Lisa Tilley finds out the prologue to the famous running of the bulls in Pamplona is a torture-free spectacle with more boobs and bums than bovines

FEET pound the cobbled streets, throwing dust into the long light of the early Pamplona morning and the crowds are steadily gathering in anticipation of today’s run. The air is tense; a dark head dips to the ground with nostrils flared and sharp horns pointing at the horizon.

But the San Fermines have altered a little since author Ernest Hemingway watched bulls run the half a mile into the gaping ellipse of the bullring to meet their slow torturous end. The runners on this particular day are less bovine and more babe-like – and their horns are made of plastic.

What’s more, they have exposed their credentials to the frescito of the Pamplona morning and are set to run – naked or virtually naked – the same course that over the following nine days, will be the last journey of so many bulls during the town’s San Fermin fiesta.


The Running of the Nudes is the brainchild of animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), which now sees over 1,500 “hotties” (as one overzealous spectator describes them) run through the infamous streets in protest against the gruesome treatment of bulls in Spain.

People started running naked through the streets of Pamplona in 2002, and the bare-faced runners are now made up of 30 different nationalities, who turn out to protest against the bull-runs of Pamplona and bull fighting in general.

It is, claim the organisers, a “fabulously cheeky way to draw attention to a serious issue.” And the atmosphere is buoyant: “Torture is neither art nor culture,” shout the bashless boycotters, while carrying placards saying “Ponte en la piel del toro!” (put yourself in the bull’s skin!)

Bullfighting may be defended as a fundamentally Spanish art-form but it is largely subsidised by foreign tourists. In fact, a few months ago a Gallop survey found 72 per cent of Spaniards have no interest in bullfights.

For Nick Plant, a nude runner from Dorchester, it is the dim-witted tourists who need a wake-up call. He wanted to take part to “heighten awareness for tourists who only see the cruelty and suffering bulls face during a bullfight while watching one – after already having paid for their ticket.

“Even if they walk out, as many do, their money has been spent and the damage done. Instead, they should strip off and party with the Running of the Nudes in a peaceful, sexy, and animal-friendly alternative.”

According to PETA, 40,000 bulls are killed each year in Spain’s bullrings, while 200 horses also die when caught up in the gruesome struggle.

However, attitudes in Spain are beginning to change. Perhaps because of the Catalan region’s proximity to northern Europe, this has been the first part of Spain to move towards banning the blood sport.

The council of Barcelona declared the city an anti-bullfighting zone in 2004, and 38 other Catalan municipalities have followed suit. Thanks to events such as The Running of the Nudes, says PETA, the bullfight is slowly being confined to the history books where it belongs. For all those involved it is a case of “out with the old and in with the nudes!”

84 COMMENTS

  1. This article is wrong in just about every detail.
    Information supply by PETA is invariably, and itentionally, incorrect.
    How can an record number ( 40,000 according
    to Peta ) bulls be killed in Spain when ( again according to PETA ) interest in these events
    is at a low level?
    PETA continue to do the animal rights cause great harm by publishing numbers ( verifiably ) several times greater than official Government statistics.
    As far as deaths of horses is concerned, PETA
    appear to be using a number ( 200 ) from the 1920’s, and the accidental death of horses is
    now very much a rarity. Horses are far more likely to be killed in any equestrian event
    you may be care to name.

  2. You are missing the point entirely. Two figures cited and referenced to PETA do not make the article “wrong in every detail”
    The bulk of the article covers the attention grabbing and cruelty free ‘running of the nudes’ event – Could you tell me which other “details” are “wrong”?
    Other sources quote figures of 25,000 and 35,000 bulls killed annually, but for those who oppose animal torture it would not matter if it were 1 bull killed.
    The article explains that Spanish interest in bullfighting is dwindling and TOURISTS continue to buy tickets – hence the numbers killed.
    Being pedantic over numbers is a poor counter argument.

  3. We will be moving to Spain shortly, not to live as ex-pats but to fit in with the community and accept their ways. As part of this we are learning Spanish and watch Andalucia TV via satellite. Bullfights are broadcast on Sunday afternoons and I notice that the rings are packed with spectators who mostly appear to be locals.

    The bravery and dignified appearance shown by the toreadors is incredible, a complete contrast to footballers.

    If one chooses to live in a Country then accept their way of life; if you don’t like bullfighting then don’t go. Remember we are guests in their country.
    PETA is a multi-million dollar organisation dedicated to forcing its unscientific, bigoted view of life on everyone, and its views on bullfighting are not to be taken seriously or as “facts”.
    One thing that will arouse antagonism amongst the local people is outsiders coming in and telling the locals to change their customs to fit in with the incomers usually urban views on society.
    I know your paper is for ex-pats but I notice that one or two of your contributors have some extreme “tree-hugging” opinions which comes through in their articles.
    Some balanced reporting might not go amiss unless you wish your paper to be considered just the domain of “interfering lefty foreigners”.

