Photos: ‘Bulls’ in Red Veils at Vatican Call On Pope to Denounce Bullfighting

For Immediate Release:
July 28, 2023

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Vatican City – Following the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, in which spectators chase animals to their deaths in the bullring in honor of Saint Fermin, PETA U.K. is calling on Pope Francis to condemn these gory spectacles often held during Christian celebrations. Today supporters gathered in a cross formation near the Vatican wearing “horns” and red floor-length veils, holding a banner reading, “Catholic Church: Silence Is Violence! Denounce Bullfighting.”

Photos and video from the action are available here.

“The Bible asks us to be merciful to all God’s creations, yet bulls are tortured in the name of saints at some Catholic celebrations,” says PETA U.K. Vice President Mimi Bekhechi. “Pope Francis is widely revered for his kindness to animals, so PETA U.K. is asking him to communicate to the world’s 1 billion Catholics that bullfights violate Christian virtues.”

PETA notes that Pope Francis wrote in his encyclical Laudato Si’ that “every act of cruelty towards any creature is ‘contrary to human dignity’” and that as long ago as the 16th century, Pope St. Pius V banned bullfights for being “cruel” and “removed from Christian piety and charity.” During these ritualized executions, bulls are taunted and stabbed with a lance and several harpoon-like banderillas before they’re killed with a sword.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind