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Cows hold grudges, say scientists
News.Com.AU ^ | staff writer

Posted on 02/28/2005 8:03:26 AM PST by yankeedame

Cows hold grudges, say scientists

By Jonathan Leake
February 28, 2005

ONCE they were a byword for mindless docility. But cows have a complex mental life in which they bear grudges, nurture friendships and become excited by intellectual challenges, researchers have found.

Cows are capable of strong emotions such as pain, fear and even anxiety about the future. But if farmers provide the right conditions, they can also feel great happiness.

The findings have emerged from studies of farm animals that have found similar traits in pigs, goats and chickens. They suggest such animals may be so emotionally similar to humans that welfare laws need to be reconsidered.

The research will be presented to a conference in London next month sponsored by animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming.

Christine Nicol, professor of animal welfare at Britain's Bristol University, said even chickens might have to be treated as individuals with needs and problems.

"Remarkable cognitive abilities and cultural innovations have been revealed," she said. "Our challenge is to teach others that every animal we intend to eat or use is a complex individual, and to adjust our farming culture accordingly."

Her colleague John Webster added: "People have assumed intelligence is linked to the ability to suffer, and that because animals have smaller brains they suffer less than humans. That is a pathetic piece of logic."

The Bristol researchers have documented how cows within a herd form friendship groups of between two and four animals with whom they spend most of their time, often grooming and licking each other. They will also dislike other cows, and can bear grudges for months or years.

Donald Broom, professor of animal welfare at Cambridge University, will tell the conference how cows can become excited by solving intellectual challenges.

In one study, researchers challenged the animals with a task where they had to find how to open a door to get some food. An electroencephalograph was used to measure their brainwaves.

"The brainwaves showed their excitement; their heartbeat went up and some even jumped into the air. We called it their Eureka moment," Professor Broom said.

The assumption that farm animals cannot suffer from conditions that would be intolerable for humans is partly based on the idea they have no sense of self. Latest research suggests this is untrue.

"Sentient animals have the capacity to experience pleasure and are motivated to seek it," Professor Webster said.

"You only have to watch how cows and lambs both seek and enjoy pleasure when they lie with their heads raised to the sun on a perfect English summer's day. Just like humans."


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: animals; babsstreisand; eatmorechicken; moo; starjones
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1 posted on 02/28/2005 8:03:26 AM PST by yankeedame
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To: yankeedame

Hillary still won't speak to Ken Starr.


2 posted on 02/28/2005 8:04:13 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: yankeedame

More reasons to fear Hillary.


3 posted on 02/28/2005 8:05:19 AM PST by rintense
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To: yankeedame

"Bite me and I won't forgive you."
4 posted on 02/28/2005 8:05:35 AM PST by monkapotamus
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: yankeedame
Oh boy, more ammo for the vegans. Meat is murder!

I'm off for my double-bacon with cheese now...

6 posted on 02/28/2005 8:07:50 AM PST by Reagan is King (The modern definition of 'racist' is someone who is winning an argument with a liberal.)
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To: yankeedame

As long as they keep tasting like steak, they can hold whatever they want.

~Corey


7 posted on 02/28/2005 8:08:44 AM PST by corlorde (Without the home of the brave, there would be no land of the free)
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To: yankeedame

Another sign that Armageddon is near.


8 posted on 02/28/2005 8:08:51 AM PST by Drango (Freepmail me to get on/off the *NPR/PBS* ping list)
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To: yankeedame

I can definitely believe this about pigs, and I suppose it could be true about cows and goats, but I have a serious problem with believing that chickens have complex emotions (having raised chickens, they are some of the stupidest animals on the planet).


