Can cow think

When I look at them, I don’t think so, but on the contrary, they do have brains :dubious:
And if they can think, what are they thinking all day?

By the way, I am new here and just discovering your message board.

All animals think. Cows think of how the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

It’s broader than just the subject of whether cows can think, but you might check out Wikipedia’s article on animal cognition.

Well, not sponges, and probably not most coelenterates.

Yes, they can think.

Even worse…they can plot.

Can poster write?

I keed, I keed!

I presume that cows think about their next meal, reproducing, and not much else.

And welcome to the Dope :wink:


Not very fair to the cattle, as we have been breeding them dumb and docile for centuries.

Wild aurochs were apparently smart enough to be damned dangerous.

You may be interested in a fairly classic philosophy essay on a related subject: Thomas Nagel’s 1973 “What’s It Like To Be a Bat?”.

Do cows have some level of cognition, of intelligence, that is, can they solve novel problems of salience and learn new behaviors? Yes.

Do they experience some sort of qualia, experience perceptions and desires? One reasonably assumes so, but as Nagle points out, our tools for describing what that might be are limited.

Do they experience themselves observing themselves, have sentience, consciousness, or self-awareness, in the sense that we do? An interesting question but more of a Great Debate (GD) one than one for General Questions (GQ). If consciousness is, as some experts believe, a result of nested self-referential informational processing loops (see, for example, Doug Hofstadter’s strange loop concept) then how much nesting is needed before we call it “sentience”? And how do you measure it? Sponges no. Fish? Octopuses? Cows? Do we define by how much like us they are?


Proof that they’re stupid cows. Everyone knows that the head is the best part.

English is not my native tongue (I am from Holland) and I guess my English is far better then your Dutch.

Thanks for the warm welcome :wink:

Cows with guns.

Zing! :smiley:

Cows can be taught tricks.

they’re not that far removed from African Buffalo, which are quite vicious when necessary and can work together to rescue a member of their herd.

Even though- as DrFidelius says- we’ve been breeding them to be docile, I’m certain they’re capable of some level of cognition. Though I think they just don’t give a crap.

I like you already! :smiley:
River: Little soul, big world. Eat, sleep, and eat. Many souls.
Mal: Cattle on the ship three weeks, she don’t go near 'em. Suddenly we’re on Jianying, and she’s got a driving need to commune with the beasts?
River: They weren’t cows inside. They were waiting to be, but they forgot. Now they see sky, and they remember what they are.
Mal: Is it bad that what she said made perfect sense to me?

Cows show fear, affection and other emotions. They can experience and avoid pain. So yes, cows can think.

That being the case, how ought we to behave toward thinking beings?

Can a cow think! Use your articles! And it’s not a cow, it’s a moose!

other thinking beings don’t behave all that nicely to those thinking beings, so I’m not sure why we should be held to a certain standard.

Not only can they think, they enjoy thinking about getting eaten.

Maybe because we have a higher level of awareness of the consequences of our behaviours?

Here’s the thing about cows, steers and bulls.

They are not very bright, but they do have all day.