Lynn Dike

A load of Pamplona?

2007-07-11 08:36

Lynn Dike

The annual running of the bulls festival that takes place in Pamplona, Spain, and dates back to the 16th century, is a week of testosterone-charged psychosis that brings nutters from near and far to test their nerve.

Healthy lashings of crazy combined with vast doses of adrenaline mean that thousands of people line up at 08:00 to outrun 600kg bulls over an 800m course... all in the name of fun.

Of course, why you would regard bolting from a very large steak on legs with two sharp pointy bits at the end as a really great time is beyond me. I prefer my red meat served up lightly grilled, without having given it the opportunity to stomp on me first.

In response to the annual tradition, activists from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have created the "running of the nudes", a demonstration that takes place the day before the beginning of the festival. By marching naked, they protest the barbaric use of bulls for entertainment.

I don't know what is more terrifying; a herd of snorting enraged bulls or a buffet of naked bunny-huggers letting it all hang out.

Equality for all

And now there has been another challenge to this bastion of male bravado. It is reported that there has been a request for a female version of the running of the bulls in Pamplona.

Currently, women are permitted to participate in the bull-running, but they make up a very small percentage of the runners. What the women are asking for is a separate race, just for women and cows.

The first problem, of course, is the name. The "running of the cows" doesn't quite have the same ring to it, and sounds more like a herd of bovines ambling across the plains than a daredevil dice with death.

And then of course there'll be some brave soul who will question whether the "cows" in question refer to the two-legged ones in front or the four-legged ones bringing up the rear.

Of course, the cows themselves might welcome the opportunity to exact some revenge on the shoe-obsessed half of the population, because us gals do love to clad our own hooves in leather, and why make do with one pair of shoes when twenty is better?

Moooove over

The campaign, which is entitled "Cows want to run", aims to bring gender equality to this ancient tradition. Err, um, cows want to run? They do? Really?

I thought cows wanted to stand around in a field all day, doing pretty much nothing except contributing methane to the greenhouse effect. Perhaps the female of the species is yearning for a bit of excitement and feeling left out.

Let's just think about the nature of cows... Docile creatures that spend eight hours a day eating and are hardly the dynamos of the animal world. Maybe it should be called the "dawdling of the cows" or the "strolling of the heifers" instead?

Actually a "running of the cows" already exists - in cartoon form in South Park. And in a small town in Mexico where the beasties concerned are short-horned heifers. I'm happy to report that nobody has ever been injured in this event and most spectators dozed off from the sheer thrill of it.

Send your comments to Lynn.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

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