  4. Beware of what you criticise! You may be a “tree hugger” too one day… especially once you move to Spain and find yourself living cheek by jowl with nature in crisis. I appreciate your vast experience of Spain “via satellite” but your opinion may change after a decade or so in the country.
    Suggesting that people should compromise their morals because they live abroad is absurd. There are Spaniards who abhor animal cruelty and everyone (ex-pat or not) is entitled to an opinion wherever they are in the world.

  5. Lisa, do not try to be sarcastic without knowing all the facts. I have been to Spain on vacation nearly every year since I was about 12 (some 40 years ago) and have attended several corridas.
    “Morals” are not fixed and are moulded by upbringing, education, propaganda, experience and eventually common sense. Also “animal cruelty” is not a hard and fast concept.
    You are entitled to an opinion but if the Olive Press gives you space for your views then it should also provide similar outlet for a different view.

  6. PETA is despicable and tasteless in everything they do and say. They are the “scum” of “modern” societies, if modern is constituted by everybody having a god damn opinion about everything even if they don’t understand it and don’t even try to. They are media whores/nazis.Don’t believe a word they say! Go see bullfights, or don’t but leave everybody else the xxx alone with your lies and propaganda!

  7. peta lies
    the running of the nudes are soundly booed (whistles)by the locals. they are not nude either.
    75% of americans don’t care about baseball.
    horses are rarely killed in bullfighting.
    JOSE tOMAS A RETIRED MATADOR RECENTLY CAME OUT OF RETIREMENT. SOLD OUT PLAZA. SCALPERS WERE GETTING THOUSANDS FOR CHOICE SEATS AND WHERE WAS THIS………..IN BARCELONA LESS THAN 6 WEEKS AGO IN THE CAPITAL OF CATALAN……WHERE ACCORDING TO THIS ARTICLE BULLFIGHTING IS BANNED.
    BULLFIGHTING IS IN ITS GOLDEN AGE. IT HAS NEVER BEEN BETTER OR MORE POPULAR AND ITS POPULARITY IS SKYROCKETING IN FRANCE DUE TO A FRENCHMAN BEING ONE OF THE BEST TOREROS TODAY.
    THESE ARE FACTS TO PETAS LIES.
    jr

  8. Cant stop laughing on how Lisa got b/slapped, by someone who knows. You can try to “defend” PETA (or PITA: Pain in the A**), but it ain’t gonna work.

    Barcelona is supposed to be “anti-taurine” yet they continue to hold bullfights. The anti-taurine movement is so light over there, its not worth mentioning, but I will, only approx 3000 people showed up to protest, so much for the 70% who oppose it (must have been hiding in the closet).

    Running of the boobs, is hogwash, and as Marty said, pure propaganda, except for the “hotties”. Doesn’t affect anything, except tourism to the city, the running of the bulls will continue to thrive for many years to come.

    Like Les said, “if you don’t like bullfighting then don’t go”

  9. The article is wrong in just about every
    ( I correct myself ) important detail.

    The article repeats word for word PETA
    pronouncements that abound on the Internet.
    PETA’s “noise” is quite disproportionate
    to their informed support and they deliberately
    distort the truth to perpetuate their own
    existence.

    The existence of the corrida de toros
    ( I would never use the pejorative and
    misleading translation “bullfight” )will
    no doubt cease when the Spanish people decide
    to end it.

    A majority may have no interest, which is not
    to say thay they are opposed. Few non-essential things in life interest more than 28 percent of any nation’s people.

    Spanish people deeply resent being told how
    to behave by those who they call anglo-saxons.

    I don’t wish to “convert” anyone. My only wish
    is for arguments to be founded in fact. If the
    opponents have the better argument it is
    inevitable that they will eventually prevail.

  10. Jerry,
    the article does not say bullfighting is banned in Barcelona, but as Elizabeth Nash explains in The Independent “Barcelona declared itself an anti-bullfight city in 2004. Enthusiasm for los toros in the city is waning: two of Barcelona’s bullrings recently closed through lack of audience – one is being transformed by Lord Rogers of Riverside into a shops and leisure complex – and the remaining Monumental faces closure”.
    Christy Guinness, “repeats word for word”? Once again your comments are outlandish. The first 4 paragraphs are a description of an event. The following clarify what PETA say they are protesting against – with quotes in quotation marks. It is a generic format.
    If you derive pleasure from watching an animal be tortured to death you have to accept that others will not share your views – and if they choose to express this through peaceful protest they have that right. What’s more the press will inevitably report on their protests if they are colourful enough.
    Marty & Jerry, your militant language does not help your cause. Calling people “nazis” because they disagree with you is tasteless and offensive.

  11. I´m totally against the corridas, and hope some day they will be abolished. But I want to say some things:

    1) They don´t kill bulls in Pamplona, so why they do this there?

    2) As Christy say, Spaniards really hate to be teached by (for example) British who still allow fox hunting.

    3) It´s true that corridas are related to a minority –southern part of Spain and Madrid. They are also usually related to the right-wing as many lefties refuse them. But this minority is big enough to think that corridas are not going to dissapear in the next years. That´s it.

  12. Just a quick correction to the above: they do kill bulls in Pamplona. Not, admittedly, during the famous “running of the bulls” but the bulls are being run down to the Plaza de Toros where later on they will face their death in the afternoon.

