Leaving aside the creeping PETA-ism, this article on cow moods is profoundly amooooosing.
(Thanks to B2 at Toner Mishap for the link. B2, by the way, posted a very polite comment on my "Boiling the frog" post, even though it sounds as if he thinks my politics are fershtunkene.)
The article comes from the Sunday Times (of London) and was written by the "science editor," so I guess we should all take it very seriously. Because no one is more serious than a science grad with a license to practice journalism. The gist of the article is that cows have emotions and moods.
Doesn't it worry you that cows will bear grudges? You'd better be careful what you say to them, or you will be worrying about the future.
ONCE they were a byword for mindless docility. But cows have a secret mental life in which they bear grudges, nurture friendships and become excited over intellectual challenges, scientists have found. Cows are also capable of feeling strong emotions such as pain, fear and even anxiety — they worry about the future. But if farmers provide the right conditions, they can also feel great happiness.
Cows are also capable of feeling strong emotions such as pain, fear and even anxiety — they worry about the future. But if farmers provide the right conditions, they can also feel great happiness.
Next, of course, comes the PETA-ism.
The findings have emerged from studies of farm animals that have found similar traits in pigs, goats, chickens and other livestock. They suggest that such animals may be so emotionally similar to humans that welfare laws need to be rethought.OK, now, back to the humor.
Christine Nicol, professor of animal welfare at Bristol University, said even chickens may have to be treated as individuals with needs and problems.
[Prof. John] Webster and his colleagues have documented how cows within a herd form smaller friendship groups of between two and four animals with whom they spend most of their time, often grooming and licking each other. They will also dislike other cows and can bear grudges for months or years.The good news is that you can ask your cows for help with those difficult crossword puzzles that you've been struggling with.
Donald Broom, professor of animal welfare at Cambridge University, who is presenting other research at the conference, will describe how cows can also become excited by solving intellectual challenges.And if you think cows are amazing, just consider what sheep can do. Why, they're almost as smart as dogs!
Keith Kendrick, professor of neurobiology at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, has found that even sheep are far more complex than realised and can remember 50 ovine faces — even in profile. They can recognise another sheep after a year apart.But no article urging PETA-ism can be complete without (WARNING) TOO MUCH INFORMATION.
Kendrick has also described how sheep can form strong affections for particular humans, becoming depressed by long separations and greeting them enthusiastically even after three years.
Dairy cow herds can also be intensely sexual. Webster describes how the cows become excited when one of the herd comes into heat and start trying to mount her. "Cows look calm, but really they are gay nymphomaniacs," he said.Got milk?