• Susan Elaine Jones

Are the cows okay?

Lockdown week Twelvty.

Just as there start to be discussions about easing restrictions, as I need to shield I realise that that doesn't apply to me, and lockdown is my ongoing reality.

But rather than think about that, I have been musing about cows. Bovines really. And wondering, are they okay?

It started by going out for government endorsed exercise, and wandering through a field full of cow pats. Why are they pats? why do cows always have diarrhea? (And why can't I ever spell diarrhea? I remember before the internet, not being able to get enough letters right to even look it up in a dictionary... must remember it is not diahorrea!)

But, back to the cows. Are they really suited to eating grass? Most times when animals have diarrhea (how many times will I use that term?), the animal is quite poorly. But for cows, this is day to day living. Are they okay?

Meanwhile, they're also belching methane, causing a major worry for the greenhouse effect. So maybe they're not the best source of meat and we should convert grassland meadows for producing meat from deer, or elephants, or horses, or rabbits (anything but stinky goats, who don't so much eat grass and string and barbed wire fences). Admittedly it might be harder to get milk for my cereal, though I imagine milking rabbits might be easier than milking elephants, and either is easier than milking cats. (Note to self, milk packaging is inconsistent and confusing that way.)

But, other herbivores, including other even toed ungulates like deer and elephants, and the odd toed ungulates like rhinos and horses, don't have constant diarrhea (4th use!). Even rodents like rabbits have nice, dry(ish), contained poo blobs. Much easier to tidy up or clean out of your shoes. And possibly better for the environment as I haven't heard people worrying about horse belches. And we know their meat tastes lovely in lasagna already. Though they are also ridiculously easy to kill (citation needed but vet anecdotes). Maybe

So, what is wrong with the cows. And... are they okay?