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Thursday, Jan. 26, 2006 12:01 pm

Learn from cows

Not all cattle are docile. Here’s a bunch that rebelled.

Do you fear that the American people have become as fat, lazy, and submissive as a bunch of cud-chewing cows? Well, if you think that we’ve totally lost our rebellious spark, let me tell you a heartening cow story. Few creatures in the animal kingdom are perceived as so doltish and docile as your average bovine, which seems content to spend its short life standing in a field mooing, eating, and pooping — before being led to slaughter. So imagine the surprise of people in Southern California to learn that a herd of nine wily, wiry, and wild cows is loose in the canyons and brush of the Santa Monica Mountains. These are renegade cows that escaped from a rancher’s pen five years ago and bolted into the neighboring national recreation area in the mountains. Even though you’d think that it would be easy to track down a herd of 1,000-pound  cattle in a frequently used park just across Interstate 405 from Beverly Hills, these rebels have rarely been seen, much less rounded up. How could such lumbering sirloins-to-be avoid detection? Well, animal scientists say that even slow-moving, slow-witted farm animals never really lose their wild side, and those that escape can switch on their natural survival instincts. One park ranger who has seen some of the wild Santa Monica Nine say that they are elusive, cunning, and surprisingly fleet of foot: “I came close to them,” he says, “and they just took off running like a deer might if you were to get too close.” The lesson here is that we all have the seed of insurgency within us, ready to break loose from the confines of the corporate order and live life on our own terms. So rise up America, and turn loose your wild side!
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