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Author Topic: cow tipping--fact or fiction?
june_miller, sand in my shorts
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quote:
Originally posted by Goes-hmmm:
If you smacked his mailbox thinking it would crush it, you were in for a big surprise. If you used an aluminum bat, it would ring your chime. If the bat were wooden, broken bat and your chimes rang.

Goes-"it's a home rung"-hmmm

Yes yes, it's all part of the fun and excitement. And bufungla I am a Cajun, why else would I be stumbling around in the middle of the night looking for gators? [Laughing out loud]
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bruce in france
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Going back to cows, my grew-up-on-a-dairy-farm wife never ceases to chide me about the fact that somewhere along the way in my suburban upbringing I got the idea that cows lie down when it's going to rain.

Anyone else ever hear that?

-b

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Dasgupta
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quote:
Originally posted by darth_borehd:
Although popularly seen in movies, TV, and jokes about rural activities, do people really engage in cow tipping?

Cows weigh several hundred pounds and I find it hard to believe that they can be so easily tipped over.

Easy to tip, no. Do people do it, sure. Many's a night where we've cow tipped when I was going to college in upstate New York.

But we were always told the story before hand of the guys who went to tip this cow. The story went that cows that die during their sleep remain standing, right? So this particular cow had been dead for some time, ok, and the guys go to tip it, not knowing its dead, and they all went right into it.

Ewwww..

Das "cow tipping while tipsy" gupta

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Llewtrah
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quote:
Going back to cows, my grew-up-on-a-dairy-farm wife never ceases to chide me about the fact that somewhere along the way in my suburban upbringing I got the idea that cows lie down when it's going to rain.

Anyone else ever hear that?

Its "common knowledge" where I came from - and that wasn't suburban either. It was reckoned they could smell the moisture in the air. Not so daft considering Saiga can smell moisture from way off. I've never carried out a statistical study to see if the cow-warning was correct. Are there any studies proving or disproving it?

My cat takes cover 30 mins before a thunderstorm begins (I think she can feel the electricity building up). The cat is so reliable I phone my parents a few miles away and warn mother to get the laundry off of the washing line!

Anyone else got weather-warning critters?

Llewtrah
(Who has never tipped a cow, but has tipped taxi-drivers, waiters and hotel staff)

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Enjal
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I always heard that if you see cows lying down before noon, it's going to rain. Now that I think about it, why would it just be before noon? It makes sense that they would do that any time of the day. :shrug:

My SO worked on a few farms growing up and he has assured me that cow tipping is completely possible. The cows are awake (as opposed to most people thinking they're asleep) and they even see you but are too dumb, or just don't care enough to go away when they see you coming. He explained to me that the best way to do it is to kneel down by the cow, one person near the head and the other near the tail, and yank on the hoof on the other side. This throws the cow off balance and they fall.

Still not sure why people find it so amusing but at least I can say it's not just a UL.

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darth_borehd
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quote:
Originally posted by Brionninn:
NEVER TRY IT WITH A BULL! Cows fell. For some unknown reason, Bulls didn't.

And :ahem: it was a group thing. You didn't try this alone.

What happens then? Can the cows get back up on their own? Do they remain sleeping?
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Coriakin
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OK, you guys...once again I'm stumped. I remember the Straight Dope treatment of cow tipping (complete with the "exceptional service" joke, but thanks anyway ;-)) I grew up on a dairy farm, and I've walked out into many a dark pasture, checking on "springers" (cows that are very close to givng birth.) 100% of the time, I was greeted by standing cows that were wide awake, and sleeping cows that woke up immediately and jumped to their feet. Cows do not sleep deeply standing up (and neither do horses; REM and deeper sleep can't happen when there's that much muscle tone.) I always told my friends that cow tipping was impossible, and I figured it was one of those things like snipe hunting. Are you guys just pulling an old cow hand's leg? [Roll Eyes]

(By the way, on the subject of gator shining...deer shining was the version where I grew up, in central Georgia. It's also quite illegal...probably the redneckiest way of getting thrown in jail! [Wink]

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Brionninn
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The cows always got up on their own. They weren't like turtles, where if you turned them over, they were stuck.

