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The Running of the Nudes

posted in: Events  |  posted by: Jennifer Gregory on October 18, 2009  |  No Comments

The Running of the Nudes is an annual event held in Pamplona, Spain each year.

The Gang

Held two days before the Running of the Bulls, groups of animal activists from around the world team up with PETA to show the world, in their own special way, that bulls do not deserve to be tortured in the name of tourism.

The Running of the Bulls

when the bulls first entered the ring

The Running of the Bulls itself is a tradition that dates back as far as the 14th century. The men who wished to take their cattle to market usually had a long road to travel and were constantly trying to speed the bulls up so that they could shorten their journeys.  The men would use cruel scare tactics to make the bulls run faster and as the practice continued the younger men began making a race out of the journey.


Soon enough, young men were racing their bulls to the market and for a bit of added excitement they began running in front of their bulls, attempting to make it into the bull pens before the bulls themselves arrived. The popularity of this silly game quickly spread and as large cities began to take notice the practice was turned into the annual tradition we see celebrated today.

Saving the Bulls

Front Banner

The Running of the Nudes was originally invented in 2002. Each year, PETA activists from more than 30 countries gather in Spain to run the streets, usually following the path the bulls will run. Their goal is to show the world that bull fighting and the annual Running of the Bulls is cruel. Bulls are still subjected to fearful abuse in order to make them run and the path they follow, usually standard cobblestone or concrete surfaces, is incredibly damaging to their hooves.


Activists are usually either scantily clad or completely nude and most wear plastic bull horns during the run. Almost every runner will carry some sort of sign announcing their disgust with current bull fighting and running practices in Spain.

Demonstrating Outside of Pamplona

Marching along

The folks who currently organize the Running of the Nudes campaign have plans to begin holding anti-bullfighting demonstrations in cities surrounding Pamplona. They fear that the popularity of the running of the nudes only contributes to the boost in tourism Pamplona receives due to the Running of the Bulls each year.

Running of the nudes!!!

The goal of PETA and supporters of the Running of the Nudes campaign is to hold rallies and informational events in capital cities around the globe. They hope that by making their presence known in major cities, tourists who embark from those areas will become acutely aware of how gruesome bullfighting and running really is and consider changing their travel plans, visiting other areas of Spain or a different country altogether. In the future, Running of the Nudes participants and its international partners have plans to launch campaigns in the United States, France, Germany, Australia, and in several other countries.

Adding Political Pressure against Bullfighting

Brighton Girls

Running of the Nudes and international PETA demonstrators have also launched a political campaign against bullfighting and running. They’re attempting to partner with animal welfare organizations around the world, especially those who wish to outlaw bullfighting, and are helping them with their efforts to exert political pressure on bullfight organizers. Their goals are to shine a public spotlight on those who support this unusual form of animal cruelty.

Still Think the Running of the Bulls is Cool?

The Injured Bull

Just in case you thought the Running of the Bulls is a fun and harmless race here are a few facts about how the event works:

  • Before the race the bulls are kept in dark, cramped enclosures
  • The bulls are blinded by the sunlight when they are eventually released to run
  • The bulls are zapped with electric shocks to force them to run even though they can’t see
  • Participants and spectators usually hit the bulls while they are running
  • The bulls usually fall, due to poor footing and sharp turns, and are severely injured, suffering from broken bones. Some are trampled by other bulls
  • All of the bulls who participate in the Running of the Bulls usually die during bullfights
  • Bullfights aren’t fair, either. The matador has a sword and the bull is confused by the loud noises in his surroundings. The bull never has an advantage over the matador.

Bull fight 4

The Running of the Nudes may draw attention as a silly event with naked runners but the people exposing themselves to the elements and the public are trying to make a serious point about the way bulls are treated during the Running of the Bulls and their eventual fates during bullfights. Visit the Running of the Nudes website for more information about this organization and their involvement with animal rights activism.

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