why do they run with the bulls

Every year, thousands of people choose to run from over a dozen bulls and steers through the streets of Pamplona, Spain, as part of the city's
The 9-day-long festival takes place annually from July 6th to July 14th and is filled with music, fireworks, sangria, and bullfighting. The bull runs are an important part of the San Fermin festival. The festival kicks off with a fireworks display known as Chupinazo in front of Pamplona's city hall, and the next morning the real fun starts: the bull runs. The runs start on the second day of the festival (July 7th) and happen every morning after that until the last day of the festival (July 14th). Crowds gather in front of Pamplona's city hall. The runs start with the release of a rocket, after which the bulls and steers are released onto the streets, and the "mozos" or runners start running. The run is a total of 900 yards (2,700 feet) and is only supposed to take about two minutes. The route is clearly marked by barricades that keep the animals from escaping into other parts of the city. The run leads both the mozos and bulls into a bullring, the site where bull fights take place later in the day. The bulls that run through Pamplona's streets are the same ones that are later killed in the fights. It's a risky event 15 people have been killed during the event since 1910 and hundreds are usually injured. So far, in this year's festival. Mozos who have fallen during the run are not supposed to get up, since there's a higher chance they'll be gored if they do. If the mozos are feeling too threatened by the bulls, they have the option of jumping behind one of the barricades placed along the street for the run.


A man being gored by a bull in the ring. So why do so many people risk their lives every year to be chased through the streets by bulls? The tradition of. In the earlier years of these traditions, bulls were kept in a bullpen miles from the city's bullring where the fights happened. Come the morning of the fight, the bulls would be released and led to the ring, giving men the chance to show off their bravery by jumping onto the bulls and riding them. The San FermГn Festival also has a that traces back to the 12th century, when it was a religious ceremony taking place in October that celebrated FermГn, one of the patron saints of the Navarre region, where Pamplona is located. The festival was later moved to July in hopes of better weather, and was most popular in the years after 1926, when Ernest Hemingway published "The Sun Also Rises," which chronicled the festival and inspired people to go see it for themselves. The festival today. Today, the festival is a far cry from the religious celebration it once was. It's a massive street party that attracts thousands of thrill-seekers from all over the world. There's copious amounts of sangria, lots of crowd-surfing, music, and dancing in the city streets. Festival goers who choose to participate in the runs today do it for the thrill and the glory. A runner said the experience was like being shot at and missed in a. Another runner described it as a "wonderful" adrenaline rush. "There are coming down that street six fighting bulls and this maddened mass of humanity.


It is life and death and it's a risk and it's a challenge and it's wonderful," he said. I'm no stranger to wild behaviour в but there's one thing that even I wouldn't do, and that's. That can f**k right off. While there may be guts (from the runners who are gored), there certainly isn't any glory in trying to stay a few steps ahead of frightened, confused bulls. In the lead-up to the event, the animals are held in dark enclosures before being forced out в usually with an electric shock prod в into the jeering, drunken crowd. As they are momentarily blinded by the sunlight and struggle to take in their surroundings, men hit them with sticks and rolled-up newspapers. The panicked animals take off running down the city's slippery cobblestone streets, often losing their footing and slamming into walls в or spectators в in their desperate attempt to flee the chaos. This isn't a test of nerve and resolve. It's a pathetic display of human idiocy and cruelty. At the end of the day, each bull is herded into the city's bullring to fight to the death в except that it'll never be a fair contest. From the moment he enters the ring, he has no chance of winning. As many as eight men spear and stab the exhausted animal to weaken him further. At this point, he sometimes drowns in his own blood, but if not, the matador finally attempts to kill him with a sword. If the matador's bravado ends in failure, an executioner enters the ring to sever the bull's spine with a dagger.


This, too, can be botched, leaving him paralysed but still alive as his wounded, bleeding body is dragged out of the arena. Then another bull enters, and the horrific process starts all over again. It's truly more twisted than anything I could have imagined, even during my wildest days with MГtley CrГe. And let's be honest: if people paid to watch a man in a sparkly leotard torment and butcher a dog or cat in this way, we wouldn't dare try to excuse it as "tradition" в we'd declare him a sicko, lock him up, and throw away the key. Fortunately, most people in Spain don't support bullfighting, and many consider it a national disgrace. It's the tourists who keep the bullfights alive and the bulls dying. By paying money to run with the bulls or attend bullfights в even out of curiosity or by passively going along with events lined up for them in their travel itinerary в they are supporting cruelty. By the time they rush out of the arena in horror, the damage has already been done. Fortunately, organisations like PETA and other kind people are working to get these cruel, cowardly spectacles banned across Spain в and they have my support. I hope they have yours, too. Because from music to motocross, we have limitless ways to entertain ourselves that don't involve harassing, torturing or killing animals. Tommy Lee is a writer, television personality, drummer, and cofounder of the heavy metal band MГtley CrГe. He's an animal rights advocate and a long-time supporter of PETA

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