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Cow cuddling getting popular across the world!

‘Gau-mata’ as we call her, Mother Cow is holy for us Indians. And now, the entire world is recognizing the positive aura and healing powers of cow. Cow cuddling has become the latest wellness trend across the world.

Infact, its popularity has shot up especially during corona times. People have become socially isolated which is leading to increasing levels of stress and negativity. In western countries, people are taking to a practice like cow cuddling to ward off depression and anxiety by bonding with the cow.

Cow hugging or cow cuddling is a practice that originated in Netherlands. Known as ‘koe knuffelen’, this practice is based on the premise that cow hugging and cuddling promote positivity and reduce stress by releasing the happy hormone called oxytocin in humans.

Cow cuddling typically starts with taking a tour of the farm. And then the visitor bonds with one or two cows for a period of 2 to three hours. Depending on your comfort level and the comfort level of the cow, you could just lovingly rest your body against them, hug them or even cuddle them.

It is said that the cow’s warmer body temperature, slower heartbeat and huge size can make hugging them a therapeutic experience for humans.

Cow cuddling as a practice is said to have originated in rural Netherlands about a decade ago. And now, it’s becoming a wellness trend not just in Netherlands but across the world. It is infact becoming a part of the larger social movement that seeks to renew the bonding between humans and nature; a bond that existed in ancient times but then modernization and urbanization somehow cut off that chord.

And according to some studies, cow cuddling is beneficial not just for the humans. But the whole experience could be therapeutic for the cows as well; they feel quite relaxed after such an experience which is something one can discern by studying their body language.

The practice is now becoming so popular globally those farms across the world are charging upto USD 75 per hour for a session of cow cuddling! Well, there is of course the imminent danger of the practice becoming too commercialized and in the process, cows being used as objects to earn money.

But as long as the practice is carried out in a way that ensures respect for the cows, it’s all good. Both the farm owners and visitors need to understand that cows cannot be cuddled and hugged against their wishes. They need to understand that the whole experience can become therapeutic only if the animal is receptive and they are having a good time.

But the positives of this practice outweigh the negative. In a world where cows are brutalized and tortured for meat, such a practice can go a long way towards inculcating in people love and respect for cows.

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