KEN’s Ugada Be Kid’n Me BLOG

“The Secret life of Cows”

5–17–21. When I was a a kid, my family used to drive from Houston to Omaha and back about once a year in the summer. Dad drove, and at least once during each trip, Dad would point to cows near the road and say, “Those are some of my relatives by marriage.” Mom smirked and for some reason my sister and I laughed, though I really wan’t sure what was funny.

Fast forward 30 years. For some strange reason, I like to stop and talk to cows standing near country road fences. They’re good listeners and they appear to ponder what you say. Besides that, their responses are pretty limited. The basic sound a cow makes is moo, but never at you. This sound is officially called lowing, which comes from a word that means ‘to shout,’ but you’ll probably never hear it called that in real life. If they are distressed, in other words they have lost their calf or are separated from their calf, it’s a much higher pitched moo called bleating. However, the moo and the bleat are unique between mother and calf.

“We’re Listening.”

Beyond that, they don’t really talk, which explains to me why they never respond to my humble and certainly erudite calls for a response. They just have nothing to say to humans.

There are basically 3–4 different colors in cattle. Those being black, red, and brownish red to reddish black. Variations within these colors can vary widely, and a herd can seem to have an endless variety of colors. Part of the reason for this is cross-breeding, which can strengthen the traits from each breed. With about 20 different kinds of cattle worldwide, even though many never cross-breed, what we see across many farms is a virtually infinite variety of colors and kinds. (If you are familiar with cattle farming, please keep contrary facts to yourself.)

So, as living things go, perhaps they could be an advanced species. They seem to get along with other cows well, regardless of color and national origin. While they cannot see red, they can see yellow, green, blue, and violet colors, so they do see the herd (except maybe red cows) and remain calm. They seem happy to graze on grass all day, take long walks, nap in the shade, and come home on time. Some of them like to be milked, with just a little squeamishness around that machine. Those who go off to slaughter for meat, only complain a little before being stunned and well, you know.

Cattle are considered sacred in world religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and others. Cattle played other major roles in many religions, including those of ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, ancient Israel, ancient Rome, and ancient Germany. In fact, they have been considered special for many millennia.

So, when you think of me talking to cows, don’t laugh. I’m just trying to learn from these sacred creatures. Things like:

  • Listening — They never interrupt you.
  • Detachment — Clearly the look on their face makes it seem like they just don’t care.
  • Emotional Control — Ever seen a cow get mad?
  • Fully Chewing Food — It takes them forever to get the grass all the way into their mouth.
  • Peaceful Coexistence — Cows just seem to go along with the herd.
  • Udder Bliss — It’s almost like they feel fulfilled by giving of themselves.

Who knew so much could be learned from cows.

Ken Mann

Cow Talker

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