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The Rock-itt : June 2012
Sunday May 13th, was Mother's Day and I spent a large part of it in the Bourke Street Mall in a cow suit. A sign around my neck a stark reminder of why I was there, "I'm a mother too" it read. So I came, albeit for a few short hours, to view the world through the lens of a cow. I was struck by the many and varied attitudes from people passing by and how they mirrored the same attitudes people have towards mother cows and indeed all farmed animals. Some people defiantly pretended not to notice a rather large cow in their path offering them a leaflet and a 'Happy Mother's Day' cheerio, or perhaps they really didn't notice, so consumed in the passion of their next purchase. Some children insistently delighted in pulling my tail, despite my protests 'you'll break it'. Others on seeing a really large cow suited person were heard to shriek 'hey, quick take my picture' to their friends as they rushed to hug the cow, offering an obligatory peace sign. But most politely took a leaflet and from my distorted view I could see m any stop, smiling inquisitively as they read about the cute little calf named Hansel, who innocently peered back at them. The picture told that Hansel was one in a million and posed the question 'want to know why?' Som e pensively turning to the back to find the answer, others folded up the leaflet for later reading. Perhaps wounded by the new found awareness that indeed cows were mothers too who dearly loved their babies and suffered from the loss by separation and human complicity to this, some people returned to learn a little more. I felt incredibly vulnerable in the suit as I awkwardly moved about in the foreign environment of the mall, scared I am going to trip and fall as people bustled about me Coming to know cows as I do was all the reason I needed to be where I was on that day - to make a plea to human decency that we can do better. Cows are naturally cheerful and innocently inquisitive. They form strong and ongoing bonds with those they like and will harbour grudges against those they don't. Cows have a keen sense of smell, so watch out if you come to Edgar's Mission bearing concealed wheetbix in your bag. It won't only be the piggies you'll have to keep an eye out for. Their babies, given the chance, will play together and mother cows will even form a nursery-like alliance allowing others to wander off while they look after the crèche. Stories abound of cows who have walked over great distances to find their separated calves. And they like to spend their days eating grass, chewing cud and looking into the distance having peaceful 'cow' thoughts. Sadly, it is often this facade of nonchalance that causes people to think cows are dull and dim, yet their world is a rich and em otional one. Of happy, sad, and even 'eureka' moments when they find something new and interesting, or solve a problem. All these things are supported by science not just anecdote. In short cows really are 'cool' and when one sees the world of a cow as I have, one can never 'unsee' them! ................Pam Ahern To contact Edgar’s Mission go to: www.edgarsmission.org.au Perhaps you can make these animal’s lives better too. Ask Pam what you can do to help.