Out Standing in His Field

Out Standing in His Field

The Man Who Became a Cow

60,000,000 tonnes of beef is eaten worldwide every year.

So that settled it. I would have to become a cow.

I watched a thrilling documentary called “How to be a Cow” and it was without a doubt the most significant and life-changing 60 seconds of my entire life. From this video, I learned some important rules surrounding what it takes to be a cow. For example, you have to be able to sing and dance, you must eat grass, and there’s also some specific rules regarding being able to jump as high as the moon and also being able to communicate with your cutlery. It was very informative.

The next step was the physical transformation. It went a lot like the makeover scene in The Princess Diaries, except completely different. By that I mean that I went to Krazy $ Deals and bought a costume and that was it. Regardless, I now felt the part.

The final, and most important step, was to go to a farm and live as a cow. So I did. In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have worn a thin cow costume in a field in the middle of winter, drank from a trough, and eaten grass, but I’m desperate and will do anything for attention.

The first thing I noticed about cow life is that it’s really fucking boring. The only things to do were eat, take a shit, and scream. Usually I love doing those things, but somehow the looming thought of me being killed, butchered, and eaten just ruined the fun.

To make it worse, I was walking on all fours through a pungent mix of shit, piss, and mud. This would have been bad enough, but not only did I not have any hooves (because I couldn’t seem to grow them for some reason) but I also didn’t have any gloves either. If I die from typhoid, please just set my body on fire. I don’t want to come back as a zombie or something; one go on this planet was more than enough to break my spirit.

The boredom was pretty bad. I realised that I had to find something to keep me entertained soon, or else I would probably end up butchering myself just for the lols.

I tried watching the clouds and looking for interesting shapes and patterns, but seeing as I was a cow I was conceptually constrained to simple things like trees, hay bales, and those sexy droopy udders.

I had tried socialising with other cows, but all the ones near me were really rude and refused to talk to me. I’m not saying that the Angus are racist, but I was the only Friesian in the whole field. Sadly it wasn’t just the cows that refused to be seen with me. The sheep ran in fear when I approached while the cats and dogs mocked me from a safe distance. I thought the chickens might be friendly, but it turns out they’re the nastiest cunts on the whole farmyard. They took one look at me and said they would kill me for fun if I so much as mooed at them.

After that, I gave up on having any fun and cried myself to sleep over the thought that one day, without warning, I would be taken away to be gutted and turned into sausages, which was conflicting because I love sausages.

The next day, after I had reverted back to my human form, I considered my experience as a cow. I thought about how even though carnivorism is a natural part of life, it seems strange that we as humans have instilled within us the idea that entire species are fit for nothing more than to be killed and eaten. Of course the real problem isn’t that the average everyday person has a spag bol every so often. It’s the capitalistic corporations that are more interested in profits than sustainability. And I thought that if I was going to be killed and eaten then at least the whole of my body could be used. And don’t buy meat and forget to use it and then throw it out; I don’t want to die for nothing.  

This whole thing made me realise that cows probably don’t enjoy their place in the world, and that I should stop eating beef or pork or anything like that. However I will still eat chickens, because those birds are bastards.

This article first appeared in Issue 15, 2019.
Posted 5:56pm Thursday 11th July 2019 by Phillip Plant.