9 posted on 02/28/2005 8:09:07 AM PST by Little Pig (Is it time for "Cowboys and Muslims" yet?)
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To: monkapotamus

10 posted on 02/28/2005 8:09:16 AM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: yankeedame
Righto! ..just ask Gary Larson. :^)
11 posted on 02/28/2005 8:09:36 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you :^)
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To: yankeedame
Cows hold grudges, say scientists

Sheesh, no wonder!:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1352194/posts

12 posted on 02/28/2005 8:10:27 AM PST by JennysCool (I was so naive as a kid I used to sneak behind the barn and do nothing. -Johnny Carson)
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To: yankeedame

I wonder if this mans "Cows" have some of those emotions?

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1351856/posts


Man Accused of Having Relations With Cows

NEILLSVILLE, Wis. (AP) -- A 63-year-old man is charged with sexual gratification with an animal for allegedly having sex with calves.

Harold G. Hart, of Neillsville, allegedly told police that he routinely stopped at a Greenwood farm, usually after bar closing or on trips to strip clubs near Marshfield or Neillsville.

A criminal complaint filed in Clark County Circuit Court said the farm's owners installed a motion detector on Jan. 22 after regularly seeing footprints and vehicle tracks on their land. Around 4 a.m. the next morning, a sensor sounded and Hart was caught leaving the barn, but Hart allegedly said he just used a bathroom in the barn and had never been there before.

Go to the other thread its a "moot"


13 posted on 02/28/2005 8:12:01 AM PST by Rightly Biased (I believe If you can't say something good about somebody your probably talking about Hillary Clinton)
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To: yankeedame
In one study, researchers challenged the animals with a task where they had to find how to open a door to get some food. An electroencephalograph was used to measure their brainwaves.

"The brainwaves showed their excitement; their heartbeat went up and some even jumped into the air. We called it their Eureka moment," Professor Broom said.

More likey their 'Food!' moment.

14 posted on 02/28/2005 8:12:39 AM PST by CaptRon (Pedecaris alive or Raisuli dead)
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To: skinkinthegrass

15 posted on 02/28/2005 8:12:41 AM PST by null and void (They aren't character flaws, they're character embellishments...)
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To: yankeedame

He really was a chicken running around with his head cut off. The e-mail message seemed innocent enough. A reader simply asked "Ever heard of the story posted here at this link?" and offered a hyperlink to another web page. I clicked and came across a story that I was sure had to be pure fiction. The only problem is that the story appears to be totally true.

This is the story about Mike the chicken. Mike, of course, was not your ordinary chicken. No, not ordinary at all. You see, Mike was a headless chicken. If you want to be really specific, Mike was actually a headless Wyandotte rooster.

I should point out that Mike wasn't always a headless bird. In fact, he was born 100% normal, complete with a head (most normal chickens have one of these) in Fruita, Colorado.

On September 10, 1945, Mike's short five-and-a-half month life was about to take a turn for the worse. On this day, Mike received a death sentence. His owners, Lloyd and Clara Olsen, decided that it was time to slaughter a group of birds, some to sell and to prepare others for themselves. Out to the hen house they went…

Watch out Mike!

As you can probably imagine, Mr. Olsen was the one whacking the heads off while Clara plucked and cleaned the birds.

Bash! Down came the ax and off went Mike's head.

Mike's head was surely dead. Mike's body was not.

Now I know what you are thinking - it is well known that chickens will run around frantically when their heads are chopped off. That's probably where that old expression comes from. And, everyone knows that a headless chicken just can't survive more than a few moments.

Apparently, Mike forgot to read the rulebook for playing the game of Life. His head may have been lying on the floor, but he had no problem standing up and strutting around as if nothing had actually happened. The next day, Mike was still flopping around, so Lloyd decided to feed him to see how long he could keep the bird alive. Day after day he continued to gain weight.

Mike could easily balance himself on the highest perches without falling. His crowing consisted of a gurgling sound made in his throat. Mike even attempted to preen his feathers with his nonexistent head (apparently he never noticed). It seems that Mike could do just about anything that any other chicken could do, if you exclude all of the functions of his head.

