No need to showcase a mother cow in labor
Once again this year, as in the past several, the Erie County Fair will feature as one of its attractions a cow giving birth in front of a crowd of spectators. The fair will even text you when birth is imminent.
New studies are coming out all the time citing new research into the deep emotional lives of animals. In “The Secret Life of Cows,” written by an English farmer who observed them up close every day, one would be struck by the many levels of emotions and behaviors experienced by these lovely, placid animals.
Rosamund Young writes: “Cows can love, play games, bond and form strong lifelong friendships. They can sulk, hold grudges and they can have preferences and be vain.” The website MNN.com (Mother Nature Network) names cows as number 8 out of the 10 smartest animals on earth: “They possess a rich and complex emotional life. Scientists have found that cows have friends and enemies. Cows are also capable of feeling strong emotions such as pain, fear and even anxiety …” The strong maternal feeling of a mother cow toward her calf is legendary; just Google mother cow and calf for their stories.
Once upon a time the Erie County Fair was a quaint, wholesome activity for the entire family. But today, with the many shows, rides, contests, entertainment and other dizzying activities, it seems particularly crude and totally unnecessary to showcase a mother cow in labor amidst the cacophony of loud noise, gawking and carnival atmosphere. The so-called freak shows of the Erie County Fair are rightfully things of the past – this one should go, too.