Without a doubt, the happiest cows on earth live in Goa, India. They live a charmed life, spending their days sunning themselves on some of the most beautiful beaches around and, as holy animals, they face little danger of becoming a steak or a burger.
While other Indian cows wake up and begin foraging through India’s filthy and congested streets for their morning meal, the cows in Goa make a quick breakfast stop at a trash pile, then head down to the water. They gather in groups of five to ten and lie down on the warm sand while staring out over the Indian Ocean.
For a few hours, they enjoy the relative solitude. Then the humans arrive and it’s time for the cows to earn their keep. They spend the afternoon posing for photos with a steady stream of tourists, although “posing” makes it sound like they actually do something. They don’t. Their expression never changes, they barely move and only acknowledge the most obnoxious of tourists with a quick, harmless jab of their horns that seems to warn, “Careful human…you’re pushing your luck.” Other than that, they pose with that completely unbothered expression that only cows can pull off.
Occasionally, someone will manage to provoke a more aggressive reaction, usually someone with the brilliant idea of taking a picture while sitting on a cow. They don’t stand for this and quickly shoo the human away. Then they move further down the beach as a group in search of a little more privacy. They also refuse to collaborate on any more pictures for a while.
The cows will stay on the beach to enjoy the sunset, then get up and move inland, as Goa’s beachfront restaurants begin to set up tables and chairs on the sand. They forage the piles of garbage for their evening meal before finding their favorite spots beneath the trees and turning in for the night.
Unfortunately, the humans like to drink around this time and in a few hours drunken tourists will discover the resting cows and attempt to get a few more photos. This is not a good idea. Picture time is in the afternoon. At night, the cows sleep and anyone who disturbs their sleep will be dealt with. Unlike during the daytime, at night they will aggressively charge at anyone who comes near them.
In most countries, cows are given food and shelter and have little to do but eat, sleep, produce milk and become food. In India, cows are left to fend for themselves. They live a hard life, but they get to die of natural causes. The cows in Goa live a life Jimmy Buffet would envy. And they don’t saddle the world with annoying music and parrot hats.