As I'm sure you can imagine, headless chickens are not an everyday event. In the tradition of that famous huckster Barnum, there was money to be made in this oddity. A promoter by the name of Hope Wade came along and convinced Lloyd that Mike would be a big draw in the sideshow circuit. Miracle Mike, as he soon came to be known, toured up and down the West Coast of the United States. Just six weeks after his beheading, Mike was featured in a Life magazine article and his fame grew. For just 25 cents, anyone could pay to get a look at Mike. At the height of his popularity, Mike was raking in a cool $4,500 per month, which was no small potatoes in those days. They probably would have thrown in his head as a bonus - it was stored in a canning jar and toured along with Mike. (Actually, a cat ate Mike’s head. Some other poor chicken’s head was pickled in the jar.)

And, if there was money to be made, there were also copycats. Other people in Mike's hometown began to chop the heads off of their own chickens in an attempt to get in on the scheme. One copycat headless rooster was named Lucky and he managed to live for eleven days before bashing himself into a stovepipe and dying (Lucky wasn't that lucky after all). Several other headless chickens lived for a couple of days.

So how was Mike able to survive? Scientists examined him and determined that Mr. Olsen had not done a very good job at chopping Mike's head off. Most of the head was actually removed, but one ear remained intact. The slice actually missed the jugular vein and a clot prevented him from bleeding to death. Apparently, most of a chicken's reflex actions are located in the brain stem, which was also largely untouched. Mike was also examined by the officers of several humane societies and was declared to have been free from suffering.

Through his open esophagus, Mike was fed a mixture of ground up grain and water with your typical eyedropper. Little bits of gravel were dropped down his throat to help his gizzard grind up the food.

One serious problem that Mike commonly experienced was that he would start to choke on his own mucus. The Olsens came up with the simple solution of using a syringe to suck the mucus out. But, one day tragedy struck. Mike was traveling back home to Fruita and was roosting with the Olsens in their Phoenix motel room. They heard Mike choking in the middle of the night and quickly realized that they had left the syringe at the sideshow the day before. Miracle Mike was no more.

The exact date of Mike’s belated departure from this world was never recorded. Years later, it was estimated, based on Lloyd’s information, that Miracle Mike died in March of 1947. Eighteen months living without a head could be considered a world’s record. Yet, Lloyd didn’t want to admit that he had accidentally killed the bird, so he claimed that he had sold the bird off. This little white lie is the reason that many of the stories printed about Mike claimed that he was still touring the country as late as 1949.

But wait, the story is not over! Mike actually has his own holiday! On May 17, 1999, Mike's hometown of Fruita held the first "Mike the Headless Chicken Day" in honor of one of its most famous citizens. Some of the events included the 5K Run Like a Headless Chicken Race, egg tosses, Pin the Head on the Chicken, the Chicken Cluck-Off, and the classic Chicken Dance. The food offerings included - you guessed it - chicken, chicken salad, and the like. Let's not forget the great game of Chicken Bingo in which the numbers were chosen by where chicken droppings fell on a numbered grid.

If you are interested, Mike the Headless Chicken Day is an annual event. As peculiar as it is to describe, it actually sounds like a great time. And it’s all done in celebration of the life of one lucky bird named Miracle Mike.

Useless? Useful? I'll leave that for you to decide.

16 posted on 02/28/2005 8:14:49 AM PST by boris (The deadliest weapon of mass destruction in history is a leftist with a word processor.)
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To: Reagan is King
Yup, if God didn't want us to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them outta meat!

Definitely in the moood for red meat - lunchtime!
17 posted on 02/28/2005 8:14:51 AM PST by Sax
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To: yankeedame

Cows hold grudges?

Rosie O'D?


18 posted on 02/28/2005 8:15:28 AM PST by Al Gator
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Donald Broom, professor of animal welfare at Cambridge University, will tell the conference how cows can become excited by solving intellectual challenges.

Maybe it's just me but I think the cows are excited about the sweet cakes they smell behind behind Door #2.

19 posted on 02/28/2005 8:17:11 AM PST by elli1
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To: yankeedame

Excellent news for NOW...


20 posted on 02/28/2005 8:17:30 AM PST by pabianice
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