It appears that Christopher Walken’s advice of “more cow bell” works more for Blue Öyster Cult is no longer good for diary farmers in Switzerland. The iconic sounds of cows in the pasture with bells around their necks could soon be banned due to research showing that it is harming the hearing of the bovine. The choice is curtailing a pleasant tourist experience or herds of deaf cows.
Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich found that the tinkling of the bells could damage the cows’ hearing and lead to deafness do to their noise levels of 100 to 113 decibels. What is most remarkable is that these large bells have the same decibel range of a chainsaw and are almost 30 decibels about the legal sound limit in Switzerland of 85 decibels.
Another interesting finding is that the research found that cows that wear cowbells chew their food less than those without them — a possible result of having a 12-pound bell around your neck.
I also did not know that cow bell size is like other size competitions: the larger your cow bell, the greater status and wealth you projected as a Swiss farmer. Accordingly, the bells got bigger and bigger where presumably the most insecure farmer had some poor bovine dragging around the Liberty bell. They also were viewed as keeping away evil spirits, though now they have attracted federal officials.
In the ultimate techno-response, many are suggesting the use of GPS devices to find cows rather than the traditional bells. The problem are the tourists who are unlikely to travel to see the eternal bucolic scene of GPS monitored cows.
Some have suggested the bells be replaced with GPS tracking devices to making tracking cattle easier and quieter, but critics scoff at the idea.
Here is the most positive aspect of this story. In many stories in the United States and other countries, environmental or animal rights reforms are often met with campaigns of opposition from businesses. However,
Swiss Tourism spokeswoman Véronique Kanel said that it was be hard to lose the iconic cow bells but that “animal welfare is paramount.”
It appears that, even in the pastoral settings of Switzerland, “No man is an island. . . for whom the bell tolls, It tolls for thee.”
Source: Local Ch as seen on Reddit.