Moo-ved By Bonnie’s Plight

, , , , , | | Learning | May 21, 2018

(I attend a small, private college and because there are some courses they don’t offer, they have a deal with the local state university that allows us to opt into courses required for our majors, etc. that [Small College] doesn’t have. One day, I have just finished my last class of the day, which happens to be at [State University]. [State University] has huge agricultural and veterinary programs, and there are often exhibits or even animals in the quad area for presentations to get undergrads interested. As I walk through the quad, I see a group of people gathered in front of a few older students wearing agricultural program t-shirts, and a fully grown cow inside of a small, portable pen. I walk over as one of the students is giving their presentation.)

Presenter: “Cows like Bonny, here, allow both the agricultural and veterinary students to have a better understanding of how bovine digestion works, and also how to better breed and treat cattle in general.”

Guy In The Crowd: “What’s so special about her?”

Presenter: “I’m glad you asked! If everyone will please step around to Bonny’s other side?”

(We all move around the pen, and immediately my jaw drops.)

Me: “Is that a window?

(Yes, Bonny the cow has a porthole-like window surgically installed in her side. You can actually see her digestive organs working.)

Guy In The Crowd: “Whoa! That’s so cool!”

Girl Next To Him: “Oh, my God! That’s awful! How could you do that to her?”

Presenter: “I promise, Bonny has had her window for a few years now and doesn’t even notice it. It functions much like a prosthetic limb would. We keep a close eye on it and replace any parts as needed for her. As our observation cow, she pretty much is living in the lap of luxury.”

(The girl is still angry and stomps away, yelling something about reporting them to the University.)

Me: “Doesn’t she realize the University would have had to authorize and pay for this procedure in the first place?”

Presenter: *shrugs and pats the cow’s head* “I guess not. Now, who wants to pet Bonny?”

(I’ll admit, the whole porthole-in-a-cow thing freaked me out when I first saw it, but Bonny did seem pretty content. She let us all pat her and munched away on some snacks the agriculture students had brought for her. Even after I graduated, she continued to be the [State University] “observation cow” until she hit retirement age. Whatever age that is for a cow.)

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