Surviving Cow Attacks – A Whaleoil Public Service Message

Readers of this blog will be aware of the menace posed by cows, potentially violent psychopaths who hide their inner rage behind a facade of cud-chewing calm.

“Scary movies and TV specials may focus on the most frightening-looking predators (Shark Week, anyone?), but that fearmongering is misdirected. The next time you’re nervously scanning the surface of the sea for a dorsal fin, remember one thing: Statistically speaking, you are much more likely to be killed by a cow than a shark.”

With a drought making life tough across much of NZ, cows have every reason to be more pissed off than usual.

It is timely to give Whale Army members and casual readers of this blog a few tips on how to survive the increasing risk of attack. 

“While the world worries about being eaten alive by sharks, statistics show that far more Americans are killed each year by a more menacing animal: the cow. Don’t let yourself become a statistic: We talk to experts on livestock and farm-related fatalities, who explain what to do to avoid the unpleasant company of a grumpy mooing beast”.

Some key tips from the authoritative Popular Mechanics guide to this essential survival skill:

  • If you have a cow or bull that you know to be prone to violent outbursts, Sanderson says, get rid of it. Have a nice steak dinner. Invite your friends.
  • Avoid getting into a confined space with cows. Sanderson says he knows of people killed when cows smashed them against the sides of gates, fences and barns.
  • If you do find yourself staring down an angry cow, Dunn says the solution is simple, in theory: Get away from the animal as fast as possible with any means necessary. “Don’t be afraid to kick, yell, punch, whatever,” she says. Although it’s important to consider the welfare of animals, your life could be at risk, and Dunn points out that it’s unlikely she or anyone else could kick or punch hard enough to hurt a 1,400-pound cow..”

Sonny Bill Williams excepted of course.

  • Carry a broom. “Not necessarily to smack the cows,” Dunn says, “but to make yourself look taller.””

Go buy that broom NOW.   Don’t say you haven’t been warned.


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  • maninblack

    i know a chap who got charged by a cow in the yards and it smashed his knee so bad he lost his leg.. real lucky not to die. Those cows!!

    • Hazards001

      Yeah….. I married one..f.*ckn near the death of me!

  • Anonymouse Coward

    If you are in a yard never turn your back.

    A safe yard will allow you to dive under the lower rail if attacked. Getting covered in cow poop making the dive is a better option than being crushed by an animal.

    If the yard has piped water a hose with gun attachment is a handy tool. If an animal lowers its head you can send a stream of water toward its head to intimidate it.

  • cows4me

    Also a stick a meter or two long can be held horizontally, stock perceive this as a very large predator and usual they will turn the other way. Stock can be controlled easily if you understand their point of balance, that’s takes a few years of experience to understand and utilise.