Tags: Coronavirus | cows | isolation | pandemic | animal sanctuary | farm

Bizarre New Business: Lonely People Pay to Cuddle Cows

cows are shown grazing in a field with green grass
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 March 2021 01:23 PM

A new phenomenon is sweeping the nation: People are paying to cuddle cows. Desperate for affection after a year of isolation because of the pandemic, there are so many people willing to pay to cuddle a cow that it has become a viable new business venture.

Sanctuaries across the country are fully booked as more and more people turn to animal therapy to cope with life and the loneliness that comes with the COVID-19 pandemic.

"They’re just like happy pills, just to be around," said Aimee Takaha, who owns Aimee’s Farm Animal Sanctuary in Queen Creek, Arizona, The Washington Times reported.

Her farm, which is home to about 100 rescued animals, is just one of many sanctuaries offering cuddle time with cows. An hour-long session costs $75 an hour and the next available slot is only after July.

Jeannie Whalen turned to bovines for emotional support after losing her husband in May. "It brings a smile to my face and just a wonderful sense of awe," she said.

Over in Naples, New York, Suzanne Vullers also offers cow-cuddling sessions for $75 on her Mountain Horse Farm. She said many people living in the city were drawn to her farm wanting to destress by immersing themselves in nature.

"Spending time with large animals like cows, it’s one of the ways that you can do that," she said.

A year ago the coronavirus pandemic hit and many people are feeling the strain as self-isolation continues. Vullers said the cows can provide much-needed comfort in these times of uncertainty.

"You cannot hug your friends, you cannot hug your grandkids. At this point, we still have to be careful," she said. "But as people, we have that need to be close to others. The cows are safe … and they like that interaction as well."

The Krishna Cow Sanctuary in Hawaii is another popular sanctuary where people can have animal therapy. James Higgins began offering cow cuddling sessions for $75 an hour about three years ago and people are loving it. Among them is Deirdre Roney, who joined her daughter for a session at the sanctuary.

"They’re very big," she said. "There’s an intimidation factor there, but at the same time … it was a letting-go kind of experience."

Speaking with NBC's "Today," Vullers explained that cuddling a cow is something that helped people with their own well-being.

"People laugh, people cry. There’s a variety of emotions going on there," she explained. "It’s reconnecting with nature, connecting with animals, finding some quiet time for yourself, maybe process some thoughts or figure things out in your life."

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TheWire
A new phenomenon is sweeping the nation: People are paying to cuddle cows. Desperate for affection after a year of isolation because of the pandemic, there are so many people willing to pay to cuddle a cow that it has become a viable new business venture. Sanctuaries across...
cows, isolation, pandemic, animal sanctuary, farm
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2021-23-09
Tuesday, 09 March 2021 01:23 PM
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