Running with the Bulls
But for those of you who have considered it, here are a few facts about the festival, from BBC News.
* Runners often consume copious amounts of alcohol the night before the early morning run. I don't think they do an IQ test for the runners.
* The route is 900 meters alongside 6 half-tonne fighting bulls. See comment in the first fact.
* Then the bulls are led to the fighting ring, where they are ceremoniously tortured and killed. I am not an animal rights activist, but to call it bullfighting is somewhat of a misnomer. While it is true that someone is fighting a bull, the plain fact is that no matter what, the bull loses. Even if he kills the Matador. Seems rather unsporting to me. At least when you are deer hunting, no one calles it "deer fighting."
* Running with the bulls is only one part, albeit the most famous part, of a nine-day festival, honoring San Fermin, patron saint of Pamplona.
* Since 1924 when they began keeping records of the event, 13 people have been killed, though many others have been injured. This year, for instance, a New York man was paralysed from the waist down, though I don't know for sure how he was injured. It was fairly certain that he was not gored while running.
* Bullfighting in general draws significant animal rights protests, but at the Pamplona festival, they traditionally protest in the nude. I wonder if they are really trying to stop the animal abuses. If I was doing something, and a group of people wanted to stop the activity, so they took their clothes off to stop me, I don't think that would deter me, depending upon what they looked like naked.
* On 14 July, the revelers end the festivities with a traditional Spanish song entitled Pobre de mi (PoorMe).
In any case, good luck to those who participate. Perhaps it is merely natural selection at work, who knows?