Humanity may be fascinated by cattle, but the reasons why are many and subtle and far from obvious. Kine more than any other beast have shaped human destiny. Consider this simple example: in Jamaica on the backroads, I saw a cow wander onto the road and block traffic for nearly an hour. And how about Mrs. O'Leary's cow and the destruction of Chicago?

But we're not just talking butterflies and bovine legend here. In ancient Indo-European times, taboos were developed against cattle-killing to preserve the supply of milk and cheese, while warriors would release a sacred cow, raping and pillaging wherever it might roam. The greatest Celtic epic, the Tain Bo Cuailnge, was about a cattle raid, and ended in the slaughter of thousands and the destruction of much of Ulster. Eurocentric, you say? African peoples such as the Massai, who bleed their herds for drink, have for years started bloody wars because the wrong cow crossed the wrong border, not to mention the holy cows of India.

Can this really be an accident? For how many has the cow bell been the knell of death? Can whimsy have been the cause of death for so many millions? Or are the cows much smarter than we thought?

Do we really love them, or do they manipulate us like so much beef? What species now spends most of its time in cages?Vegetarianism? Fuck that! More meat, I say! Make the world safe for your children again! Stop the cow hegemony!

All right, I'll add some meat to this rant: Thursday, June 9, in the year 2005: Nigerian police arrest a cow accused of killing a bus driver. Apparently, while the man was urinating (urinating, for about kicking a man when he's down), the cow came from behind and knocked him to the ground. Once down, the mad bovid trampled and gored the man to death. Like you really needed more proof...