Olympic Gold Medal Winner Calls on Mayor of Pamplona to Replace Cruel ‘Running of the Bulls’ With ‘Human Race’
Australian Olympic gold medal-winner Cathy Freeman, writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), has fired off a letter to Pamplona Mayor Yolanda Barcina Angulo, urging her to put an end to the barbaric annual “Running of the Bulls” and supplant the event with a kinder, more festive, humans-only run called the “Human Race”.
“Running is something that I have enjoyed for years, but your ‘Running of the Bulls’ is no fun for animals”, writes Freeman. “Please let me know that you will end this bloody activity. The world is watching and hoping that you will do the right thing.”
Before the bulls are released to run through the streets, electric prods and sharp sticks are typically used to torment and frighten the animals into a stampede. As the bulls run to escape, they sometimes slip and injure themselves, sustaining bruises while also being hit by spectators.
For the third consecutive year, PETA members led hundreds of activists from around the world, many wearing nothing but “bull horns” and running shoes, in a media-mobbed “Running of the Nudes” on Monday—along the same route that the stampeding bulls will be forced to follow today—as a means of promoting a humans-only run.
Cathy Freeman competed at the Olympic Games in Barcelona (1992), Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000). She competes in the 100, 200, 300 and 400-metre events and achieved a childhood dream by winning a gold medal at the Sydney Olympic Games. She enhanced her legendary status when she ran her victory lap waving the Aboriginal flag.
For more information, please visit PETA’s Web site RunningOfTheNudes.com.
Cathy Freeman’s letter to Pamplona Mayor Yolanda Barcina Angulo follows.
7 July 2004
Honourable Sra Dña Yolanda Barcina Angulo
Ayuntamiento de Pamplona
Dear Alcalde Barcina Angulo,
I am writing in support of turning the barbaric "Running of the Bulls" event into a joyful, allvolunteer, humans-only run - a "human race". Running is something that I have enjoyed for years, but your Running of the Bulls is no fun for the animals.
I was shocked to learn from my friends at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that the bulls who are stampeded through the streets of Pamplona during the day are then tormented and slaughtered in the ring that night. This is medieval, not an activity that belongs in the 21st century.
Word is getting out that bulls "fought" in bullfights are treated like animated garbage, deliberately weakened with laxatives and beatings behind the ring before being teased, tortured and stabbed to death in front of a screaming crowd.
Tradition has never justified cruelty to animals. Won't Pamplona follow the lead of Calonge, Tossa de Mar, Vilamacolum, La Vajol and the Canary Islands in banning bullfighting, a move that has won these places international acclaim and respect?
With a "human race", everyone wins. Having only willing participants makes it an event which everyone can take pride in and enjoy. Please let me know that you will end this bloody activity. The world is watching and hoping that you will do the right thing.
Ms Angulo, I beg you, make this the last year of the bloody race!