  13. So then the main problem is a celebration where they don’t kill bulls, or that bulls are killed in Spain? Because we should remember that chickens and sheeps are also killed in Spain (althought not during sheep running celebrations).

  14. Alvaro,
    Your point 2) above. Fox-hunting is now illegal in Britain. This was brought about by all types of people with morals protesting against those that have none in this context. Don’t be fooled by the urban/rural propaganda (this might have even worked, had it been true). Those like yourselves that can recognise obvious cruelty need to stand up and be counted. Bullfighting will definitely cease as civilisation progresses, its just a question of how long this will take.

  15. Nobody mentions Mexico they also kill bulls first this coward on a very protected horse and a very long lance stabs and cuts the neck muscles so that the animal is half as dangerous then the Hero shows up while I threw a seat cushion from the stands into the ring they fly like frisbees
    and many other frisbees followed we had made our point !

  16. Bull fighting is an ancient entertainment, conserved and modernised in the 18th century. The bulls ed are bread from types long extiguished in chumy north europe. They provide a genetic base for cattle with a high resistance to desease, very high food conversion factor and low water consumption. As a second factor they are able to defend themselves against predators. Is there anything wrong with playing with your food. And is that what the ¿animal lovers? object to. Is it worse to see how powerful your steak is, or do they prefer a short sharp shock in a slaughter house. The northern idea that what is wrong is wrong ejoying yourself. In spain we still belive that to enjoy yourself is not sinful. Is it worse to kill one fox while on a horse and with a few friends than to poison the beast, which is what happens now in the UK. Leave bull fighting alone. Ignore it if you wish. But if you have the luck to see one of the great bullfighters, Jose Tomas, El Fandi or Curro Romero, then you will be hooked.

  17. Toro Bravo is not a species but a breed. i.e. they have been artificially bred. In fact everything about bullfighting is artificially old-fashioned, the idea of the golden age (that never really existed) clung onto by the backward-looking and insecure.
    Children play with their food, but they learn manners eventually.

  18. In all of this conversation I find it a bit odd that we are referring to this as a “moral” issue. Isn’t it in reality an “ethics” issue. I personally have chosen not to attend a bullfight for my own personal reasons, but I will give others the right to do as they choose.

    Until there is a serious call for the end of this “tradition”, it will continue. As for accepting cultural aspects of a country, I don’t think that you have to accept all aspects. There are countries with horrible human rights violating cultures and I don’t think that if you live there you have to accept them.

    And tree hugger or not, what are you doing to stop these types of “culturally” acceptable practices?

  19. And is that what the ¿animal lovers? object to. Is it worse to see how powerful your steak is, or do they prefer a short sharp shock in a slaughter house. The northern idea that what is wrong is wrong ejoying yourself. In spain we still belive that to enjoy yourself is not sinful. Is it worse to kill one fox while on a horse and with a few friends than to poison the beast,

  20. Since Spain joined the European Union it has done very well out of this. Now it is pay-back time and they should learn to behave like Europeans.
    In most European countries if you tortured an animal the way bulls (and horses) are tortured in a bullfight you would be prosecuted, fined and possibly put in prison.
    The old chestnut of foreigners being guests here and therefore should not comment really is silly. I have lived in Spain for 28 years and have always paid my taxes, so if I am a guest at least I am a paying guest.
    If you saw a child being tortured and this happened outside your own country would you stand by and say: “I am a guest here, so I must not do or say anything”? Surely not. So why is it different to protest againt animal torture.
    As to the breeding aspect of fighting bulls. You must be blind and senseless not to find it degrading to breed beautiful animals for the sole purpose of entertaining a mob watching these creatures being tortured to death.
    As for the “bravery” of the matadores. The reactions of these animals has been studied over a long period of time, which gives the “fighter” a huge advantage. If the chances were 50/50 you might talk of bravery, but in reality the bull never wins.
    This sort of bravery is such a dumb macho concept anyway. Totally useless and silly. If you are so in need of seeing bravery go to countries in the 3rd world where doctors and aid workers are helping starving and dying people, often against all the odds.
    Luckily more and more Spanish people are beginning to speak out against this horrendous spectacle, which really belongs to another age. The fact that the pro-bullfighers get so hot under the collar about PETA and other anti taurino organizations must mean that they know that they are losing the battle.

  21. i’d put anybody that has commented in support of bullfighting on here in the ring and slowly torture them to death

    now that would generate some business

    all spaniards should feel ashamed of their country for their record of animal cruelty – the worst of whic is not shown in the bullring

  22. As Steve said, if we rounded up some homeless people and put them in a ring, thousands would attend to see them tortured and maimed, as of course was considered normal entertainment in recent times. That goes for any country – a good bit of hanging and flogging was a day out for the family…

    I don’t need PETA, or anyone else for that matter, to tell me if it ethical to breed a creature in order to watch it slowly and painfully be maimed and killed for entertainment. I would say it is not ethical at all, but then again I love a juicey steak and chips! It is very hard for anyone to be 100% ethical in this world, however ridding society of the killing of animals for human entertainment would be going in the right direction for a more caring/ethical world. The breeding and eating of animals is equally as abhorrant. I will try and become a vegetarian in 2010.

