Some Cows On The Beach
I don’t know what these cows are doing. They don’t know what I’m doing. We’re all doing our thing.
It’s a bovine spa day, really, the crows perch atop them and peck out any stray bugs or grubs. The calves huddle together in a bundle of legs and ears, their mothers languid but watching.
In the evening the cows walk back along this beach and in the morning they just sit there, basking. It quickly gets too hot, but when the sun is just rising through the palm trees it’s light enough for a lie down, and so they do.
People say ‘lazy cow’, but we’re the ones surrounding them with plastic bottles; all the waste of our haste. What we call convenience is just incovenience deferred, washing up on some other beach. Out of sight, out of mind, and we are truly out of our minds. These cows seem to have got it together better.
I don’t know what they do during the day. You see them grazing next door, walking down the road, crossing the rail tracks, sometimes they go on the main road and block traffic.
In Colombo, one local Bessie used to do rounds around all the houses in my neighborhood, collecting buckets of vegetable scraps. I don’t know who these roaming cattle ‘belong to’ or if they belong to anyone at all. Whatever they are, they’re not being optimized into some capitalist productivity machines. They’re just cows.
I stopped eating most meat years ago, though I still scavenge bits of chicken or pork from my children’s food. If you asked me my dietary preferences I’d say vegan scavenger. I still eat meat from other people’s plates (and fish, occasionally, which is used as a spice here) but I don’t order my own. Like the Buddha I’ll generally eat whatever I’m given, which was generally leftovers for him as well.