06/27/04 Running of the Nudes
Zagreb woman joins "Running of the Nudes" in Pamplona
PETA and Animal Friends Hope "Human Race" Will Expose and End Cruelty Behind Bull Run
Pamplona, Spain - Animal Friends activist is off to Spain to join an estimated 300 PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) supporters from around the world who will run through the streets of Pamplona - most of them wearing nothing more than red scarves and plastic horns on their heads - two days before the city's annual "Running of the Bulls" as part of PETA's third annual "Human Race" on July 5. The streakers' goal is to let tourists know that there is a win-win alternative to inciting a stampede among panicked animals, who end up being tormented and slaughtered in the bullring later in the day.
PETA supporters have written to the mayor of Pamplona, asking her to embrace a new tradition - the festive, naked "Human Race" - and to stop abusing bulls, who are terrified by the ordeal and often suffer serious injuries as they slip and fall when forced to charge down cobbled streets. Despite the growing Spanish disdain for bullfighting - reflected by the Barcelona City Council's recent vote to ban this primitive bloodsport - and the thousands of complaints from all over the world that have been flooding her office, the mayor of Pamplona has not responded to PETA's request.
The Running of the Bulls is tourist-driven, yet most visitors haven't a clue about the cruelty that bulls are subjected to before, during and after the run. Electric-shock prods and sharp sticks are typically used to torment and frighten the bulls into a stampede. As the animals flee, they sustain bruises, cuts and broken bones. In the bullfights following the run, bulls are often intentionally debilitated with tranquilisers and beatings and have petroleum jelly rubbed in their eyes so that they are less able to resist their tormentors' attacks. According to The New York Times, as many as 90 per cent of tourists who attend bullfights never return after witnessing the animals' suffering.
"We hope PETA's idea for a Human Race will eventually end the hideously cruel bull run," says PETA Director Dawn Carr. "If tourists knew how much these animals suffer for this bloody spectacle, they'd pack their bags and leave."
This year's "Running of the Nudes" boasts twice as many participants as last year's race, which garnered international media attention, and includes runners from Canada, the US and almost every European country, including Ukraine, Germany, Austria, the UK, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Russia, Slovakia, Hungary, France, and Spain. To view footage of last year's "Human Race," please visit RunningOfTheNudes.com.
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.
What awaits the animals that evening in the bullring is even more gut-wrenching. Bulls are repeatedly stabbed and bled in order to weaken them, and bullfighters sever the animals' spines while they are fully conscious.
Plan to Be in Pamplona
Please join the "Human Race" by planning to be with us in Pamplona, Spain, in 2004 for the third annual "Running of the Nudes," scheduled for two days before the first of the bull runs. Compassionate and fun-loving people from around the world will meet to run the streets of Pamplona to show the city that it doesn't need to torture animals for tourism. Tourists will travel to the region (and spend their dollars) for celebrations that exclude cruelty to animals.
For the first time this year, Croatia, that is, Animal Friends, will have its representative in Pamplona. Let's keep our fingers crossed for her!
You're also invited!
What: "The Human Race"
Where: Pamplona, Spain
When: July 5, 2004