  23. Steve In a democracy people can have their say,the fact that another does not agree with you makes no difference you have to win your argument.Your comment about putting those who may have a different opinion to you in the ring and slowly tortureing them to death reduces you to their level,and in fact allienates those who are against but do not want confrontation.
    Cock fighting, Bear baiting, Badger baiting, Fox hunting all illegal in UK but with the exception of Bear baiting (only because there are non left) are still practiced in the countryside and Dog fighting is on the increase.So first before we start lecturing anyone else we should put our own house in order.
    If their was no support for Bull fighting there would be no bullfighting, its a simple as that, as they are still operating there clearly is.
    You need to put your money and time into this join organisations and campaigne against it properly .Writing rubbish on threads is easy.
    Oh by the way before you stick me in the ring, yes i am against it !

  24. Its amazing, people come to a country and bring their own morals and standards with them. For hundreds of years the English stormed across the world with a bloody fist and an iron boot and they crushed anyone who got in their way, made people adopt their morals and principles, and here we have, in many of the comments on here and the attitude shown by PeTA (I know they are not an English terrorist group) is yet more of an example of this.
    “We have come to your country, you need us in your country, but we will change your country to how we want it” and the Americans who represent this filthy organisation are the same, look at any country they have invaded, they are now trying to “Invade” another culture, via the back door and change the world into a McDonalds eating, Coke drinking, Sofa sitting carbon copy of their own festering nations!

    Bullfighting is in the blood of man, it represents the most base, carnal and oldest desire of man, to hunt, to kill, and once we all realise that we cannot walk away from a million years of evolution we will all realise what is in our nature. These are cows, cattle, a beast of burden, without being bred for food and fight they would not live, they would not be there, so in sense we are saving them from not living, giving them reason to exist.

    Why is it that the English always do this? Is it because they have a need to be the biggest? The best? Is it because they are nobodies and nothings? Why not stay in England, and in America for the Americans, and leave Spain be!?

  25. Good Point Fred

    They dont keep the animals in a box for 2 days prior to going to slaughter and torture them through a gap in the top though do they – if so im mistaken

    i havent had the pleasure of visiting an abattoir but if what your saying is right they must slowly torture the animals for 20 minutes stabbing them with various instruments and pretending there some sort of difficulty to it for vast sums of money

    in a bullfight once the horse mounted buffon has stuck his 10 ft long javelin into the poor thing a couple of times it would die anyway in half an hour

    so thanks for pointing that out to me – i’ll book tickets for the abattoirs showing this afternoon to check if you’re right

    the other point i made was regarding spanish fiestas where they set fire to bulls horns and let them run round till they burn to death or batter a donkey to a pulp for a laugh

    if you can prove that the local abattoir also behaves like this i agree to give up eating meat

  26. Oh dear Steve, I was beginning to like you and then you reveal that you are complete plonker with your last post.

    Do you not grasp the issue? If we continue to torture and eat and denegrate animals then we denegrate ourselves. Eating an animal (and the process of creating it just for consuming it) is actually worse than bullfighting in my opinion since it is an entire process of cruelty from cradle to plate.

    Visit a few abattoires Steve – you’ll give up eating meat then.

    As for Jur’s statement “without being bred for food and fight they would not live, they would not be there, so in sense we are saving them from not living, giving them reason to exist” that is the most STUPID statement I ever heard in my life (pity because the other comments you made were all spot on.)

    It’s rather like the ignorant Spaniard I talked to last week when I asked him why he left all his picnic litter behind when leaving a beauty spot. He said that he wanted to give employment to the litter picking man so he would leave his litter on the ground instead of using the bin situated 10 metres away. Was it you by any chance, Jur?

  27. Well Fred, aren’t you the sanctimonious one!

    Tell me why anyone would breed an aggressive bad tempered cow? They wouldnt, so the breed would simply die out.

    Its the same as all the earth lovers who think that stopping to buy natural corks will save the planet, WRONG, all it will do is place the nails in the coffin of the Dehesa.

    At the end of the day, the Spanish will do as they please, and so long as people keep trying to attack their cultural identity their resolution to continue will grow.

  28. Excellent post, Jur.

    As you say, we, like all animals who inhabit this planet, have had million years of evolution but along comes a group of hippies in the 60s telling us that eating animals is wrong.

    I can just imagine the lion kingdom turning round and saying, ‘You know what? I’m going off this leapard and cheetah diet I’m on. Bring on the berries!’

    We are animals. Animals eat other animals to survive. Don’t think there are any species of animal who have given up meat AS A LIFE CHOICE to turn veggie.

    Funny how many veggies seem to have dogs as pets. We can’t be cruel to animals but it is ok to domesticise them and conform to our lifestyle. Do we as humans really need to keep dogs as adornments or pets?

  29. It gets worse Livit, PeTA want to ban pet ownership!

    And don’t get me started on their record in America, a couple of years ago PeTA was charged over killing dogs that it had rescued and dumping the bodies in random bins and on wasteland.

    Hardly animal rights is it?

