The fear of bulls is known by the Latin term, Taurophobia. It’s not hard to understand why some people develop a phobia towards the heavily muscled, temperamental animals, who are known for their aggressive nature. The horns of a bull and the huge, menacing body of the animal represent danger (and sometimes challenge) to many people.
Why Do People Fear Bulls?
Just the appearance of a bull can be frightening. These animals, with their distinctive flared nostrils, can appear gentle when they are calm, but they still give off a dark and powerful energy. The curving horns of a bull resemble those of a horned devil. The huge shoulders of a bull display the awesome power of the animal. When a bull becomes aggressive, it can evoke terror in human beings. They fear being trampled by the bull or gored by the animal’s horns. When bulls are angry, they move fast. Their speed and bulk are triggers for taurophobia.
Examples Of The Phobia in Modern Society
The Running Of The Bulls at Pamplona is a tradition based on the fear of bulls. People confront their terror by running alongside bulls in the Spanish event. The huge bulls are released in the early morning, as crowds of runners rush down an 825m roadway in order to elude them. Sometimes, the rowdy (and often drunk) participants of the Festival of San Fermin pay a heavy price for their desire to outrun the bulls. Since 1924, 15 people have died during the three-minute run.
The urge to prove one’s supremacy over dangerous animals is age-old. This sense of primitive competition with bulls is related to machismo and a need to prove one’s strength and agility.
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Other Examples Of The Fear Of Bulls
Bull riding is a sport that relies on fearlessness and an understanding of the nature of the bull itself. Many people with Taurophobia grow terrified of bulls after watching the popular rodeo event.
There have been countless accidents in the world of professional bull riding. In the sport, riders must stay atop an angry, bucking bull for 8 seconds. This is extremely difficult, and requires tremendous courage and skill. In fact, bull riding carries so many physical dangers to the rider that it has been deemed, “the most dangerous 8 seconds in sports”. There is no protection for the rider, and no telling what will happen if things go awry during the ride.
Each year, the American Rodeo Association reports one or death from the sport, which has also caused many spinal cord and brain injuries to riders. Bull riders face the fear of bulls for accolades, fame, and large sums of money.
Disney’s Ferdinand The Bull
Disney animators played on the fear of bulls in 1938, when they animated the novel (Ferdinand The Bull) written by Munro Leaf. In the Disney story, Ferdinand is gentle and peaceful, longing to enjoy the aroma of flowers and glory in nature, rather than fight in a bull ring.
In the humorous tale, Ferdinand is perceived as violent and agressive when he acts out after being stung by a bee. He is taken to the bull ring by townspeople, and once he is there, he shows his disinterest by sitting still in the centre of the ring, refusing to fight.
Taurus The Bull
In astrology, the sign of Taurus carries many of the same characteristics as the Bull itself. For example, Taureans are thought to be kind and gentle until they are provoked. Then, they will display a fearful temper and great stubbornness. They are also believed to be strong and blessed with great endurance.
Symptoms Of Taurophobia
Classic symptoms of this phobia are similar to those experienced during a panic attack. Sufferers may feel intense terror, a sense of doom, and lightheadedness and nausea. Pains will be taken to avoid bulls, rodeos, or even television programs featuring bulls.
Most phobias respond to psychotherapy and alternative therapies such as “tapping therapy” or hypnotherapy. Antidepressants may also be prescribed to ease anxiety and provide relief from tension.
The fear of bulls is also referred to as:
- bull phobias
- fear of bull phobia name
- phobia of bulls
- overcoming fear of bulls phobia