We all lead busy lives and I know it’s hard to keep up with important, cutting edge news. I consider it my duty to keep you informed, so, this just in: You cannot tip a cow.
Margo Lillie, a doctor of zoology at the University of British Columbia in Canada, and her student Tracy Boechler conducted a study on the physics of cow-tipping. Using parameters like the weight and height of an average cow, the cow’s centre of gravity and the angle of the attempted tip, the pair determined it would take at least two if not four people to tip a cow over. Their calculations also assume the cow would allow itself to be tipped.
“We are relieved to hear that someone has taken this matter seriously and produced a study,” said Mooshe Patterson, head of “Be Herd!” a cattle anti-defamation society. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to stories about intoxicated young men sneaking into a pasture late at night, trying to tip over one of my friends. Maybe now that there’s a bit of science involved, people will stop trying.”
Mooshe continued, “It’s a very serious problem that’s caused a great deal of misunderstanding between our two cultures. For instance, I bet you believe that ‘hoof and mouth’ is a disease cattle get. In fact, it’s actually hoof IN mouth, and it’s what humans get when they attempt a tip.”
“And let’s talk about mad cow disease,” said Cowtney Smith, spokescattle for Bovine Betterment International. “That one clip you saw played over and over again on the news of some poor cow staggering into the barn? That wasn’t a sick cow, that was a cow that had spent the night trying to avoid cow tippers. The local pub had been offering pints for a dollar all evening and she was absolutely exhausted.”
Smith seemed affronted by the notion that cow physics was somehow ridiculous. “You humans have this perception of cattle as stupid and slow,” she said. “Cattle science and math is quite advanced. Haven’t you ever heard of cow pi? Or cowculus?”
Bullgess Jones agrees: “It always seems like it’s in one ear and out the udder with people,” he said in a telephone interview earlier today. “You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you that research involving cows is extremely important, and it touches on your daily life.
“But in the interest of making hay while the sun shines, I’ll give you an example,” he continued. “We cattle eat a lot of vegetation. Forgive me for being indelicate, but that gives us a lot of wind. For centuries, your kind has thought that ‘moo’ was just a funny noise we made, when really it was us trying to moan to you about our tummy aches. It’s only now, when you realize that cow belches contribute to global warming that you want to do something about it.”
Jones is referring to a study by UK scientists which saw an additive added to cattle feed which reduced their methane output by up to 70 percent.
How do cattle cope with the misunderstandings and prejudice? “The strongest of us rely on our great philosophers, people like Johann Herder or the Baron de Moontesquieu for guidance. Their words can provide great comfort,” Jones replied.
“The rest of us, well…” he said, “we just drink a lot, you know, to dull the pain. And that’s not good for humans either, because when we drink to forget, we end up producing milk of amnesia.”