You’ll look at cows in a whole new light once you see how much they act like puppies.
What most people don’t realize is that a lot of farm animals are more than emotionless lumps of meat. In fact, they’re pretty much constant cuddle machines, just like our four-legged friends, dogs.
Cartoon characters aside, real life pigs and cows have mannerisms that might take you by surprise.
They are social animals who have shown emotional intelligence in more than one study. According to research, they exhibit signs of anxiety when kept in isolation, and they are clever enough to where they can solve puzzles.
Alexandra Green, a 21-year-old student at the University of Sydney, developed a test that provides evidence of cows’ sophisticated cognitive abilities. Green found that dairy cows could follow sound through a maze in order to find food, suggesting heightened executive function and decision-making abilities.
Cows, similar to numerous other nonhumans, display a full range of personalities including boldness, shyness, sociability, gregariousness, and being temperamental. Of course, these are not surprising results, and people working with and studying cows have known this for a long time.
Marc Bekhoff PhD writes in Psychology Today, “All in all, the cognitive and emotional lives of cows are not all that different from many other non-food animals, including the companions with whom we share our homes.”
A major review essay published in the journal Animal Behavior and Cognition by neuroscientist Lori Marino and Kristin Allen called “The Psychology of Cows” goes along way toward dispelling countless myths about these bright and emotional bovines.
Cows form strong bonds and friendships, choosing to spend much of their time with just a few preferred individuals. They even have best friends.
Studies have shown that when cows are with their closest companions, their stress levels decrease and when separated from them, their stress levels increase.
Cows help each other, learn from each other and make decisions based on compassion and altruism. They even form grooming partnerships where they can do each other’s hair.
The truth is, cows are not all that different from the canine companions we treat with so much respect.