In my defense, I did it once. [Smile] I had better things to do in the country fields than tip cows. (Tail-gate party, anyone?)

Nope, not pulling your leg. Hmm...deer shining is illegal here in Alabama too. But that doesn't keep almost every pickup from having a spotlight attached to it!

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darth_borehd
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http://www.skeptic.com/jr5-09.html
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Chiajedi
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quote:
Originally posted by Goes-hmmm:
I have neighbor that tired of his mailbox getting smashed, purchased a large metal mailbox and a metal small mailbox. He put the small mailbox inside the large one and poured the area between them full of concrete. Then he mounted the whole thing on a 6" pipe, also full of concrete. If you smacked his mailbox thinking it would crush it, you were in for a big surprise. If you used an aluminum bat, it would ring your chime. If the bat were wooden, broken bat and your chimes rang.

Goes-"it's a home rung"-hmmm

Perhaps they got the idea from The Avengers Handbook?
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Ladonna28
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My sister and I were watching "Heathers" one night. It got to the scene where the two boys were tipping cows. They were just (or so it appeared) pushing the cows over. My sister burst out "You can't tip cows over by just pushing at them! They weigh too much! You have to back up and run at 'em!". There was a moment of long silence as I just stared at her. She finally realized that she had spoken out loud and informed me that I didn't want to know.

I'm assuming that she did tip cows in her misspent high school years. So is the running at them method the way to tip them? It seems to me that it would wake them up and cause them to move or attack or something.

Ladonna

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tagurit
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This is incredible. Many people say they've tipped cows, or were eye witnesses to cow tippings. I think they may have tipped one too many.

I've never seen cows sleeping (soundly) standing up, and I've seen plenty of sleeping cows. Where do you find these standing cow sleepers, anyway? And, how big are the dang cows? You just push them over? Hogwash, says I.

tag yeah, right... urit

{edit - excellent article you linked to darth_borehd}

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Warlok
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I'm amazed how many people have such firm opinions, but very few facts...

The 'science' that says three or four people can'
t push over a cow is the same 'science' that says a bumble bee should not be able to fly (at least on face value) -- a little more looking, a little more research and suddenly it is possible.

I have tipped a large full grown cow (not my proudest moment). So for all that say nay, what exactly did I do then???

One thing I do note... and have not seen mentioned so far is that cow tipping as I learned it usually involved a cow stanging near the top of a hill, sneaking up from the backside of the hill, coming over the crest quickly and tipping them down hill -- i.e. leverage does the work plain weight won't...

Anyway - say nay if you'd like, but I can tell you how pissed they are when they get up!

Warlok

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tagurit
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And they weren't hurt at all? You tipped over an almost ton beast without hurting it or yourself? Are there videos of cow tipping? I'd like to see one. Anyone? There are records of every other stupid thing humans have done. Where's the guy with the cow tipping video?

I'll believe it when I see it with my own eyes. Until then, I'll think someone has been fibbing about this event for so long, they've started believing it themselves.

tag everytime I've leaned into a cow, it leaned back... urit

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Warlok
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quote:
Originally posted by tagurit:
And they weren't hurt at all? You tipped over an almost ton beast without hurting it or yourself? Are there videos of cow tipping? I'd like to see one. Anyone? There are records of every other stupid thing humans have done. Where's the guy with the cow tipping video?

No I was nto hurt, and don't believe the cow was either since it got up and ran... Don't forget that larger animals are engineered to support themselves, they dont' automatically get hurt (it could be more like, but not a foregone conclusion). no video though - sorry!

quote:
I'll believe it when I see it with my own eyes. Until then, I'll think someone has been fibbing about this event for so long, they've started believing it themselves.
Sorry you don't belive, but that does NOT alter my experience.

quote:
tag everytime I've leaned into a cow, it leaned back... urit
Yeah - me too, that was the part about doing it on a hill

War 'tippin on the dock of the bay' lok

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tagurit
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We got so good at cow tipping, we moved on to rhinos and elephants. After all, the bigger they are, the harder they fall, right?

