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The Hidden Life of Cows

Perhaps as a kid you remember looking out of your window on car trips and seeing grassy fields dotted with cows. Maybe you even opened the window to shout “moo” as you drove by. Maybe you still do!

Cows are peaceful, docile creatures who crave love and affection, just like us. In fact, if you approach a cow, she might stop grazing for a moment and look right at you with her wide, doe-like eyes. She might even come over to greet you. If you’re really lucky, she could offer her soft furry head for you to pet. Cows also have sharp memories, so never cross a cow or bull!

If you ask a farmer, they will likely tell you stories about how their cows like to make friends and have formed close bonds with other cows, humans, and even other animals. In fact, scientists have discovered that a cow’s heart rate and stress level is reduced when they are with those they consider friends. Friends make cows feel good. Sound familiar?

As parents, mother cows and father cows are particularly protective, affectionate, and loving. If given the opportunity, a mother cow will nurse her calf for up to three years. Once weaned, the two will remain close for life. When a baby calf is taken away from her, she will bellow and cry. She will naturally search for her little one and become depressed if her search is fruitless.

This loving, gentle nature of the cow was widely recognized in ancient India and cows were treated tenderly—like part of the family. It is still like this today in many communities in India. Along with one’s own mother and Mother Earth, the milk-giving cow is considered to be one of the seven mothers that everyone has. Mahatma Gandhi, India’s legendary leader of non-violence wrote, “If someone were to ask me what the most important outward manifestation of Hinduism was, I would suggest that it was the idea of cow protection.” So in addition to improving your health, protecting mother cow is another good reason to adopt a plant-based diet as part of your yoga lifestyle.

Take the time to visit some cows in your area and discover firsthand their lovable personalities.

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