author Ernest Hemingway described it in his book The Sun Also Rises. The San Fermin festival takes place annually from July 6th through 14th, with the Running of the Bulls scheduled for 8am daily from July 7th until the end of the festival.
PETA will be conducting a tradition of their own on July 5th with the “Running of the Nudes”, an annual (since 2002) parody event in which several hundred near-naked activists follow the same half-mile route the bulls run two days later, though without the impetus of electric cattle prods and sharp sticks. Why all the fuss over a few running bulls? “Most people don't realize that the same bulls who are forced to run through the streets of Pamplona wind up being tormented, stabbed and slaughtered in the bullring later that night,” stated Lauren Bowey, a 21-year-old Australian woman who will be running nude on July 5th.
“If running nude through the streets of Pamplona helps to bring awareness to this cruelty, then I am more than happy to endure a bit of embarrassment,” added Bowey. If you're a bull (or at least, if you're bullish) and you agree, honk your horns! (via The Age, images via AnimaNaturalis)