Support themselves, warlok? Yes, but cows don't usually tip over. I've never seen a cow fall. I can tell you that when horses fall, everyone gasps, and there's usually some damage to the horse.

Yours is the first cow tipping story I've seen involving a hill. Maybe you really tipped a cow down a hill, and maybe you didn't. And, if you did, shame on you. But every other story I've seen involved cows sleeping, standing up, in a field.

Sounds to me like stories made up by kids that live in the country, but not on farms. It's never their own cows they tipped. They always went off to some field with these anonymous cows, owned by anonymous farmers.

IF you are tipping cows, it's nothing to be proud of. But, like I said, I'll remain skeptical til I see the video.

tag we would've tipped the cow more, but it was so slow... urit

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Goes-hmmm
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I'm with you, tag. I remain skeptical. Like Coriakin, I've been out at night among the cows and have never seen a standing one sound asleep or sleeping ones on the ground that would let you approach very close without getting right up. They are pretty darn wary, instinct I guess.

My eldest daughter professes to have gone cow-tipping, but for the past six or seven years I've not been able to believe much of anything that came out of her mouth. I always attributed the cow-tipping thing as being along the same lines as snipe hunting or watching submarine races, an excuse to go out in the country at night.

I've got to say it would probably be pretty funny to see a bunch of drunk teenagers out chasing drowsy cattle around trying to get one of them to stand still in order to be tipped over.

Challenge for those who say it's possible: get a digital video camera, they will record at very low light levels, and film you and your friends doing exactly what you say you have done. I, and I'm sure, tagurit will concede at that point. In fact such a video would be very sellable to some news magazine show, so just show us some short clips and sell it.

Goes-hmmm

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B Hamilton
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I'm a country girl and I've been around cattle and horses all my life. I just don't buy "cow-tipping." I guess it is the semantecs of the words. Cow-tipping to me would mean sneaking up on a sleeping cow (who is standing) catching them off guard and with a swift push, boom they fall over. This just does not happen. For one thing the cattle I have been around do not sleep standing up.

What I am hearing is drunk teens using brute-force to knock a cow over (which can be done). This is more like Volkswagen-tipping. Enough guys could turn over a Volkswagen and enough guys could wrestle* a cow to the ground. To me that is not a true definition of cow-tipping.

Bev "see definition for *bulldogging" Hamilton

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BoKu
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Okay, we've been here before. When you're tipping cows, start at 15% but give at least 20% if the service is good.

Bob "now, about that orking..." K.

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Coriakin
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quote:
Originally posted by B Hamilton:
I'm a country girl and I've been around cattle and horses all my life. I just don't buy "cow-tipping." I guess it is the semantecs of the words.

What I am hearing is drunk teens using brute-force to knock a cow over (which can be done). This is more like Volkswagen-tipping. Enough guys could turn over a Volkswagen and enough guys could wrestle* a cow to the ground. To me that is not a true definition of cow-tipping.

Bev "see definition for *bulldogging" Hamilton

OK, now THIS is the first reasonable explanation I've heard. I remain convinced that you can't sneak up on a sleeping cow and knock it over. Pushing one over by brute force could be done, I guess, especially with a vehicle. I wouldn't exactly call it a harmless pastime in any event. The cow could definitely be injured, which means you're not only hurting animals for fun, but screwing with someone's livelihood. Way to go, dude. (Just in case any of the aforementioned drunk teenagers are still with us!)
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Ogredude
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The way my mom (who grew up on ranches) described it, you'd jump on your roping horse (wearing gloves) gallop up behind the cow at full speed, grab its tail, and yank, and the cow would go flying (or falling over, at least).

Took its toll on your shoulder, she says.

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Andrew of Oz
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It seems that cow tackling would be a more appropriate term. I'm sure if you line up enough people at the top of a hill, in a kind of braveheart mood, and run screaming at one suprised cow you can push it over. But don't ask me, it's all sheep around here and that a whole lot of stories the country lads never tell.
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Goes-hmmm
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quote:
Originally posted by Andrew of Oz:
...I'm sure if you line up enough people at the top of a hill, in a kind of braveheart mood, and run screaming at one suprised cow you can push it over...

