Why the Running of the Balls Is Our New Favourite Festival
The “Running of the Balls” is a new festival in Mataelpino, Spain, that everyone can get behind.
No, that’s not a typo – the town has swapped the archaic Running of the Bulls festival, in which terrified animals would have been hounded through the streets, for an innovative event, in which revellers are instead pursued by giant polystyrene balls!
This Spanish news clip shows the fun that ensues:
We love it when people find creative and compassionate ways to replace cruel traditions, so we’re encouraging other towns that still practice bullfighting events to follow Mataelpino’s example. We’ve offered to provide any town that wants to stop tormenting animals for entertainment with its own gigantic 125kg ball, painted to look like a bull, to use instead.
After the bull runs held in Pamplona and other cities across Portugal and Spain, bulls are stabbed to death in bullfights – a sadistic, painful and prolonged death that causes intense suffering.
Every year, people are gored and trampled while running with bulls. This year saw Aussie tourist Jason Gilbert gored so badly during a bull run in Pamplona that he almost died. He has since spoken out against the festival and urged other thrill-seekers to stay away.
Across Spain, support for these barbaric activities is dwindling, with 76 per cent of Spaniards saying that they have no interest in bullfighting and bans being put in place in Catalonia and various towns across the country. Mataelpino is just one more example of how Spanish society is moving forward. As a local resident told reporters, “It was the tradition but it was a dying one. People don’t want to see frightened animals running for their lives any more”.
One of the only reasons that bullfights are still held is because massive subsidies from the EU prop up this disgraceful blood sport.