If you have never given much thought to how wonderful cows are, now is a great time to start. Cows are gentle animals who are affectionate, emotional and intelligent. Mahatma Gandhi described a cow as “a poem of compassion.” Cows are certainly deserving of our compassion as well as our understanding and respect. Before I became vegan, i didn’t know much about cows. I had only seen one once; after all, i was a city girl.
When I visited a farmed animal sanctuary, I was amazed at how beautiful, serene and at peace these once abused but now fortunate animals were. Getting up close and personal with a cow and touching her was an emotional experience for me. …If you don’t know much about our bovine friends, here are 10 things about cows that may astound you:
Anyone who has lived with a dog or a cat can attest to how intelligent and quick these animals are. We always stop to marvel at how our cats know when we’re upset and need a snuggle or how our dogs can learn tricks and perform incredible feats. But what if we told you that dogs and cats aren’t the only intelligent animals out there?
Rather, you might be surprised to know that some of the most interesting, clever and intuitive characters live tucked away in cages, barns, and out of sight. I know first-hand just how smart farm animals are. During lunch breaks at work, I have played fetch with a turkey, taught pigs how to “sit” and “roll over,” and even had a rudimentary game of football with a group of hens. There is so much about these charming creatures that people don’t know, or don’t really bother to find out, so it’s time we celebrate them for the individuals that they are and the talents they possess. Here are six of the most amazing facts about farm animal intelligence and behavior.
“Cows have a secret mental life in which they bear grudges, nurture friendships, and become excited over intellectual challenges.” - Jonathan Leake, Science Editor, The Sundays Times
Have you ever seen a cow put her problem solving skills to the test? Or heard of cows who like jazz? No? Then prepare to be amazed! Behind their doe-eyed gaze, cows have a hidden depth that might surprise you.
Click through the photo gallery to discover some remarkable facts about these often underestimated animals:
Leading animal behavior scientists from around the globe know that chickens are inquisitive and interesting animals whose cognitive abilities are in some cases more advanced than those of cats, dogs, and even some primates.
Like all animals, chickens love their families and value their own lives. The social nature of chickens means that they are always looking out for their families and for other chickens in their group. People who have spent time with chickens know that they have complex social structures, adept communication skills, and distinct personalities, just as we do.
They can complete complex mental tasks, learn from watching each other, demonstrate self-control, worry about the future, and even have cultural knowledge that is passed from generation to generation.
The business of raising animals for food has changed dramatically over the years. Today large industrialized farms are the norm, mass-producing billions of farm animals every year for human consumption. In 2013, there were 32.5 million cattle and 112.1 million hogs brought to slaughter. Every day, 23 million chickens are killed in the United States and over 9 billion yearly. The cognitive abilities of farm animals are often overlooked or completely ignored as they’re seen as profitable commodities.
In the 17th century, philosopher Rene Descartes pondered the existence of animals’ thoughts and souls. To investigate his theories, he performed crude experiments (including vivisections) on live animals and deemed non-human animals to be nothing more than machines that did not possess souls or the ability to think.
Chicken Behavior: An Overview of Recent Science by Robert Grillo
Chickens have personalities as unique as your dog or your cat. This essay focuses on the intelligence and sophisticated social nature of chickens. It appeared on February 7 on the freefromharm.org site: