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Dear Cecil:

Years ago I was deer hunting on my friend’s farm in Ohio. As the sun rose I noticed I was in the middle of a large cow pasture. Some cows walked toward me slowly. When they were about 100 feet away, I decided I had better leave. As I was walking I could see the cows picking up their pace. I got pretty nervous and decided to run toward a fence. I looked behind me and saw the two cows were now running toward me. I got over the fence in the nick of time. Since that incident I’ve wondered: What would have happened if I hadn’t made it to the fence? —Crafter Man, via the Straight Dope Message Board

Cecil replies:

When it comes to menacing humans, certain cows hog all the attention. One in Rajasthan, India, made tabloid headlines in February for attacking a British tourist who had begun singing the Black-Eyed Peas song “My Humps” at it; the cow understandably took this as a provocation and charged. A few years earlier the UK press had gotten on a story about an English farmer who’d tried to raise cattle from a stock originally bred in the 1920s and ’30s by Germans hoping to recreate the aurochs, an extinct bovine master race once prevalent in the Fatherland. The present-day herd proved to be so aggressive that the farmer had to send at least half of them off to slaughter: “They would try to kill anyone,” he told the Guardian.


Cecil Adams

Cecil Adams is the world’s most intelligent human being. We know this because: (1) he knows everything, and (2) he is never wrong. For more, see The Straight Dope website and FAQ.