7 Reasons to Replace the Horse With the Cow
Great news from Germany! The horse is obsolete. A fifteen year old girl has trained a cow to show-jump because her parents refused to buy her a horse. At 7 Reasons, we love this sort of defiant ingenuity so, in honour of the quite brilliant Regina Meyer, here are seven reasons to replace the horse with the cow.
1. The Grand National. Or, The Festival of Horse-Death – as it’s called in my house – with its high fences and terrifying leaps is dangerous for both riders and horses. If we replaced the horses with cows though, imagine how much better it would be. Would cows even attempt to hurdle over Canal Turn or Becher’s Brook? No, of course they wouldn’t, they’d just amble round them, perhaps pausing to nibble at the racecourse (or grass, as it’s known to laymen). There’d be no injuries to jockeys, no innocent animals would be shot and there’d be fresh milk for everyone at the finish. Or – if the race had been ridden at a quick pace – milkshakes. Even if cows did get injured and required shooting it would still be better. If you shoot a horse, you get a dead horse. If you shoot a cow, you get a nice sofa or a handbag. Or a steak.
2. Food. Strange as it may seem, there are people out there that eat horses. They’re called The French. But French cuisine is awful. After all, if it was any good, French chefs would stay there and cook it, wouldn’t they? But they don’t, they’re all over here in Britain, cooking food that doesn’t contain horses; making hors d’oeuvres rather than horse d’oeuvres. Is France teeming with British chefs? No. That’s because horseless cuisine is better and they want to stay. If France replaced the horse with the cow, their chefs wouldn’t leave in their droves.
3. Milk. The phrase, “get off your horse and drink your milk”, is often attributed to John Wayne. But if we were to follow Wayne’s suggestion, and get off our horse and drink our milk, we’d still have to find a cow because drinking horse-milk would just be weird. And would you fancy trying to milk a horse? I certainly wouldn’t. So if you had a horse, you’d still need a cow. If you rode a cow though, you’d only need one animal – your cow – and rather than getting off it to drink your milk, you could probably construct some sort of straw/hose milking-device to deliver your beverage to you in situ. Call yourself a cowboy, John Wayne? Too bloody right you were.
4. Society. Cows aren’t horses. They aren’t evil, terrifying, flighty and they don’t chase me round the dining room in my dreams. The world would just be a nicer place with fewer horses. What happens in a society where there are lots of horses? I’ll tell you. The streets of Edwardian Britain were riddled with the infernal beasts running amok, terrorising women in corsets and babies in perambulators just because they’d heard a backfiring omnibus or been startled by an oncoming charabang. Would cows have reacted in such a dangerous fashion? Nay.
5. The Future. You can predict future events just by looking at animals. If you look at a horse, you can tell that something bad will happen, and if you see a cow, you can apparently tell what the weather will be, just by whether it’s sitting-down or standing-up. And there’s an old piece of country wisdom which goes, “pink cow at night, Angel Delight”. Cows tell you stuff about the future and horses just give you the heebie-geebies.
6. India. In India, cows are sacred and roam free and many drivers will swerve into almost anything to avoid a collision with them. It stands to reason, therefore, that the safest place to be in India, is on a cow. Cars and trucks would actually go out of their way to avoid you. Brilliant. It would be safer than riding a horse and safer even than riding an elephant. And cows aren’t governed by speed limits, traffic lights or contraflow systems. They can go anywhere. Usually to moo at things.
7. My Family History. My late father was a horse. Not all the time, you should understand, but occasionally. I believe he was a horse twice during his lifetime. Or rather, half a horse. As a part of Manchester University’s rag week in the late 1950s, he and two friends competed in the 2:10 at Lingfield one Saturday. He (front half of horse) and his friends (back half and jockey) hid behind one of the fences during a rare – in those days – televised meeting and waited. When the other horses approached and jumped the fence, my father and his friends sprung from their hiding place and galloped down the course in pursuit of them. Despite a great deal of exertion over the following couple of furlongs, they were unable to make up much ground and soon began to tire. Their race concluded early when they were chased away by an angry policeman. That was the highlight of my father’s sporting career. In fact, it’s the biggest sporting accomplishment in our entire family history. But if those horses had been cows, my dad could have won that race. And then we could have put him out to stud. He’d have liked that.