Their ‘sacred’ cow!


Contributed by RAMIL SEBASTIAN, a Zoology major from Davao City, Philippines. (You, too, can have your articles published here. Send them through e-mail to


COW IS THE ANIMAL that has something to do with the death of the mother of the well-loved American president Abraham Lincoln.

No, Mrs. Nancy Hanks Lincoln was not attacked, let alone devoured, by any of these domesticated herbivorous mammals that constitute the genus Bos, of the family Bovidae. She rather had drunk poisoned milk from the family dairy cow that had eaten wild snakeroot plant (some references mention poisonous mushrooms), and thus died October 5, 1818.

If in any subject you are tasked to report about this creature that provides us with meat, milk, leather, glue, gelatin, and other items of commerce, why not amaze your classmates with the following information fromThe Book of Useless Information by Noel Botham (New York, NY: Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2006):

1. Four hundred quarter-pounders can be made out of one cow.

2. It takes three thousand cows to supply the NFL with enough leather for a year’s supply of footballs.

3. In Jasmine, Saskatchewan, it is illegal for a cow to moo within three hundred kilometers of a private home.

4. In Texas, it is illegal to put graffiti on someone else’s cow.

5. In Bladworth, Saskatchewan, it is illegal to frown at cows.

6. Starbuck, a Canadian bull who sired two hundred thousand dairy cows and an equal number of bulls in his life, earned an estimated $25 million before he died in 1998. After his death, his frozen semen was still selling for $250 a dose.

7. Husbands and wives in India who desire children whisper their wish in the ear of a sacred cow.

8. The only country in the world that has a Bill of Rights for cows is India.

As to the term ‘sacred cow’ which is used to mean an object or practice which is considered immune from criticism, especially unreasonably so, it is anchored on the common knowledge of the place of cows in Indian religions as objects that have to be treated with respect, no matter how inconvenient.

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