Monday, July 14, 2008

How Now, You're A Cow

Sometimes, I think that things are what you make them. Milkshake the cow is one of those thing. No, I'm not saying that you can make a milkshake out of a cow. (I mean, you could, but no one wants that really.) I'm saying that if you think that a cow doesn't know that she's a cow, it's likely more because you think that and less likely that the cow thinks that.

In California (which is no surprise because I've seen all of those cheese commercials with those cows in them. It was probably inevitable that some sort of mental issue break out amongst those bovine. Next, be on the lookout for the Serta Sheep talking into their shoes and hiding behind potted palms as paranoid strikes the cuddly mattress hawkers.) there is a group called The Grace Foundation and they're located in El Dorado Hills, CA. (That's not to be confused with Eldorado, TX where the FLDS sect is all busy with their multiple wife collecting and their underage girl sexing-upping. Two very different organizations. One has to do with cows. The other has to do with cowards.) The folks at the Grace Foundation are helping a 2-year old cow named Milkshake deal with her "identity crisis". They claim that because she spent the first 2 years of her life confined to a very small and very dirty pen, she did not learn how to be a cow. (I guess they teach that during the first two years and, due to the confinement, she missed the classes. Or something like that. I guess.)

According to caretaker Beth DeCaprio (little relation, if any, to Leonardo), "She doesn't know she's a cow. She doesn't know where she fits." OK, so you're with me so far, right? There's a COW who doesn't know she's a COW and this group is trying to help the COW realize that she's a COW. Just so we're clear. Onward.

Since settling in at the Grace Foundation, Milkshake (the COW) has spent most of her time inside and around people Milkshake (the COW) also "attends classes with children." Wait. What was that last part? (Yeah, sadly, none of the reports that mentioned the cow "attending classes" provided any sort of elaboration whatsoever. As if it was so self explanatory, it would just be annoying to mention what KIND of classes or what their definition of "attending" was or even how the cow sits in those little desks (they're quite small!). Nice job, crappy modern news media folks. ) Here's a picture of Milkshake and on the wall behind her it says "Art Center", so maybe she's sitting in on the art classes. (And while I still find that strange, I'm kind of glad it's not math or something like that. That would probably just confuse her more.)

And attending classes with children and spending most of the time indoors with other people is going to help the cow realize that she's a cow, HOW exactly? Seems to me as if that's reinforcing the "I'm not a cow" mentality there. Actually, none of this makes any sense. According to DeCaprio, the reason that Milkshake became attached to people was because she was taken from her mother at only two weeks of age and then cooped up in a small pen for 2 years and never learned to graze. So, was she in that small pen with a bunch of PEOPLE for two years? How does that contribute to her not thinking she's a cow? Has anyone tried putting this cow in a field/pasture/place with grass with a bunch of other COWS just for the heck of it? You know, to see if she catches on?

One of the other tactics that is being used to help Milkshake realize that she's a cow is to "make up for all of the socializing that she missed out on." How does one do that, you might be wondering? (Or, you could be like me and be wondering, "Who's buying this crap?") Well, at the Grace Foundation, they're having the COW play with a little puppy named Riley. Yep. That should do it, all right. WHAT?!?!

According to DeCaprio, "I have been teaching Riley to ride on her back, and they both seem to like it." DO they, now? DO they? Yes, I can see where that will help. Because nothing screams "COW" like a "COW" with a puppy on it's back, right? NO!!

Is it any wonder this cow is confused? It's taking classes. It has a dog on it's back. It spends a lot of time inside. I mean, I'M confused by all of this, I can only imagine what the COW is going through! And I'm all for helping animals. I like animals. (Some of them are very tasty.) But I really don't see how any of this is helping. I could be wrong, but the way that this has gone so far, I don't think that I'll expect to see ol' Milkshake there out grazing in a field anytime soon. Perhaps she'll be sitting in a Barca-lounger with a smoking jacket and a pipe, reading the evening paper whilst a dog fetches her slippers. But I don't think she'll be grazing in a field.

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