Have you ever looked at cows and thought — ‘there’s something these guys aren’t telling us?’
‘Far out… Didn’t see that coming’
‘Well, I have.’
And following my newfound habit of Sunday morning reading a book in nature See last week’s ‘How to Read Books Again ft’ The Alchemist + Real Cows’ it was time to dive into that very question.
By no way of coincidence, one of the many bizarre gifts my Mum has bought me over the years, ‘The Secret Life of Cows’ had sat on my bookshelf for some time.
On the cover it says, ‘The Sunday Times Top Ten Best Seller’, but then every Derrick or Derricka has a ‘Somewhere Bullshit Best Seller’ book these days, so it was always going to be a gamble.
As I left my home in Mermaid Beach, QLD in a truck owned by a Mermaid, I ventured back across the border to NSW to discover what was up with those big hairy legends.
The trip reminded me of a game that was introduced to me by friends one Summer as we’d left a rad waterfall in the Northern Rivers of NSW — it’s called ‘Hey Cows’.
In Australia, it’s not uncommon for a roadtrip to be pushing the 10 hour mark, so ‘Hey Cows’ may be the 7th game you’ve tried, behind ‘Spot the scary tree’, ‘Whizz in a bottle while changing lanes’ and ‘Stop at Maccas for food, even though we refuse to eat that absolute shit any other time but we’ve got a pass, ’cause Roadie.”
The game is pretty easy.
You take it in turns to wind down your window and as you go past a paddock, one of you yells out “Hey Cows!!!”.
For every cow that turns around, you get a point.
For the most part, the cows don’t turn around.
Getting one point is a pretty good achievement.
To which most people would be like, ‘Silly cows, don’t even know we’re calling them.’
But let’s think about that for a moment.
There’s a group of 10 humans walking past and a cow drops a massive “Mooooo!!!”,
“Hey Dickheads!!!” in Cow language.
I’d bet you that more than one of us humans would turn around. I would.
Now, who are the silly ones?
Truth be known, this mission had a more important task at hand, which was to find some waves.
The heart a flutter as I rolled up to each break to no success.
I gave up on finding swell and came to rest at Kingscliff.
A sleepy town, but well worth a visit.
I park and have a beautiful ocean view about a minutes walk from where I sat.
But decide to stay in the carpark in the Mer-Mobile and read the first half of the book.
This sounds weird, but this is what the G-Boo would have called ‘Strategery!’
I know from past experiences, I’m not very good at reading on a beach.
I get distracted by water, sand, surfboards, bikinis, clouds, seagulls, lifeguards, frisbees, banquets, pelicans (humans and the animal kind), wind and pretty much every-freaken-thing on the beach.
So my plan:
Read over halfway through the book.
To the 65th page of 127.
This way when I hit the beach, I was on the home straight to glory.
Interestingly, I didn’t get distracted that much once I hit the beach.
I feel like this was because my mental state was well and truly in book-reading mode.
I wondered ‘if there were cows on the beach, would this have made a difference?’
‘Yes’, I thought, that seems like a reasonable thought to have.
The book is literally exactly what it says — it uncovers their secret lives, written by a second-generation farmer who has keenly observed them for decades.
Cows are way fucken’ smarter than we give them credit.
Actually, all animals are for that matter.
“Many people judge the comparative intelligence of different species by human standards. Yet why should human criteria have any relevance to other species?
We should presume that every animal has a limitless ability to experience a whole range of emotions, judged only on its terms.
If a cow’s intelligence is sufficient to make her a success as a cow, what more could be desired?”
If a cow’s mission in life is to be happy, eat, procreate and continue their lineage FYI — Some would say the true mission of humans.
Then by a universal standard of smarts, they would come in way above us.
It’s just unfortunate (see left) that many of them are denied their potential.
I also love that they are intuitive eaters!
Basically, when given their birthright as being free to roam the countryside, they eat what they need, to be the best they can be.
If they are ill, then they seek out the food that will help them to recuperate fast.
Imagine what the cows think of us silly humans, eating foods and drinking drinks that make us sick and kill us quicker!
Or to the point of evolutionary purpose, giving our kids a shittier chance of thriving due to passing on these traits and subsequent habits…
Especially when we have all the options.
BTW I’m well aware many humans don’t have this option, but most of us reading this do.
Further, this isn’t a human bashing exercise, as I’m guilty of not living up to the rigorous standards of cows, merely an insight into perspective.
ALSO, We can’t forget that they may or may not like to party… AKA Jake the Bull needs a little bit a Vice Optimisation. Jake my man!
COWS HAVE FEELINGS TOO
Cows and other animals do mourn the loss of loved ones.
It is pretty clear they move through it faster than we do and return back to their normal evolutionary purpose.
I think it’s because they’re better at living in the moment than we are.
We spend so much time in the past or worrying about the future, it makes us carry on like lamb chops.
PS. move over pigs, sheep are some of the smartest animals on the planet, so perhaps that saying is also redundant.
Does anyone have a better way to say, ‘so the moral of the story is…’?
I am curious and would like to add it to my writing arsenal.
Feeding people morals sounds like a wank move.
But I digress…
(Can you see why my girlfriend calls me a ‘Squiggle’)
I’m going to say.
‘The advice from me and what I think cows would want me to say is…’
Live a week like a cow.
- Get out of the concrete jungle and out to your paddock. (The place where you feel frothiest.
- Just eat what you need to, nothing more, nothing less.
- Support your friends and family when they require it, nothing more, nothing less.
- And only give others the time of day when they address you with decency (this includes your clients and bosses).
In shutting the gate,
Maybe someone needs to invent a cow directory app, so next time we play ‘Hey Cows’, we can pull over the car and politely enquire, “Hey Mildred, how are you and your calves doing?”
I’m sure she’d appreciate that and you would be less of a prick.
You can get the book from here.ƒ