Dear Valued Interested Persons,

It is with a lasting sense of shame that 20 years ago last month I recall participating in the infamous and equally inhumane ‘festival’ known as ‘Running with the bulls’ in Pamplona, Spain, 1998 – I was 23 at the time.

My overriding memory of the 36 hours spent in Pamplona is the wheezing sound coming from a bull, some 50 meters away from I, during a ‘bull fight’.

Bull fighting must be the most deplorable excuse for ‘sport’ on this plant.

Equalled only in its barbarity is the inappropriateness of the use of the term ‘fight’ – what it is, is an: un-euthanised, torturous, drawn out, public mortal wounding and/or execution of a living creature – that culminates in rapturous applause.

Bull fighting is up there with the most cowardly acts I have ever witnessed of and kind – it is the absolute antithesis of bravery.

The evening I spent in Pamplona 2 Australian men around my age were killed:

  1. by falling off a statue;
  2. from passing out in the gutter and being cut in half by a street sweeping machine the following dawn – this death drew very little attention and from my observations of the scene of the incident hindered nothing going on around it whatsoever – the party continued in full swing notwithstanding the patch of pavement / public street the incident look place on only 3 hours earlier had been the scene of something distinctly more reminiscent of an active war zone than a ‘celebratory festival’;

Final number of youth deaths over the week-long (6th to 14th July) festival period was estimated at 12 – the number of bulls that suffer an inhuman, torturous death counts in much greater numbers than 12.

I left Pamplona very ashamed that I formed part of the imbeciles and cowards that participate in the event.

In September 2018 a new Prime Minister took residence in Spain, Pedro Sanchez.

The below email contains link to register your support to ban bull fighting and bull runs, should you feel so inclined.

The Running of the bulls ‘festival’ is a highly dangerous, completely immoral, totally inhumane, appalling happening.

I am not a vegetarian nonetheless no peaceful animal deserves to have its torturous death played out as a public spectacle masqueraded as sport.


Brett O’Brien