No Bulls, No Beer

Old Apr 21st, 2020, 11:13 AM
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No Bulls, No Beer

The running of the bulls in Pamplona and Germany's Octoberfest have both been cancelled for this year.
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Old Apr 21st, 2020, 02:38 PM
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Probably no tennis. French Open postponed (but who knows to when and probably with no fans), Wimbledon cancelled, U.S. Open still on (but who knows and probably with no fans).

Pro cycling: Giro d'Italia cancelled, Tour de France postponed, most other races cancelled including Tour of California.

All the pro team sports... who knows what or when or how. The star-studded opening of SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles will be more like a ribbon cutting and turn on the lights affair.

Summer concert tours and festivals all look doubtful. No Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. Tanglewood in the Berkshires looks doubtful. For us, probably no Hollywood Bowl until the fall (if we're lucky).

It's going to be a very quiet year.
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Old Apr 21st, 2020, 03:14 PM
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“Mała strata, krótki żal”, as the Polish saying goes.
Translation; “Small loss, short sorrow.”

A welcome demise, hopefully permanent, of two of the dumbest traditions only of importance to American tourists clutching Rick Steves guide books.
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Old Apr 21st, 2020, 03:19 PM
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The running of the bulls should have been canceled a long time ago. No loss there.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2020, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by StCirq View Post
The running of the bulls should have been canceled a long time ago. No loss there.
Agree 100%!

And beer is available any time. The cancellation of Oktoberfest is a big blow to the owners of the fairground attractions, the innkeepers running the tents, their workers, and the hotels in Munich. But to the rest of the world? Come on!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2020, 04:03 AM
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I wonder what will happen to the tomato throwing event.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2020, 08:14 AM
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Let's hope it's the beginning of the end for bull running however I suspect not particularly as tourists now make up a significant if not majority of visitors and participants to this savage spectacle, people really do need to do a bit of basic research into the realities of such practices before going off seeking some "authentic cultural experience" just to plaster all over social media.

Likewise for bullfighting, camel/donkey/elephant riding and any other spectacle where animals are made to perform for our entertainment.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2020, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jc_uk View Post
Let's hope it's the beginning of the end for bull running however I suspect not particularly as tourists now make up a significant if not majority of visitors and participants to this savage spectacle, people really do need to do a bit of basic research into the realities of such practices before going off seeking some "authentic cultural experience" just to plaster all over social media.

Likewise for bullfighting, camel/donkey/elephant riding and any other spectacle where animals are made to perform for our entertainment.
I gather that horseback riding is out? I assume that racing is out.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2020, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
I gather that horseback riding is out? I assume that racing is out.
Horse racing? Absolutely! How many horses die or suffer serious injuries unnecessarily during races such as the Grand National etc?

Why should animals be a source of our entertainment?

Horseback riding is not in the same league as camel riding, elephant riding etc. I'm talking about the animals that are used for tourist's 'enjoyment'. Camels that spend their days chained up in the sun waiting for some stupid tourists to come along and ride them for a small payment. Or the donkeys forced to carry fat tourists up the slopes of Santorini or back and forth along beaches. Or the elephants in Thailand that are chained and beaten into submission just so that people can come along and ride them for fun.

