Ever thought of snuggling up with a 1,000 lb farm animal to help with your mental health? No? Neither have I. But, if the sound of that intrigues you, you’re in luck. Because as it turns out, ‘cow cuddling’ might be the hottest new wellness trend. It’ll set you back a few bills, but could it be worth it?
According to PubMed, there is proof that humans can decrease their stress levels by interacting with animals. How one may choose to go about that is their own preference. While this concept, in particular, might sound a little strange, the new therapy trend falls in line with other programs we’ve seen in the past. Remember goat yoga? Or cat yoga? What about bunny yoga? While yoga with a cow might be a little tricky, cuddling with them might be the next best thing.
Mountain Horse Farm in upstate New York has a program offering the ‘Horse & Cow Experience’ where individuals can spend time connecting with the large barnyard animals. You can interact with them however you want to by petting, brushing or playing. If you’re not in the mood to play with the animals, you can simply cuddle with them. “Cows have a body temperature that is slightly higher than humans and their heart rate is lower than ours. Cuddling up with a cow, feeling that lower heart rate and higher body temperature, is very relaxing,” Mountain Horse Farm wrote on their website.
Interacting with animals has become a popular way for individuals to decrease stress and connect with nature. Mountain Horse Farms notes on their website that horses and cows, in particular, are sensitive animals who use body language to communicate. ‘They will pick up on what’s going on inside and sense if you are happy, sad, feel lost, anxious or are excited, they will respond to that without judgment, ego or agenda.’ They say that hanging out with their animals can bring relaxation, healing, awareness, comfort, and mindfulness. It can also help with building assertiveness, confidence and overcoming fear.
The Horse & Cow Experience costs $300 for a 90-minute session. However, if you’re only interested in the cow cuddling part, you can book a 60-minute session for $75. For both of the sessions, you can bring a friend.
While this might sound like the ideal form of therapy for animal lovers, there is another side of it to consider. Mario Becker, an animal behavior expert spoke to Metro UK about how this trend could affect the cows. “Cows are escape animals and not cuddly animals. To cuddle with people is not a natural need of the cows,” he said.
The facilitators at Mountain Horse Farm assure their animals are loved and well taken care of. “We are passionate about letting them live a life as natural as possible,” they wrote on their site. They want their horses and cows “living in a herd where they can form strong bonds and friendships as they would do in the wild.” I guess those bonds and friendships can come in all different shapes, sizes, and species.