Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

*Watching Me, Watching You, Part II


Watching me watching you

But what does it see and what does it think about what it sees?

Cows have wide-angle vision and can see for 300 degrees around them. But cows only have 3D vision looking directly in front, so this is the only direction in which they can estimate distances well.

And if you want to know what this cow is thinking, this is the book for you, it’s by Temple Grandin she’s an associate professor of animal science at Colorado State University and has pioneered how animals are handled when they are taken to slaughter, so as to minimise their distress


Temple Grandin has been interested in these matters for a while. This is a book full of remarkable things, and few within it are more remarkable than that she has written this book at all, as she is autistic; and autists, as she remarks, do not think in language. They are also not meant to write books; and worse: “I remember in college when one of my professors told the class that animals weren’t conscious because they didn’t have words to think in. Since I didn’t think in words myself, I was shocked when he said that. If an animal isn’t conscious, I remember saying to myself, then I’m going to have to assume I’m not conscious, either.”

*This was part I

Edit, having touched on topic of autism, this is breaking news, here in the UK today.


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

7 thoughts on “*Watching Me, Watching You, Part II

  1. Looks like an interesting book. I’ll add it to my reading list. I remember seeing Temple Grandin on a television news show a few years ago.

    What a wonderful shot of the cow! 🙂

  2. Cows are not daft. They do have a sense of humour too.

    Some years ago, one of our neighbours had a cow called Mary. She was a Frisian+Hereford if I remember correctly, and quite old. At the beginning of ‘grass time’ she had this habit of, er, excuse the expression, of coughing whilst pooing. As the product would be extremely loose, it could and did travel some distance. She used to aim too. Got the MMB man from shoulders to ankles. Twice. But the funniest was the farmer’s ‘Gentleman Farmer’ brother. One Sunday afternoon he was visiting. He was in his Sunday Best. We were doing the milking, and himself was standing on the walkway, hands on hips legs astride, all self important..He had men to do his milking, we had us. He was standing behind Mary. We said nowt. The stream of product went between his legs and hit the wall behind him. Not a splash on him. He got the hint though…

  3. Cmon Uphill get some cows for that field of yours. Its crying out for some.
    I can see Mr Uhdd with the milking stool now.
    And they would keep the field trim to save on mowing.
    Not sure if its viable though to keep them nowadays mind as i can imagine the rules and regulations for keeping cows are like a NASA flight check list.

  4. I love the photo, too cute. I have never understood how people think that animals are stupid, or unconcious. It is an extremely ignorant thing to think and say. I grew up with many animals, and had the honor of being able to see each and every one of their personalities. I dont care what the animal is, if you spend some time with any one of them you can see them thinking, and doing things to accomplish that which they want. I feel bad for people that have not had the chance to really get to know the animals around them, whether they are domestic or wild!

  5. I admire Temple Grandin. I first met her in Oliver Sacks’s Anthropologist on Mars, which I found very moving. It’s shocking to me, the assumption (quoted in the news link) that we should test for autism or Downs syndrome in order to eliminate these features from the population. Good grief, how about tests for megalomania or advanced jackassery? What an odd species we are. Lovely cow photo, Mrs. Uhdd. Bears a certain resemblance to the Cowboy.

  6. Hope you don’t mind but I’ve just set this photo as a temporary desktop background, to surprise my 13 year old daughter who has a thing about cows! I won’t be saving it or distributing or selling it or anything else naughty though!! It’s a fab pic…

    • No problem at all, I think I’ll be doing a few more photos, the cattle are very amenable at the moment, as they are being fed each day you can usually find them by the fence waiting for food to arrive

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