You go screaming and running like an idiot at some cows, day or night, and the only way you'll get close to them is if they run into a fence. They are notoriously hard to tip over when they are in a herd up against a fence.

Goes-mmmmmmm"sirloin tips"

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Jenn
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quote:
Originally posted by Brionninn:
They weren't like turtles, where if you turned them over, they were stuck.

Actually, many breeds of turtle can right themselves when flipped because of the shape of their shells. They're shallowly sloped, sometimes coming to a bit of a point, so when flipped one side tilts towards the ground. They push with their head for leverage and dig around with their claws. I used to have one for a pet that got himself on his back all the time, and never had much trouble getting back over.

Tortoises, on the other hand, have very domed shells. Ones that end up on their shells almost certainly will die if they're not helped to their full and upright position.

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The Eyeball Kid
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"Actually, many breeds of turtle can right themselves when flipped because of the shape of their shells. They're shallowly sloped, sometimes coming to a bit of a point, so when flipped one side tilts towards the ground. They push with their head for leverage and dig around with their claws. I used to have one for a pet that got himself on his back all the time, and never had much trouble getting back over."

::ROLLS EYES::

Jenn's brain is really big.

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finkles
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If cows can lie down and rest, then why do they have to sleep standing up?
finkles "you don't know how long I've wondered about this" 2000

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tagurit
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quote:
Originally posted by finkles:
If cows can lie down and rest, then why do they have to sleep standing up?

Because, as we've mentioned, cows don't sleep standing up. Cows lie down. They may doze standing, or take slight cat naps, but they're not fully sleeping; they're still alert; they're still easily spooked.

Horses on the other hand can only sleep for short periods lying down. They do much more sleeping, while standing, than cows do. Still, horses do not sleep as soundly while standing, as they do while lying, just as cows.

tag moo-ooohh.... urit

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BeowulfGirl
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quote:
Anyone else got weather-warning critters?
I used to have a Shih-tzu that would freak out about half an hour before a thunderstorm. We asked the vet how she could know a storm was coming and he said that like a lot of people with sinusitis (like me), some animals get "congested" and "know" that it's going to rain. Since my dog was afraid of thunder, the reason she was freaking out was because she associated the congestion with those big scary booming noises.

--Beowulf "my head is a barometer" Girl

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B Hamilton
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Maybe your dog could hear the thunder long before you could?

Bev "just a thought" Hamilton

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LonesomeBrassButtonCandyGirl
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quote:
Originally posted by finkles:
If cows can lie down and rest, then why do they have to sleep standing up?
finkles "you don't know how long I've wondered about this" 2000

On explination is its a herd thing... cows, horses... most grazing, prey animals have adapted the means to nap standing up... so if a predator such as a pack of wolves or a 'flock' of those can't-handle-their-liquor-teenagers trying to mess with them, then they can flee... you know the old fight or flight...

In addition, why is there a continued discussion about this stuff... there seems to be a general consensus between those who know anything about cattle that cow tipping doesn't happen...

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Richard W
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quote:
Originally posted by LonesomeBrassButtonCandyGirl:
In addition, why is there a continued discussion about this stuff... there seems to be a general consensus between those who know anything about cattle that cow tipping doesn't happen...

It seems to me (not knowing much about cows) that the reason there's still a discussion is that the "general consensus between those who know anything about cattle (but haven't tried it)" is that cow tipping doesn't happen, but the "general consensus between those who may or may not know about cows but have tried it" is that cow tipping does happen...

Basically, all the people saying it can't happen are accusing several people in the thread directly of lying.

The objections from "those who know about cows" seem to be that 1) it's absolutely impossible to get anywhere near a cow (bollocks), and 2) it's absolutely impossible to tip a tall heavy thing standing on fairly spindly legs over sideways (also bollocks). I can't see any insurmountable reasons, or even very good objections, as to why you shouldn't knock a cow over sideways, and several otherwise reliable people here and at Uncle Cecil's site say that they've done so.

