Cuddle a cow and be calm and content

It is time to be kind to your mind. To find some contentment. To be calm, to connect with nature, which is the way to achieve it in my opinion and getting close to cows is a wellness concept which appears to have originated in America in which has crossed the pond to the UK and arrived at Dumble Farm near Beverley, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, UK.

Fiona Wilson sold her 200 strong herd of cows last year because of increased flooding on her farm which appears to have made it untenable. She faced a difficult financial future. She picked up on the idea of cow cuddling to make some money.

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She has five dairy cows whose names are Grandma, Snowflake, Crocus, Cloud, Soft Face, Cuddlepuff and Kerri. She couldn’t get rid of them so they are employed in an entirely different way.

Fiona Wilson runs Dumble Farm with her husband Will and her brother James. They sell cow cuddling sessions for £40 a person for two hours at a time.

They are oversubscribed which proves it’s very popular. Perhaps, like me, people do feel the need to be kind to their mind. I think this is a successful concept because, arguably, the world is becoming more and more difficult and worrisome. You know what I mean, the wars in Israel and Ukraine. We’ve just been through Covid-19 which has had a dramatic impact upon people’s lives and continues to do so.

There’s been inflation and financial pressures. The list goes on. It’s a good time to be kind to your mind and Fiona Wilson agrees with me it seems.

The cow cuddling sessions typically involve spending time up close and personal with the cows. You stroke them and brush them or simply lie against them. In the photograph we have a woman simply holding onto a cow while resting against the animal at Dumble Farm.

Wilson said that selling her dairy herd had been very difficult for her but increased flooding simply made it impossible as the fields were underwater for months at a time.

Her farm is in a flood area. She thinks that the rivers and drains should have been dredged which has exacerbated the problem. The Environmental Agency in the UK has strongly suggested that there is more flooding in Yorkshire than in the past because of climate change. They are urging people to assess whether they live in a flood area. Flooding has become a genuine issue in Yorkshire and in the north generally because that’s where the weather systems sweep across the country from south-west to north-east. And there has been an awful lot of rain in the north this autumn.

She says that some people just like to stand close to the cows while others really get involved and hug them and lay their heads against them.

She said:

“Some people really get it and sit with them and give them a hug and lay their heads on them and really get into it. Others just want to stand near them and stroke them. We do try and encourage people to get really hands-on with them. You get some people who just sit with them and find it quite relaxing because cows are not judgemental and people get a sense of well-being from just being around them. You have to have that quietness, otherwise you will frighten the animal. The cows seem to like it. If cows don’t like something, they will let you know.”

Fiona Wilson

Clients are queueing up to spend hours hugging cows. Cows are perceived as livestock by many. They are devalued as a consequence in my opinion. I can remember a farmer, I believe he’s in Europe, who has a really wonderful relationship with one of his bulls. He treats them as sentient beings and friends. Just like a domestic companion animal, like a cat or dog. That’s what they can be.

And it is the reason why living with a cat or dog does the same thing. It helps keep people calm and emotionally balanced.

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