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Today is Cow Appreciation Day and if you have never given much thought to how wonderful cows are, now is a great time to start. Cows form strong bonds and friendships, choosing to spend much of their time with just a few preferred individuals.
It may sound a bit like high school but cows have a social hierarchy with a Queen Bee…uh, Cow. Because cows form such strong bonds with their loved ones, it is only natural that they show signs of grief when separated from them.
While cows do “moo” to communicate, they also use different body positions and facial expressions. When cows are not enslaved in the meat and dairy industry, their natural lifespan can be up to 20 years. Leakey helped to facilitate Jane Goodall’s long-term field study of chimpanzees in the wild,Dian Fossey’s work with mountain gorillas in Rwanda, and Birute Galdikas-Brindamour’s work with orangutans in the Sarawak region of Indonesia. If you add up all the numbers, the North Island has 2,990,250 cows on it, that's almost 3 million and the South Island has 1,932,556, that's almost 2 million!!
Cows are actually very intelligent, curious and able to think critically and solve problems. Cows have great memories and are very good at remembering and recognizing faces even after long periods of time.


There is often one cow in the herd who is seen as the boss and who dictates behavior to the rest of the cows. Visit one of the many animal sanctuaries where cows get to live in peace and safety and maybe even give one a belly rub. This fact is incredibly evident in the example of one monkey who was recently saved from life as a pet in Chile. Mahatma Gandhi described a cow as “a poem of compassion.” Cows are certainly deserving of our compassion as well as our understanding and respect.
Studies have shown that cows are capable of learning associations and using past experiences to determine their future actions.
Studies have shown that when cows are with their BFFs (Bovine Forever Friends), their stress levels decrease and when separated from them, their stress levels increase. Mother cows will search for their babies, visibly distressed, just as the calves cry for their mother. If one cow gets up from eating and starts walking across the field, other cows may get up and follow.
Cows raised for meat are slaughtered when less than 2 years old and calves killed for veal don’t get to live more than a few months. When faced with a challenge, cows get very excited with elevated heart rates and brainwaves.


Cows help each other, learn from each other and make decisions based on compassion and altruism.
When new cows are introduced to a well-established herd, she will have to network and build relationships until she is accepted into the pack.
Even cows who have been mistreated or abused in the past can heal over time, forgive and learn to trust people again.
Cows used in the dairy industry are sent to slaughter when their milk production slows, usually around the age of 4. There is also a sense of maternal community as other cows in the herd will help nurture calves if necessary. They may dislike certain individuals and can hold a grudge for years against other cows and people who have crossed them.



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