  30. I love these threads where the posters are so ignorant that they are going to lose their arguments in public.

    So let’s start with Livit. Well, his last post sums him up really. Not only does he have contempt for ALL animals he doesn’t even understand that humans are not even designed to eat meat. He has not even understood the basics of mans evolution on the planet. Yes, that’s right, our anatomical equipment ­(teeth, jaws, and digestive system) all ­favours a fleshless diet. Simple facts – do some research.

    A popular argument used by uneducated people (like Livit) is that that “in the wild, animals kill other animals for food – it’s nature!!” First of all, we are not in the wild. Secondly, we can easily live without eating meat (wild animals cannot) and killing animals, not to mention we’d be healthier but we don’t because we have been conditioned to eat meat. I know a few vegetarians who would vomit at the sight of meat being eaten; this proves that it is conditioning from an early age that decides if you are a meat eater, or not. And of course people live quite happily without meat. Fact: man is not supposed to eat meat, and does not need need to eat meat.

    We will leave Livit to go and sit down and slowly realise that he will never be able to chase down a deer, catch it and tear it apart with his fragile nails in order to eat it lol. That puts to bed the lions and cheetahs issue which Livit didn’t realise would help obliterate his argument from the outset.

    Jur argues that a breed of cattle may die out. That may be the case. Extinctions happen all the time; thousands of species have been lost over time. If something has been bred to be eaten then it follows that if you don’t breed it then it will only exist in smaller numbers, or maybe not at all. This is man’s doing; man can undo it.

    As I said before I am a hypocrite as I eat meat and wear leather shoes, but I do have a conscience about it and I wish that my parents had brought me up not to eat meat, like some of my friends. Animals have feelings, they hurt and feel pain and as we now know from scientific research, have a lot of other emotions too. If we all really knew what was going on in the meat industry, hardly anyone would eat meat.

    “At the end of the day, the Spanish will do as they please, and so long as people keep trying to attack their cultural identity their resolution to continue will grow.”

    Bullfighting is dying “sport” and every commentator I have seen calls it barbaric. As the Olive Press state, over 70% of a recent poll of Spaniards wanted it abolished, so its popularity is not growing. Fox hunting is quintisentially British, but that didn’t stop legislation being passed. The same will happen in Spain.

    It’s a pity some people on this forum do not have a conscience about these things, but at least they can be exposed and defeated easily. Do come back won’t you :)

  31. Fred
    Fox hunting legislation passed? they are out there every week in the season exactly as they were with one exception when a fox is cornered then a person has to hopefully eventually shoot it rather than the hounds catching it .A shotgun is not the best weapon to kill a fox with,proven by the amount found regularly minus a leg or dying of gangrene in the countryside.
    Fox hunting was inefective as a method of fox control,but it provided a means of maintaining the countryside for wildlife,as estates and farmers allowed the hunts onto their land which was maintained for foxhunting and game shooting which happens by coincidence to be perfect for other wildlife. There are thousands shot ,trapped, gassed and killed by cars every year the few and it was a few hundred that the hunt caught tended to be the old sick or already wounded, thus maintaining a healthy population.
    The people of new Liarbor spent nearly a year at their last attempt to ban it .They used massive amounts of commons time which could have been used to pass laws for the benefit of children, the old, sick and the poor oh and the country. It was politically motivated against what they saw as toffs riding around the countryside enjoying themselves when in reality if you attended a hunt you would see farm workers and many working class people there . Am I pro bullfighting? NO ,am i pro fox hunting NO. But if you look at the way these things go, which barmy New liabour council will be the first to ban children catching frogs, newts and sticklebacks in the park boating lake ?
    Oh sorry they dont run a council anymore, how sad, never mind they can get proper jobs .

  32. Yes, the poor fox gets shot in the end, but it doesn’t get torn apart by the hounds. The legislation will be extended in time, I am sure.

    My point was that UK legislation was at least passed on this activity, which is a very British pasttime. Fox hunting is a difficult issue since it is very hard to enforce, and I think only one case has come to court where the fox was killed by hounds. I am sure there are many more incidents. Bullfighting is at least easier to address in this respect and, in time, people will put an end to it.

    Killing animals does nothing to further our planet. Spend the time helping people or volunteering for a useful non-violent activity.

  33. So why aren’t you a vegetarian Fred? To say you ‘have to be brought up to it’ and that it’s your parents fault for bringing you up to eat meat is, frankly, one of the dumbest things I’ve read! I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 23 having eaten meat throughout my entire life up until then and have not touched it for the past 24 years. I don’t eat meat because I object to the commodification of animals.

    Also, any so called sport which involves the harming and killing of animals for pleasure is indefensible. To cite ‘cultural’ reasons is just bullshit. We should just accept that Spain is a little backward in this respect but that they will see reason in their own time, which appears to be happening as bull-fighting is losing its popularity.

    As for fox hunting in Britain – equably indefensible. But let’s be honest, the only reason it was banned is because of class jealousy. Nothing to do with animal welfare. Otherwise the antis would be protesting outside halal butchers as well, but hey, mustn’t upset the Muslims!