Most horseback riders or those who use them for legitimate work purposes (cattle rancher etc) usually treat their animals well and don't subject them to cruel treatment. Would you regard a sheep farmer who keeps border collies to use in farming his sheep to someone who raises a bull terrier for the sole purpose of dog fighting?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2020, 11:15 PM
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Why should the work animal, i.e. the one that carries tourists, be treated less well than the ranch animal? That's the driver's and/or owner's bread and butter.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2020, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Why should the work animal, i.e. the one that carries tourists, be treated less well than the ranch animal? That's the driver's and/or owner's bread and butter.
They shouldn't but they are, there's ample evidence available that shows that they are mistreated. A whole industry of sanctuaries rescuing and caring for these poor animals exists. If those owners cared so much about their "bread and butter" then how do you explain the existence of such sanctuaries and the endless documentary evidence of abuse?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 12:32 AM
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As a Basque Spaniard, I donīt really see much harm to animals in the running of the bulls. The bulls are not mistreated, they are not punched and the only thing they do is run for 3 minutes, more or less. People are not allowed to touch them. You may not know either the origin of this tradition (moving the bulls from the city to the high pastures in the hills around Pamplona for the summer, their shepherds were running in front of them so they could follow them). Also, half of the bulls that run are totally domesticated, to avoid the rest of the herd to get aggressive. I would understand your criticism to bullfighting, but not to the running of the bulls.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by jc_uk View Post
They shouldn't but they are, there's ample evidence available that shows that they are mistreated. A whole industry of sanctuaries rescuing and caring for these poor animals exists. If those owners cared so much about their "bread and butter" then how do you explain the existence of such sanctuaries and the endless documentary evidence of abuse?
I agree with you. These people can earn their "bread and butter" other way.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mikelg View Post
As a Basque Spaniard, I donīt really see much harm to animals in the running of the bulls.I would understand your criticism to bullfighting, but not to the running of the bulls.
I'm not sure of the relevance of your nationality as these days anyone can acquire knowledge via the internet, you have no additional knowledge that anyone else has which is demonstrated by your claim that the bulls are not harmed. You state that you understand my criticism towards bullfighting but what exactly do you think happens to the bulls after being chased through the streets?

Here is an extract from PETA's website:The Running of the Bulls is a deadly event held at the San Fermín festival every year during the first week of July. Each morning, a rocket is launched to terrify six bulls—who are naturally high-strung and skittish—so that they’ll charge onto city streets lined by screaming tourists, who frequently hit them as they pass. The panicked animals slip and slide down the narrow streets and often smash into walls, sustaining broken bones and other injuries. This violent atmosphere encourages violence against women as well. There are numerous reports of sexual assaults during the “festivities.”

The entire spectacle is really a death march.

Every evening, one by one, the bulls are forced into the bullring. Each bull first faces the picadors (men on horses), who jab him with a lance. It’s thrust into his back and neck muscles, then twisted and driven deeper to ensure significant blood loss.

Next, banderilleros (men with brightly colored harpoons) plunge their weapons into the bull’s back, causing intense pain. They make him run in circles until, dizzy, disoriented, exhausted, and weak from blood loss, he gives up.

Finally, the matador (which means “killer” in Spanish) enters and attempts to kill the bull by stabbing him in the back with a long sword, aiming at his aorta or lungs. If that doesn’t kill him, the matador uses other weapons, including daggers, to cut his spinal cord. Bulls are often left paralyzed but still conscious as their ears and tail are cut off and presented to the matador as trophies. As the bull draws his last breath, he’s chained by the horns and dragged out of the arena.

Just a bit of harmless fun eh? Unfortunately this abhorrent spectacle is being kept alive mainly as a result of foreign tourists visiting to witness it or get involved. I make no apologies in highlighting the graphic description above as the more tourists who realise what really happens hopefully will result in a sea change of attitude to it. Cruelty to animals should never be justified under the guise of 'cultural traditions'.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 04:38 AM
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So is I understand it correctly;
the running men are shepherds, leading bulls to pasture, and the drunk crowd is the Basque society?

If this Chinese virus knocks off the cruise industry and the bastardized caricatures of what passes for "culture", it will have been worth it.


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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 05:07 AM
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What a way to mix things up, and not to understand a thing!! As I said, the bullfighting is one thing, and the running of the bulls is another. Some points that need clarification:
- When I mention "Basque" I intend to say that this is a land of traditions and the running of the bulls (and Pamplona-Iruņa is not the only place where itīs done) is one of them and belongs to my culture. Iīm also Spanish and donīt like bullfights...that is, being a tradition does not mean itīs good or that I have to like it.

