As the world’s bovines breathe a collective sigh of relief…

I want you to imagine for just a moment that you are a cow. Not bothering anyone, just producing your valued milk, restfully chewing your cud and happily partaking of the grasses lying before you. Then suddenly, out of the blue, you are singled out, reviled and considered the bane of everyone’s existence. Without so much as a thank you m’am, you are castigated as the most evil creature on earth because your flatulence is causing the earth to melt. Yes, you and your ilk are farting the world into oblivion!

You think back fondly to days when you were one of the most admired of the domestic species. You kept little kids from getting bored on family trips as they counted your numbers on each side of the road to see who saw the most. You revel in the times when you were revered in some Asian societies and the subject of fairy tales, even though you could never actually jump over the moon. And how about being one of the first animal sounds a child learns. It didn’t get any better than that! Now, sadly, there are no longer little children gleefully shouting; “look, Mom, there’s a Guernsey cow, the first one today, isn’t it beautiful?” No, you’re more likely to hear; “look, Mom, there’s one of those ugly, wicked cows that are destroying my future!”

Now I want to you to come back to reality and imagine you are you again. Having assuaged your guilt about destroying the planet by shucking the blame over to the bovine species, you’re feeling pretty smug about yourself. Your superior intellect tells you that if only countries would do away with meat and cow’s milk, we could save the planet. You are genius!

Well, well, well. What goes around comes around. In the midst of a pandemic unparalleled since the black plague, we find ourselves not so perfect after all. It turns out that we have a bit of a colicky problem of our own. Indeed, as I write this, we may be farting ourselves into oblivion. Researchers in Australia have discovered that we could be spreading the ravages of Covid-19 with our very own special brand of flatus. Now, at long last, the monkey has climbed off the Holstein’s back and cows can go back to being what they always were, a child’s delight.

I’ll leave you to decide whether you believe in this science or it’s just another of the many knee-jerk hypotheses floating around (pun intended). In the meantime, since we are all tired and frustrated with the quarantine and lack of human contact, may I make a suggestion? Hug a cow today.