Reach in and touch the inner cow

As weird as this may sound, I mean literally reach in and touch the inside of the cow!

In case you didn’t know animals can live perfectly well with a permanent hole in their stomachs. Scientists call these surgically made holes, fistulas, which are covered by a canulla, a sort of cover from the outside world. They are used to test the digestibility of various cattle food, the cows are fed and as the food passes through her stomachs, scientist can just reach in and see how it is processed. As brutal as it might look, this doesn’t hurt the animals at all, it actually prolongs their life, in case of stomach disease, they can receive helping medicine directly in there.

The one thing I don’t approve of is people sticking their hand in animals just out of curiosity, like the kid in our photo. Sure it’s not something you’d call ordinary, but turning a medical procedure into a circus isn’t very ethical.







Posted in Pics, WTF        

Feedback (163 Comments)

  • angie Posted on May 15, 2009

    mankind playing god again!! why fix a good thing when it aint broke?!

  • shelby Posted on June 11, 2009

    Do you eat meat? Because if you do then you should know that so many more unethical things happen to the cows that end up on your plate. At least these cows get to live comfortably on a farm with people that take care of them. The hole doesn’t harm them and it can help promote better health and awareness.

  • Paula Posted on October 23, 2009

    What about the cows bones do they have to cut them too, when they make the operation? Or is it just a flesh?

  • a Guy Posted on December 1, 2009

    what a waste of a perfectly good cow…see now its going to be ‘studied’ instead of ending up on my plate!

  • pro Posted on December 11, 2009

    Anyone who said “we eat cows” is an Idiot. cows give milk. we don’t eat cows. Cattle is raised for providing us our beef.
    these are Bessies, not Bossies!

  • Karen Pechacek Posted on December 16, 2009

    Just frickin feed them grass as intended and leave them alone. This is just nonsense! They are trying to find the cheapest way possible to feed these cows. It’s all about money. Selfish I tell you, SELFISH!

  • alison Posted on March 2, 2010

    ummmmm,for those of you saying it doesn’t hurt the cow or affect it i have one question. Anyone of you or the smart scientist playing God ask the cow how they feel?? Hasn’t mankind done enough by breeding all intelligence out of not just cow’s but majority of domesticated animals? Just because something CAN be done does not mean it SHOULD be done!!! Would you willingly allow someone to cut a permanent hole into your body?!

  • cowie Posted on March 6, 2010

    oh my goodness! Poor cow and just think i wanted to come back reincarnated as a cow because until today before my calpoly pomona visit, I said cows just graze and eat grass in the pasture, not anymore, then again have you seen some of those dairy farms on the ramona expressway…….really sad.

  • Dr Kazoora Herbert Posted on July 6, 2010

    Hello! thanks for the information about rumen fistulation and cannulation in cattle. Am a veterinary Surgeon at Makerere University and we have been doing these procedures for some time now on a digestability research project. the cows worked are fine but the is one in a cohort of 4 animals that has kept detoriating in body condition and we have treated for any possible diseases but no good results. could you be having an idea on this complication?


  • Newt Posted on February 14, 2011

    I like the stance of “Well, this really *helps* the cow, because now we know how it eats, more about the intricacies of fermentation, blah blah blah…”

    No. Ok? Just no. It’s a cow; they eat grass, maybe some clover. Don’t feed them weird BS like oranges or soybeans or candy-making waste, and they’ll be fine.

    I’m a microbiology major, and I’m still appalled, that they are STILL doing this. The point was made a long time ago.

  • Chris Posted on March 17, 2011

    @alison Looks like someone bred the intelligence out of you too.

  • Priss Posted on October 30, 2011

    I don’t see a problem with, safely and properly supervised, giving a child hands-on experience that might spark their curiosity toward other improvements.

    Ask the COW how it feels? Really? I’ve seen these things run away from an excited toddler. You know how it feels? Like four legged, vegetation eating prey. It has SENSES, not FEELINGS. If the cow is not in pain, it’s quite content, in a manner of speaking.

    You want things done naturally, the first step is not using artificial means of communication. Just a thought…

  • Mia Posted on January 16, 2012

    Just as the other comment said, it’s not cruel at all. The cow’s enzymes are pulled out and can be transferred to other cows too. The cow feels nothing, and in the end helps many other animals to live! We just learned about this in school.