Monday, April 18, 2011

The Bovine Menace

"Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian."
~Dennis Wholey
According to Popular Mechanics, "Statistically speaking, you are much more likely to be killed by a cow than a shark." But Hollywood makes films about sharks like Jaws and Soul Surfer. When did you ever see a movie titled, "Cud, the Killer"?
Between 2003 and 2008, 108 people died from cattle-induced injuries across the United States, according to the CDC. During the same years, only four people were killed by sharks in the U.S. Does this mean you should scream and run in panic when you see a cow? No. A third of the victims were working in enclosed spaces with cattle. The majority of deaths involved older men who had worked with the animals for years.
Cows may look docile and dumb (which they are I'm told), but they are massive and can do serious damage when angered. My uncle had his knee smashed by a kicking cow and my grandfather was kicked in the head.
Here are some bovine safety tips:
 Avoid getting into a confined space with cows. People are killed when cows smashed them against the sides of gates, fences and barns. My mother said she carried a long pin when she walked in fields amongst cattle. She would use it if two cows started leaning in and squashing her in the middle.
 When facing an angry cow, get away immediately (but remember they run faster than you!) "Don't be afraid to kick, yell, punch, whatever," your life could be at risk and it's unlikely you'll hit hard enough to hurt a 1,400-pound cow.

If a cow or bull is pawing or snorting, "Get something between you and her," like nearby "trees, feed bunk, or other cows as long as they're chill."
Bottom Line

A calf may be cute but not so its angry mother. Treat cows with respect.

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