Bloggers often tout the wonders of new lands. However, travel is a risky business. It exposes you to elements that while seeming benign are in reality extremely dangerous. Yes, the world is full of peril, But there is one evil, in particular, that potentially lurks behind every bush, around every hedge, and could even be in your own backyard this very minute. What could possibly be so malevolent you ask? Bos Taurus.
When I speak of the bovine menace, it comes from firsthand experience. I have been cornered by their horns in Paraguay, stared down by their emotionless eyes in Spain, nearly trampled under their hooves in Ecuador, and faced the humiliating ordeal of being defecated on by these brutes in India. If there is one thing I have learned from my travels, it is that if a cow ever got the chance, he would eat you and everyone you care about.
Now, you might say that I am overreacting. That you’ve gone through life, maybe even traveled to a few rural areas, and never had a bad experience with cattle. But you see, all it takes is one bad cow, and let me tell you, even if they may look docile, they are just one branding iron away from being a bull in a china shop.
The data here backs me up. According to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive, 74 people have been murdered by cows in the last 15 years, making them Britain’s most dangerous animal, and in the United States, around 20 people are assassinated by cows each year.
As the statistics prove, the danger of cattle is a problem that affects us all, and everyone is a potential victim, from elderly grandmothers out on their morning walk, to student backpackers, even children. Cows do not discriminate; they kill because they can.
Some claim that not all cows are the same. What about Indian cows? Raised in a culture that extols the virtues of vegetarianism and non-violence, shouldn’t these cows have a more docile demeanor? Unfortunately, cattle cannot be assimilated into our peaceful society. It is a genetic reality that a cow will act like a cow. Nor can cows forget past and current atrocities committed against their kind. Even if you have nothing to do with the meatpacking industry, a cow does not care, for these animals are born to hate, and vengeance is in their blood.
Luckily, people are beginning to fight back. In the UK, grassroots initiatives have developed to warn people of the dangers of these beasts. Concerned citizens have taken to posting signs indicating where cattle tend to frequent so that bystanders have a heightened sense of awareness.
Yet, it’s not enough. Simply put, there are too many cows. But there are solutions. One of the easiest ways of minimizing the four-legged threat is to keep our paths from crossing in the first place. Only by building more fences can the government suitably protect its citizens from cows that illegally cross property lines. But until meaningful legislation is passed, we may never be safe outdoors.
Ironically, it is our own democratic institutions that put us at risk. We need to put a stop to the endless debates and take action. Countries like Ghana seem to be on the right path. There, the government took concrete steps to safeguard its citizens. Dubbed Operation Cow Leg, security personnel now shoot cows on sight to protect villagers.
With bovine-related violence occurring weekly around the world, maybe it’s time we too consider taking extreme measures to protect the ones we love. Cows cannot be reasoned with, and enhanced security initiatives may be the only options to defend us from their murderous intent. Civil rights advocates contend that the cost to our freedoms would be too high, but with the death toll rising daily how can you put a price on safety?