“Cow cuddling is the new yoga” said a friend of The Times journalist Laura Pullman who has been stuck in New York State for the past year because of travel bans due to the Covid pandemic.
The Dutch have long advocated cow hugging as a therapy. It in no way surprises me. The wellbeing that comes from it is very similar that enjoyed by therapy animals. There are many people who rely on therapy animals to help them get through the day.
Forgetting specialist therapy animals you don’t have to look further than the humble domestic cat and dog. They all help people feel better. We all know it.
When Pullman managed to track down a cow who was prepared to be cuddled by a human after five hours of searching (it can’t be that popular in the US) she concluded that the 1,800 pound Holstein bullock (not a cow then) smelled “surprisingly nice, a sweet whiff like maple syrup”.
She laid her head against his copious flank and heard his stomach gurgling. She said:
“His calmness seems to radiate into me, and I slow my breathing to match his….I unexpectedly appreciate how this bizarre interaction can offer a simple joy and physical comfort during dark and isolating times.”
So it works. Why? Because humans need to be near nature. They need to connect with nature as it is in their DNA. Humans are human-animals. You will receive the same sort of calm and peace if you walk in a copse of trees in a park like Richmond Park in south west London. That too is connecting with nature.
Seek solace in nature: flora and fauna, and you’ll find your version of happiness.
P.S. People who try cow cuddling are those who have for example recently lost a spouse or a child. But I would suggest that you should do it or something similar daily as a preventative ‘medicine’.