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Sheep, horses donít listen to Howard Stern
Itís the Pitts
By Lee Pitts

I never have bought the argument that man is superior to animals because we have the ability to reason, and they donít. If man is so reasonable why do man-made things like crack cocaine, nuclear bombs, cell phones, the KKK and Los Angeles exist?

You donít see sheep or horses bungee jumping or listening to Howard Stern. And those lists that rank animals in order of their intelligence? They were compiled by humans so itís not surprising that those highest on the list, chimps, monkeys and gorillas, all happen to bear a strong resemblance to man. Some of us strikingly so.

I just donít believe that animals are more ignorant than man. Look at the folks we elect to Congress who donít have the brains of a beach ball, then tell me pigs are dumber than us because they canít talk. How do we know? Maybe swine do talk and we just arenít smart enough to understand them. Maybe they speak pig Latin.

Just because we have domesticated one-fifth of all the animals in the world we think animals are dumber than we are.

Who is the dummy, the steer who lays around in a pen all day eating delicious food or the human that goes broke bringing it to him? Who is smarter, the Holstein cow that gives birth to a calf and then never has to see it again, or the human who has to babysit it night and day?

It will probably surprise no one that I have been outsmarted by a cow on many occasions, and I swear that my horse Gentleman could read my mind, while I never had any inkling whatsoever what was on his. I think that animals are a whole lot smarter then we give them credit for and I can prove it. I once spelled a fellow who milked cows at a dairy and during that time I was amazed that when I turned the cows into the milking parlor that each cow went into the same exact stanchion. Every time.

Compare that with an auction yard in the Northwest that had painted the names of various order buyers as a tribute to them on the back of the seats where they always sat. One day the auction market replaced those old seats with new ones, only the order buyerís names werenít painted on the back.

All heck broke loose. None of the buyers knew where to sit and they fought over certain chairs like cats and dogs. Now who is smarter, the Holstein cows who knew their place without a name card, or the order buyers?

To further my argument, I offer a second case study that was also conducted at a sale barn. In preparing to paint the inside of the sale pavilion all signs had been removed, including the ones indicating which rest rooms were intended for men and women. During a cow sale I watched those in attendance, whoíd consumed too much coffee, iced tea or soda, try to figure out which rest room was theirs. Some men, who did not have the IQ of wet cement, walked into the wrong restroom and did their thing without making any fuss whatsoever.

Compare that to a lady Iíd not seen before at the sale who walked into the wrong rest room that was full of men in various stages of repose. She wasnít in there but a few seconds before she left the scene like red ants leaving a burning log. She was white as a sheet and looked like sheíd just seen Elvis.

I suppose a scientist could conclude from these responses that men are therefore smarter than women. Which we all know is hogwash. Right dear?

The intellectual cowboys at the sale that day, and yes, they do exist, just waited until someone with leadership qualities walked into the right room and then they followed suit. Iím sure there were some folks who, afraid of making a mistake, just waited until they got home to make their bladders gladder.

The regular guys whoíd been going to the sale for 30 years just walked into the right stall without even noticing there werenít any signs, proving that some men might be almost as smart as a Holstein cow.

This farm news was published in the Nov. 15, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.