- The bulls donīt run surrounded by drunk runners...in fact, itīs very well controlled and drunks or those dressed inappropriately or kids under 16 canīt run.
- Yes, the bulls are controlled by several shepherds that make sure that the bulls donīt get hurt or harmed. By the way, they run uphill, so their speed is not very high.
- Sexual violence has nothing to do with this atmosphere, which is at 8am every day. Itīs got to do with other things, mainly men being violent towards women. By the way, there are over a million people attending the 9 days of the festivities, itīd be rare to have absolutely no crime at all. The town council has done every effort to control these sexual assaults, but I donīt see the relationship with bulls being harmed. I call that "demagogy".
- Bulls would be killed equally without the running of the bulls, so Iīd center my criticism on the bullfight and not on the running of the bulls, which, I insist, is not what PETA describes.
- Last...the number of Basques attending these festivities is ridiculous compared to the number of (very drunk and violent) British, Australians, USAns, Italians, French...those that have turned (with the stupid acquiescence of the local authorities, money is king everywhere) these festivals into what they are now for foreigners, a way to get drunk and to whatever they want.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 05:13 AM
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And, by the way, bullfighting is clearly on the decline in Spain. Young people just donīt like it and itīs a show that will clearly see and end in a generation or even less. To breed a bull for bullfights is very expensive, the bullfighters are very well paid, TVs donīt show it anymore, and the attendance to bull rings is really small. No need to overdo it with criticism and descriptions, itīll die naturally in little time. The coronavirus is helping, this season is already lost.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by mikelg View Post
What a way to mix things up, and not to understand a thing!! As I said, the bullfighting is one thing, and the running of the bulls is another.
I understood what you wrote quite clearly. You cannot differentiate the Running of The Bulls (I'm fully aware that it occurs in other places, Pamplona is simply the most famous) with bullfighting because the bulls end up in the ring after the run. The poor animals simply have a tougher start to their final day than others.

The sexual violence aspect was one highlighted by PETA, I simply copied their words, I agree, the treatment of the bulls bears no relation to crime, sexual or otherwise.

Bulls will be killed of course but it's how you kill them that is important. Bulls killed in an agricultural sense are dispatched with a bolt to the head, an instantaneous death with the least amount of pain and suffering possible, this is in vast contrast to the torture and pain that bulls endure before and during the ring. It is a completely unjustifiable argument to compare the two.

Your point about the vast numbers of visitors being drunk tourists is precisely the argument that I am making. Foreign tourists make up the majority of attendees therefore without their patronage such spectacles would likely die out but why let it run a potentially lengthy course? Why not educate more people now and try an put an end to the barbarity sooner rather than later?

And finally, I acknowledge that support for bullfighting is on the decline in Spain although it is still popular in Andalucia, and that not every Spaniard supports the practice which is why I haven't claimed or insinuated that you do but please don't fall into the trap of believing that bull running is a harmless affair.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 07:39 AM
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Are you a vegetarian?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by AJPeabody View Post
Are you a vegetarian?
No. What's the relevance?

Don't worry, I was waiting for such a predictable response somewhere along the line. If your angle is hypocrisy then you're wrong.

I make every effort possible to ensure that the meat I eat has had the best treatment possible. That means free range, organic if relevant and as local as possible. The British meat industry has enviable standards for the treatment and standards of meat production from rearing to slaughter. Being a meat eater and criticising cruel, barbaric torture of animals is far from hypocrisy, it is perfectly acceptable to do both.

Anybody who understands meat well knows that the meat from an animal that is heavily stressed prior to slaughter doesn't taste as good as one that isn't. This is due to the rush of stress hormones released by the animal. The claim by many Spaniards (and those of Spanish heritage who partake in bullfighting) that the meat of a bull slaughtered in the ring is excellent is absolute rubbish.

I am not ignorant of the meat production process, as a former owner of a catering business I have visited farms, abattoirs and wholesale butchers. I am fully aware that meat doesn't appear in the plastic wrapping in the supermarket by magic. I happen to feed my dog a raw diet and my freezer is full of pigs heads, beef and lamb tracheas, feet from a variety of animals, pigs plucks, lamb plucks, day old chicks etc. What I do know is that to the best of my knowledge the animal that I am eating has been reared and killed in a manner that is as cruelty free as possible. Doing so doesn't preclude me from criticising torture and cruelty to animals.
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