For many of us, cattle lowing in the distance sounds like the mere background music of a bucolic country scene. Cows, however, don’t talk without having something to say, and they even have unique voices. Let’s eavesdrop.
Like us, cows are eager to make some noise when they have something to complain about. If they’re hungry, their moos are a signal to the farmer: “Hey! What’s taking so long with dinner?” They also call out when in distress: “Help! I’m stuck!” Cows resemble people in this way; happy bovines tend to be quieter, but unhappy ones make sure that you can hear their gripes and groans.
Cattle talk amongst themselves, too. They’re social creatures who enjoy living in herds, and within that group they know their best friends. If a cow is somewhere new—a different field or farm, for instance—it’ll keep an eye out for its pals. If no friends are in sight, the cow will moo to say, “I’m here! Where are you?” After all, it’s nice to have a familiar face nearby in a strange new place.
In fact, cows often moo to find one another. With no bovine-friendly dating app, bulls and cows must moo in order to attract mates, and mother cows and their calves moo to locate each other in a crowd. When these mamas get separated from their young, they call out, like parents yelling for their children at a playground. And calves, too, notice when they can’t find their mothers, and their agitated, distinctive moo might translate to “Moooooom!”What’s in a moo? Plenty, if you just know how to listen.