  34. So who first made you eat meat then Chris? Err… and you call me dumb? Are you telling us that as a 2 year old you made a conscious decision to eat meat? It took you nearly quarter of century to change, so why did you not change when you were younger?

    Our parents instill their opinions and behaviours on us. It is called “learnt behaviour”, if you want to look it up. Sure, people change later in life, like you did with your personal choice of eating of meat, but my point is that our basic values are based upon our parents/carers. Laziness and going with the flow and being brainwashed, and of course getting used to eating meat as a convenience, are the other reasons why I personally kept on eating it, but at least I’m scaling down now.

  35. We seem to be in agreement on most things Fred except your inference that you can’t be a vegetarian unless your parents were. That’s just plain daft! My parents never were and it wasn’t until my brothers went off to university and came back with these ‘strange’ ideas (early 80’s) that I saw the light. Nowadays kids hear about this sort of stuff at school and give up meat at the ages of 12 or 13 often when their parents are meat eaters! I haven’t got any kids myself but if I did have I wouldn’t stop them eating meat if they wanted to though I wouldn’t have it at home.

  36. Fred
    Oh no, not the tearing apart by the hounds stuff (that very emotive) bit of video the League against cruel sports pedalled around for at least 5 years to my knowledge. If it were such a regular occurrence, they would surely have had new footage to update their argument.
    Chris has agreed with my previous post it was class jealousy, and bugger all to do with “Reynard”. Bliar allowed the backbenchers such as Tony Banks MP RIP to spend and waste such valuable time on this rubbish law.
    The sad fact is it does not stop one fox being killed, if fact more are now killed, because in the past when hunting the fit and healthy foxes outwitted the hounds.
    The situation now is that the hounds find a fox chase it to cover quickly as they are not worked as hard as in the past , then it is surrounded by hunt assistants, who then dispatch it with a shotguns, if it goes to ground it is dug up and dispatched with the permission of the landowner . What a success for democracy of the government, the law of the land and of course the poor fox.
    The problem now is that the liarbour government really lost the argument regarding fox hunting at that time ,but due to having a massive majority they pushed it through as a watered down and amended law in the view that anything was better than nothing, the backbenchers where baying for blood.
    The arguments were all set around cruelty and utility, which they could not deny, they accepted that foxes have to be controlled and no matter how you do it the fox dies, but could not accept that the way in which it has been done for centuries and was part of country life. Because they believed that only people with money ride with the hounds and they could not accept that due to their class hatred. So everyone looses including the fox.
    I am not in favour of foxhunting, but I am in favour of freedom of expression and speech .The problem with the groups who are coming through over the past 20 or so years is that they want to dictate to everyone what they should do. New and old Liarbour gave these people a voice, they pander to them, give them legitimacy, and make laws, which make honest decent people become criminals there are far more issues regarding animal cruelty in this world and particularly in this part of Europe than bull fighting or foxhunting. It is all around you every day. So before, we stop bullfighting and further try to stop foxhunting lets look at the more obvious cases of animal cruelty in front of your very eyes every day.
    To finalise, if you do not want to eat meat, do not, if you want to be a vegan, that is your choice and I am happy with that. Before we try to convert everyone however have any of you given a thought how you are going to feed your “Veggie world “
    Whilst you work that one out, however, leave me alone, what I eat has nothing to do with you, the government or anyone else. Moreover, before we go onto the other crap argument yes I have been to a slaughterhouse, a chicken rearing shed, and all the other areas where animals are processed.

  37. I am not preaching to anyone Cinico; I respect your right to eat meat. However, I did have a laugh at your statement that “the fox loses”. I think the fox would disagree with you somehow.

    Btw when you said “what I eat has nothing to do with you, the government or anyone else” this is actually factually wrong. You see, the food chain, it’s import and processing etc, is all controlled and monitored by governments – so your food very much has everything to do with the government. It also has a lot do with me and the public as well because public opinion matters. Take GM foods for example, a controversial subject, and which the public have overwhelmingly rejected. You may personally want to eat GM foods, but a majority may not (including myself), and so you see what one group eventually rejects will affect what another group ends up eating.

    Chris, you still avoided the question of how you came to be a meat eater for the first 22 years? I never said that you can’t be a vegetarian unless your parents were; I said, if you read again, that parents push the stuff in your gob from a young age, and thus the cycle begins. Are you really going to argue that point? If so, simply tell us why you started to eat meat won’t you? Just that one simple question and don’t wriggle out of it. I told you why I wasn’t a veggie, so tell us why you started out the same way.

  38. Fred – I’m not really sure what you’re getting at. Of course I ate meat because my parents gave it to me as a child. Of course we’re influenced by our parents when we’re very young. But as you get older those influences wear off.

    Meat isn’t addictive. Just because our parents gave it to us is no excuse for not giving it up. But if you like it and don’t want to give it up then fine. You don’t have to and you don’t need to make excuses.

    El Cinico – re how we might feed our veggie world. I think you’ll find that land is much more productive per acre growing crops than rearing animals.