So, yes, why is there still a debate? Is there some special definition of cow-tipping that means something other than "knocking over a cow by pushing it sideways, or possibly knocking its legs out from under it"? Whether the cow is asleep or not doesn't seem relevant to me; is that an important part of the mythical aspect?

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Goes-hmmm
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I read againUncle Cecil's take on cow tipping. It seems Cecil takes "Robin" at her uncorroborated word that she witnessed her unnamed "boozy party" friends from Albion actually tip a "cow" over; this despite authorities and others saying that it is not likely true. Show me the video and I'll change my mind. Take me out and tip some cows in front of me, I'm certainly willing to booze it up with some potential cow-tippers.

Personally I would never tip a cow because the restaurant employee probably wouldn't have a place to keep it anyway.

Goes-"BIG pockets"-hmmm

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Ogredude
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OK, I talked with my mom about this... She and her friends used to tip cows when they were young, but they didn't call it cow tipping.

She says the idea of pushing over cows is wrong, as it's very hard to sneak up on a cow, and even if you do, they don't tip over if you shove on them. Also, cows don't sleep standing up anyway.

She says the way her friends and she used to tip the cows was to jump on their horses, and run past the cow at a full gallop, grabbing the cow's tail on the way by. She says it hurt the hand and shoulder, but the cow would flop over quite nicely. (apparently also was quite a risk of breaking the cow's tail)

Anyway, that's the details on how at least one group of rowdy teens would indulge in "cow tipping".

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Coriakin
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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
It seems to me (not knowing much about cows) that the reason there's still a discussion is that the "general consensus between those who know anything about cattle (but haven't tried it)" is that cow tipping doesn't happen, but the "general consensus between those who may or may not know about cows but have tried it" is that cow tipping does happen...

Basically, all the people saying it can't happen are accusing several people in the thread directly of lying.

The objections from "those who know about cows" seem to be that 1) it's absolutely impossible to get anywhere near a cow (bollocks), and 2) it's absolutely impossible to tip a tall heavy thing standing on fairly spindly legs over sideways (also bollocks). I can't see any insurmountable reasons, or even very good objections, as to why you shouldn't knock a cow over sideways, and several otherwise reliable people here and at Uncle Cecil's site say that they've done so.

Whether the cow is asleep or not doesn't seem relevant to me; is that an important part of the mythical aspect?[/QB]

As I've always heard it, yes. People would say in tones of wide-eyed amusement, "And you sneak up on them while they're asleep and just knock them right over! Hahaha!"

As one of the "knows about cows" people, I never said it was impossible to get anywhere near them. The best comparison I can make is approaching a strange cat. Some will immediately flee, some will just stand there and let you come up to them. (Dairy cows, which are handled much more than beef cattle, are usually more sociable; also show cows, of which I owned quite a few, will let almost anyone come right up and touch them.) And most will keep a little distance, but not run off either.

I'm also not claiming that it's impossible to knock one over by brute force (although I wouldn't describe a cow's leg as "spindly" by any means). In fact, before veterinarians had reliable sedatives for cattle, there was a technique called "casting" where you would tie ropes around them and haul them over sideways. That's a whole different matter from the aforementioned sneaking up while they're sleeping.

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Iapetus
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I concur w/ Andrew of Oz, it probebly SHOULD be cow tackling. I have recently heard a lot of talk that it isn't possible to tip a cow, but I have also heard it is. In high school, I had a boyfriend who was always telling me tales of cow tipping (sure knew how to impress a girl, am I right?). I had to see this ritual for myself, and what I saw was 3 guys, jumping on a cow, which frankly, wasn't tipping. They realised this and quickly got OFF the cow, seein' as how it just might be a tad pissed off. So the one time I saw this, it didn't work. I assume there's some truth to this, though. (*Incidentally, my ex also managed to trip into a cowpie on the way out of there) [Dumb]
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