Diary of a PETA Photographer – Pamplona 2010
When I was asked to go to Pamplona for PETA to photograph the 2010 PETA and AnimaNaturalis anti-bullfighting demonstration, I knew it would be long and tiring trip in hot temperatures to a city that holds one of the most outdated, cruel events – the Running of the Bulls. But I also knew that my discomfort would be nothing compared to the suffering that bulls endure in bullfights and during the run.
Arriving the day before the planned demonstration, which is held annually two days before the Running of the Bulls, I was greeted by just shy of 100 passionate, dedicated activists and old friends from across Europe, all of whom had set aside other plans in order to come to the demonstration and speak out for animals slaughtered in bullrings around the world. Although by this point I had been told how the scene would look, I didn’t realise until I arrived at the site just how powerful and inspiring it would be.
As you can tell from looking at the photo below, a great deal of thought and planning had gone into this demonstration, and the resulting display was impressive, to say the least.
Bulls are not accustomed to the noise of the crowd or being surrounded by people. Prior to the event, they are kept in crowded, dark enclosures, and when they are prodded onto the streets with electric shocks, they are momentarily blinded by the sunlight. During the run, participants hit the terrified bulls with rolled up newspapers. Because the corners of the route are quite sharp, many animals lose their footing and slide into walls, breaking bones and injuring themselves. All the bulls who slip and slide on the streets of Pamplona are running towards a bloody and horrific death in the bullring.
The majority of Spain’s population no longer supports this cruelty. In 2004, the Barcelona City Council declared Barcelona an anti-bullfighting city, and 40 other compassionate and progressive Spanish towns have followed suit.
I left Pamplona filled with a desire to carry on fighting at full strength against this deplorable “sport”. The bulls need all the help they can get, so please take action today.