  39. Hi Fred glad to see you have not lost your style! Moved away and onto another subject GM crops.

    Back to Veggies, first here are the figures for Europe

    I have left Spain off as it would be cruel and no doubt incite ridicule and allow the antis to rush in and accuse them of eating the world’s supply of loganberries into extinction LOL

    UK 6% of the population Rose rapidly after mad cow disease
    Rest of Europe Country: People- Percent
    Austria: 243,000 – 3%
    Belgium: 204,000 – 2%
    Croatia: 166,500 – 3.7%
    Czech Republic: 153,000 – 1.5%
    Denmark: 81,000 – 1.5%
    France: >1,200,000 – >2%
    The Netherlands: 700,900 – 4.3%
    Norway: 92,000 – 2%
    Poland: >386,000 – >1%
    Portugal: 30,000 – 0.3%

    They say it is not totally accurate as it is not yet compulsory to register you’re eating habits, but it will be I am sure someday, just so I don’t offend someone in the“The Pink Lettuce that well known trendy bar where the chance to eat Lettuce Wellington is still available to the discerning guest. Therefore, you have a long way to go before we get to anywhere near those still able to tear apart a joint of beef, because we still can.

    Concerning the government and others controlling what I eat that is wrong; they control the standards of the food I eat, including the Vegetarian ones.
    I choose to eat from what is on offer .That is why I have never been in a MacDonald’s, Kentucky fried Rat or Pizza hut .I don’t eat processed foods where possible and choose ingredients for my food from good sources . Therefore, when some Supermarket offers me a chicken and says its 1.99, and we give you another five free I tend to think maybe these chickens are not my sort of chicken.

    If you saw what the growers here in Spain put on the vegetables you would die, well you actually might be ill. And think of those wonderful Kenyan, Moroccan, Indian vegetables and fruit which we fly into UK 24/365 just so the discerning veggie can have his sugar snap peas in December. The allowance of pesticides herbicides fertilizer is appalling, so anyone who thinks I am on this very healthy lifestyle and diet just because it does not squeal or drip blood is deluded.

    So Fred onto GM crops, don’t know enough about it really, but Fred The Daily Mail is not always right. Don’t loose sleep.

  40. Chris (before): “To say you ‘have to be brought up to it’ and that it’s your parents fault for bringing you up to eat meat is, frankly, one of the dumbest things I’ve read”

    Chris (after): “Of course I ate meat because my parents gave it to me as a child. Of course we’re influenced by our parents when we’re very young.”

    lol indeed.

    Cinico, you simply do not know what food comes from where these days, indeed much food is already GM contaminated and much “organic” food is not actually organic. A freerange hen can be classed as such if it spends more than 20 minutes outside per day – you know nothing about your food. Noone does. Those figures you gave are very encouraging; 6% is an enormous figure for the UK. It also goes to show that people are consumerised into buying and using meat in their diet. Being a veggie is clearly associated with difficult cooking procedures and expert chef recipies. Propoganda works. Supermarkets are experts at manipulation as you surely know.

    Governments do have a lot of control over your food supply despite what you say, especially if you purchase mass-produced food from a supermarket as you say you do. Countries can ban the import of a food if they so wish, indeed some did during the recent swine flu outbreak, so this proves that goverments can and do control what food you eat, since if it cannot be sold, you cannot eat it. People like to think they are in control and have free-will over what they consume, but alas it is not true.

    By the way, I have never read the Daily Mail. I’m more into publications such as New Scientist. I find that if I read these sorts of publications I can further educate people like yourself.

  41. Dear Livit, on 21 June you said:

    “How can you judge one culture based on another culture’s moral values?”

    You need to be very careful Livit. Cultures don’t have moral values. Individual people have moral values. Is every Spanish person in the world in favour of bullfighting? I doubt it. Like someone from any other nationality, they are all individuals able to make their own moral decisions. People who are against bullfighting take that stance because it runs contrary to what they see as their own individual moral code. So when Jur says “Its amazing, people come to a country and bring their own morals and standards with them”, I reply by asking what is the problem with that? I’m not going to criticise a Spanish person who comes to Britain and starts moralising about fox hunting any more than I am going to criticise a British person living in Britain for doing the same. Just because I am against the practice of bullfighting doesn’t mean to say I am attacking Spanish culture. It merely means that I am against bullfighting regardless of where in the world it is practiced.

    Also I agree with Fred that Jur’s comments on us saving cows from not living doesn’t really make any sense. I somehow doubt that this thought is anywhere in the mind of anyone who is breeding animals for whatever purpose they have in mind.

    As to the subject of mankind’s practice of eating meat, Fred said on 22 June that “..humans are not even designed to eat meat”. Well, I’m not going to argue that point. However what I will say is that whether humans are designed to eat meat or not is neither here nor there. The fact is that mankind has been eating meat for a very long time. The archaeological record shows that animal husbandry has been going on for at least 12,000 years, the practice of which is yet another example of mankind’s desire to change his environment for his own benefit. Much earlier than that the archaeological record shows that the ancestors of modern humans were hunting as early as 2 to 3 million years ago. The presence in the fossil record of tools for hunting and markings made by tools on animal bones dated from that period provides as compelling evidence of this as you are going to get, short of actually having been there to witness it in person.

