Cows and Horns

Did you know that milking cows naturally grow horns?

So where did all the horns go? Who decided that this natural expression of cow-ishness was wrong, and needed to be remedied?

Why do we only find milk cows with horns at farms like Plaw Hatch, near Forest Row?

Well, it’s a type of farming brought in since the 1950’s, with the rise of ‘international markets’ and ‘global economies’ (those grand and inevitable sounding concepts) that followed the Second World War.

Because we tried to make the world smaller, and closer, to stop such wars happening again, we agreed to buy things from countries far far away. This meant that England could buy milk much cheaper from a distant land than the English farmer could provide. This was the result of currency and wealth differences, which could not be helped, without a really radical shake-up (Novus ordo seclorum…?)

So the type of farming that was traditional – it had to change.

Today, therefore, we have a system where today, milk-cows have their horns burned off with a red-hot poker when they are very young. This stops the horns ever growing back.

This sounds brutal, and it is. Farmers are meant to anaethetize, but as one old boy told us, “farmers aren’t doctors, are they? Don’t really know about all that medical stuff. Just got to get the job done quick.”

Bulls are allowed to keep their horns, but these are mostly pure silica, just bone. A cow’s horn, on the other hand, is a thin layer of silica, with lots of nerves and flesh inside.

So why do we burn them off? Well, simply enough, its like chopping off peoples’ hair, and taking their clothes away – it reduces their individuality, and lets you shove loads of them in together in a small space. It lets them be treated more like milk-machines, and less like living creatures. It nullifies their native resistance to such treatment, and disengages their in-built survival instinct.

So what are the disadvantages to such treatment, apart from the idea of mal-treatment? Why react like an over-sensitive liberal on this matter?

Well, cows horns are linked directly to their digestive system. So when you remove the horns, you remove their digestive immunities, and suddenly there is a need to introduce antibiotics.

And once the cows need antibiotics, their milk is full of it, and people start to need these unessential medicines too.

The rise in human antibiotic intake roughly corresponds to the new agricultural practice of horn-removal, but that is not a scientific and historical point of view, but instead our own amateur detective-work.

So the next time you see a milk-farmer, ask them why there are no horns on their cows, and see what they have to say…

And while you’re at it, ask them how long calves get to stay with their mothers after they are born. The mother has carried the calf, and then births it, and we all know how strong the maternal instinct is, right? Well, your typical English farm gives them 24 hours together, before a lifetime apart.


And we call ourselves a nation of animal lovers…

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