A Load Of Bull And Gore In Pamplona
July 15, 2014

A Load Of Bull And Gore In Pamplona

If you love animals, don’t watch these videos and the accompanying photos. If you are of the squeamish type and hate pain, gore and seeing human flesh ripped up, it may be best if you don’t watch them either. If you love to see animals get their revenge on their tormentors and don’t care how bloody it gets, this could be right up your alley. You have been warned. The videos are posted on the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper website, along with enough gruesome still photos of this year’s collection of injuries at the infamous Pamplona bull run to keep the most avid, blood-thirsty horror film addict happy for weeks.

The films clearly show the charmingly-named bull Olivito getting his own back on three “bull runners.” According to the Mail, two were from Australia and one was from Spain, but it’s the Aussie supposedly known as J.G. who really gets the treatment. Olivito manages to pin our antipodean friend up against a wall where he carefully pushes one of his giant horns through J.G.’s thigh. J.G. is apparently now recovering in a hospital. His condition is said to be serious. They always say that, don’t they? The bull’s condition doesn’t need any confirmation, but if it did, it could be said to be dead. All the bulls at Pamplona, and the other similar events, end up in the bullring at the close of day, where they are killed. It is known as entertainment or sport, but with lots of killing of animals as the main ingredient.

So what is it all about, this annual Pamplona death and injury fest? Maybe it’s this: add too much adrenalin, testosterone, machismo, and booze together and what do you get? Well, acting stupid is likely to be top of the list. It may be an ancient tradition going back hundreds of years, but that doesn’t make it right, does it? I can think of some other ancient, long-standing traditions that didn’t make the pass into the new millemium. Let’s see, there was boiling people in oil, that was a good one. Being hung, drawn and quartered, that was another one. Stretching people on the rack — another quaint pastime with a long, illustrious history. As far as human endeavour goes then, having a long tradition cannot justify the continued existence of a specific activity.

And some people never learn, do they? The Mail reports that, with delicious serendipity, an American named Bill Hillman who had written a book called Fiesta: How To Survive The Bulls of Pamplona was “gored in the thigh after he tripped and fell.” After Bill’s experience, I reckon his book will get remaindered at the bookshops and won’t trouble the compilers of the top-sellers lists too much, either. Here’s a good tip for surviving Pamplona’s bulls, Bill — don’t go there!

It seems that in recent years, the participants fuel their bull fever with all night drinking sessions before the bulls are released. This has brought increases in “reckless behavior” with one plonker deciding this year to slow down in front of the bulls and take a selfie. He is now being sought by the authorities. But not, of course, by the bulls — they are all dead, remember?

Image Credit: Jasper Juinen / Getty Images News

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Eric Hopton is a writer, musician, artist, and photographer. He has a degree in Social Anthropology and has always been passionate about travel, having so far visited 73 countries. His music and sound work has been used in many projects around the world and can be heard on Bandcamp and Freesound, where he has contributed over 1,300 sounds under his sonic alter ego, ERH.

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