    So modern humans have been eating meat since the very first minute they appeared on this planet. Whether we were designed to eat meat or not seems irrelevant to me. Eating meat has been going on for a very, very long time. Animal husbandry is practiced in virtually every country in the world. Those who want to see our carnivorous exploits abolished in the name of animal rights, please be my guest. Do keep us updated on progress, won’t you?

    In contrast, securing the abolition of bullfighting in the name of the same cause – something far less prevalent in human society – seems like a quick and easy win, don’t you think?

    I wonder what the current and would-be veggie warriors have to say about all the countless species of animals that were driven to extinction as mankind destroyed their habitats in order to cultivate the land for the organised production of non-meat foodstuffs like cereals and vegetables. At what point do you stop putting the human race on trial for its impact on the rest of the animal kingdom?

    I am a meat eater who is against bullfighting. If someone wants to accuse me of being a hypocrite for this then I will just have to take that one on the chin. All I will say in reply is that the fear of being a hypocrite or, more precisely, the fear of being accused of being a hypocrite, is a lame excuse for not holding an opinion or taking a stand on a particular issue. Did Winston Churchill worry about being accused of being a hypocrite when he contemplated allying Britain with the Soviet Union in the war against Nazi Germany, having spent the majority of his political career as THE arch-enemy of communism? Did Abraham Lincoln concern himself with accusations of hypocrisy in regard to the rights of native Americans as he stood against those who were determined to perpetuate the barbarism of slavery in his country? No in both cases, and I would suggest the world is a better place as a result.

  42. Fred you say 6% is an enormous figure, don’t you think 94% is even more enormous and shows that in the thousands of years since man has lived on this planet there is still a massive hill to climb to uphold your argument, that meat was not meant to be eaten
    You are wrong when you say we do not know where food comes from, look at the fish counter in any supermarket in Europe it details where caught, when caught, if it was reared rather than wild, a lot of the fish and shellfish and prawns are reared. Some have a tag in the gills showing further info on their history.
    Look at any lump of beef pork lamb it is marked from birth to slaughter. Yes, we have made mistakes in the past, but they have been used to improve the supply chain of animal husbandry, slaughter and display.
    Contrast that with your vegetables and fruit you and others think because it is a vegetable or fruit there can be nothing wrong with it.
    You use the argument that supermarkets and government manage meat and fish as if fruit and veg come through a different supply chain. I think there is now more control on meat and fish than veg and fruit.
    My best friend’s daughter works on natural insect control to assist third world countries to stop using pesticides and herbicides when growing fruit and veg.
    She says the worst culprit in EU is Spain who uses masses of products to rid the crop of pests and bugs .I can back this up in the area I live in, you can buy over the counter many products you would not be allowed to in UK.
    Watch the olive farmers spraying for olive fly in June; we are Ariel sprayed every August here in this valley. The plane passes over spraying miles of countryside without thought for whom lives there, or what crops you are growing.
    The cooking of veg would not change my mind about eating meat I want choice ,my choice .if others want to be veggies then that’s their choice I wont stop them eating veg and fruit and they should respect my desire to eat meat poultry and fish .
    Regarding my veg I know exactly where most of it comes from my Finca along with my eggs, olives, almonds and olive oil No I am not self sufficient and do buy some in the shops, and believe me you can taste the difference .

  43. Koba’s right – it’s certainly a fact that man has been eating meat for thousands of years, and living in close proximity to animals for thousands of years too. However, man is not a wild animal that hunts with his hands and teeth, is he? But yes, a meat eater he has become, most probably out of necessity and survival, not by design.

    Regarding Cinico’s fresh produce; how does that square with the crop plane flying overhead in your valley exactly? Won’t your Almonds and Olives be affected by the spray? Or do you have a forcefield over them? And what about the water table, most of which is polluted in Spain with chemicals used on the land that you mentioned?

    If everything is known about our food and its origins, why has so much been written and covered in the media about this very controverial subject? It’s not quite as simple as you make out Cinico.

  44. Fred said :

    “Chris (before): “To say you ‘have to be brought up to it’ and that it’s your parents fault for bringing you up to eat meat is, frankly, one of the dumbest things I’ve read”

    Chris (after): “Of course I ate meat because my parents gave it to me as a child. Of course we’re influenced by our parents when we’re very young.”

    lol indeed.”

    Are you saying Fred, that you find it hard to give up meat because your parents gave it to you when you were young? If you are then that’s dumb.

    I was born in 62. There weren’t many veggies around then. So my parents gave me meat (I wasn’t really in a position to complain!) but that doesn’t make it any harder or easier to give it up in later life, meat isn’t addictive so the more you have when young doesn’t make it harder to ‘wean’ yourself off. But as I said before, no one is saying you have to and if you don’t want to then you don’t have to justify yourself to anybody.

  45. Chris, I can’t believe you are still arguing this point but clearly you need some sort of comeback I assume, following your U-turn earlier.

    I am only saying that your parents conditioned you to be a meat eater. You said that wasn’t the case and then thought about it a bit more and realised it was actually true. Nothing more to add to that really. I hope to be a veggie in 2010 so the answer you seek has already been given above.

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