Posts tagged ‘fighting cows’

October 26, 2012

turns out I’m right to be scared of cows

26.10.12 Thursday

I read somewhere that in the UK there’s a surprising number of cow-related deaths every year. They may look cow-like, docile, but their horns are harder than bull’s horns, I seem to remember reading somewhere else, and they weigh A LOT. The heaviest class of fighting cow on Sunday weighed around 600-800 kilos. The 600 kilo ones were the meanest.

I am not going to check the above facts, in case I’m wrong, and the reality is disappointing. Like with ostrich milk.

Oh, it turns out I wasn’t imaginging things.

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October 25, 2012

the battle of the mean girls

More details about the fighting cows. That their moo is closer to a roar than a moo. And what is it with all that rubbing their face in the dirt? There’s the usual pawing the ground you see in bull-fighting, but here there’s also this vigorous and prolonged rubbing of both sides of the face in the dust they’ve just been kicking up. The first time I saw it, I thought the cow might have a bad case of conjunctivitis. Now I think it might be more like those pre-fighting rituals where you daub your face with dirt to look scarier. Or it could be the cows saying “This is my  turf, this is where I’m  going to go sleepy-byes tonight.”

In terms of violence, it’s nice that no-one wants them to injure themselves or each other, and you certainly don’t see the leaping around typically associated with broncos at the rodeo, but, according to Christina, they do, occasionally, lose a horn. They fight by horn-butting each other, and their owners often put plaster of Paris on the horns to protect them.  And I actually saw, during at a couple of the constests on Saturday, when two cows had locked horns, one of them getting enough leverage to lift the other completely off the ground by the head . It was quite startling. Also, I’m pretty sure they were often going for each others’ eyes, the bitches. The cows.

M. was laughing at one point at a cow who seemed to be using her tail like a windscreen-wiper to spread the shit that was coming out from her behind in all directions – including all over her backside. It was hard to tell whether it was voluntary or involuntary, but as a “get off my turf” tactic the cowshit-spreading strategy looked pretty good.

October 23, 2012

the 25-year-old shepherdess and her herd of fighting cows

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20.10.12 Morgex

Our neighbor, Cristina, was in the field, looking after her cows, brown and white ones and black “queens”, the aggressive breed that competes in the Bataille des Reines. She explained that they couldn’t be left alone as the black ones were constantly escaping and getting into fights. The black cows fight each other, terrorise the milder-mannered brown and white cows, and the younger black cows gang up on the older queens, and they spend all day fighting and injuring each other. One of the black cows had a big, fly-covered scratch, not quite a gash, on her side, from a reigning queen making sure she knew who was boss. Cristina explained that they are all pregnant, and aren’t allowed to fight in the competitions unless they are.

One of the herding dogs was patently terrified of the cows. The oldest one, Cherie, was lying semi-immersed in a puddle. And the other, the most sprightly, would zoom off barking its head off every time a crow flew overhead. This one would also get upset and run over barking at any black cows that started pawing the ground and looking like they were getting ready to fight.

Cristina kept us there for about 45 minutes, obviously grateful the company. One of the brown cows gave her hand a vigorous licking with her dark tongue, very much like a dog. They nuzzled her like dogs too. The queen that’s fighting in Aosta tomorrow wasn’t in the field as she was being kept in the barn in case she eats too much and goes over her weight class tomorrow. I feel like becoming a vegetarian again. How can you eat things you feel such affection for, as Cristina obviously does?

October 23, 2012

Cow gladiators – La Bataille des Reines, Aosta 21.10.12

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