Heil Heifer: Gow’s Cows and the Nazi Bovine Menace

Adolf_Hitler_retouched220px-EnichiresThis truly seemed like an April Fool’s joke or hoax, but farmer Derek Gow has a problem with Nazi cows. Gow’s cows are the only herd of Nazi-engineered cows in the country. However, he found that they have a habit of trying to kill everyone around them. It appears that the cows view all pastures as part of their Lebensraum and seek to eradicate anyone who is not a “Hecker super cows.”


In 2009, Gow bought 13 genetically engineered cows and bulls and introduced them to this ranch in Boradwoodwidger, west Devon. These cows were developed in the 1920s and 30s by German zoologists Hienz and Lutz Heck under a commission from the Nazi government to create a special breed of cow based on an ancient species of wild bull called aurochs. What a surprise: the Nazi cows proved intolerant, violent, and lethal.

Most of the cows were destroyed after the war, but some ended up in England. Gow has had to reduce the herd to six due to safety concerns. However, he still wants to breed them for meat and offer “Third Reich sausages.” He still does not regret importing them since “the history of them is fascinating.” Sure until the cows declare his house part of their ancestral home; put the other animals in camps, and other animals disappear in a Night of the Long Udders.

Source: Washington Post

28 thoughts on “Heil Heifer: Gow’s Cows and the Nazi Bovine Menace

  1. Pat…the concept of creating “new” Aurochs was first proposed in the late 19th century and two brothers from Berlin began the attempt in earnest in the 1920’s. The Nazi’s came along slightly later and advocated it because it fit their ideas about super races. Adolf Hitler became leader of the NAZI party in 1921, when he replaced the founder Anton Drexler.

    Wiki has a decent summary of the Aurock story:

  2. Oh those Irish story tellers. Let’s see Hilter didn’t get appointed until 1933. So how is this breeding program started 10 years before Hitler?

  3. Paul C….nothing wrong per se with enjoying halter classes. So long as the horses shown at halter can also “do something” is my caveat. In some breed events standing at halter is all that is required. That is why I said I still showed at halter in those events that required it…such as futurities. In the AQHA futurity world those horses standing at halter also have to participate in performance classes, such as Reining, among others by their third year….and in any “maturity” event, within the futurity realm there after. In the hunter-jumper world, halter is a good event showing the conformation that enables performance, which they then go out and do. I am not a “fan” of the AQHA’s fetish for small heads, but that is just me. I want to see a cow horse work, not be judged by head size and shape. One of the best competitive quarter horses we owned had a large head like many Thoroughbreds, and that was because he was a get out of an Appendix sire, that was half Thoroughbred. Still among the smoothest of horses, with a head carried relatively high, not drooping to the ground…never mind that even at 15.2 hands he was a phenomenal jumper as well.

  4. Man playing God with animals & food. I doubt we’ll be pleased in the long run.

    Breeding & cross breeding is not the same as messin with genes. Now we are being introduced to designer babies. Won’t the turd reich EVER die off?

    SamFox

  5. Karen S….you are dead right about halter classes ruining
    Arabs (thank you Scottsdale) …not to mention many other breeds. Quarter horses at 16+ hands are also hardly representative of the breed standard, Wimpy P-1. (15 hands tall) The first horse I ever rode was an Arab, of Egyptian descent, and was 14.2 hands tall, if standing on a book or something…perfect for a little kid…even with the fire and brimstone dancing and prancing….which delighted me and made me feel somehow important. Hey, look at me, look what I can do!!

    Back in the day I rode Irishbreds, Trakehners, and Hanoverians as tall as 17 hands without problems…they were bred for performance, not looks standing in a halter. I confess a preference for working breeds including the endurance tested Arabs, who are truthfully the foundation of most of our other breeds, and of course, the working cow horse type Quarter Horses. When competing I long ago quit bothering with halter classes unless directly connected (required) to the performance classes. Eventing and show jumping do have “halter classes” and I’d have given an eye tooth to have ridden “Big Ben” just once…he was 17.3 hands tall and had magnificent conformation for an athletic horse. Big as he was, he was also as fluid as falling water. Judi and I were lucky enough to be in attendance at his maiden Gran Prix outing, spent time at his stall….fell in love from the git go. Ian Millar has a refined taste in horse flesh and is an exceptional horseman to boot.

    Pick a breed and I’ll have an opinion, usually affection, as I felt most strongly for my favorite quarter horse, a get of Dry Dock, who was eventually bought by the King Ranch to improve their stallion group…which was already phenomenal. He was as smooth and agile as a piece of spaghetti…a full gallop in the woods was no problem for him….or you, if able to sit quietly and not get wiped off by a tree as he passed it by…dang I miss that horse who taught so many others how to ride and would lie down next to you in pasture if you just sat down in it. He was also a fantastic cow horse, with no fear of a bull, in fact would try to bite them. I have a photo of him with his biggest fan, and ardent student of horsemanship, a 13 year old (at the time) who he would lie down next to daily….I’ll scan it in to digital format one of these days just to show him off.

    • Aridog – as an attender of the Scottsdale All-Arabian I am a big fan of the halter classes. There is no horse as beautiful in halter as the pure Arabian.

  6. Actually, just the opposite, Karen S. I’m not paranoid about genetic modification (GM) like so many seem to be these days. Science IS wonderful, I believe. GM has produced crops and animals that are far better in many ways. More can be grown in less space and shorter time, and often of higher quality. Yes, mistakes are made, and they need to be corrected. Yes, those mistakes may take years to discover, but humanity will destroy itself by overpopulation long before the problems created by genetically modified foods cause significant harm to the species, or even to that many individuals. Hundreds of millions more people will die from government wars, starvation, and sicknesses and diseases caused by overpopulation than directly from eating GM foods. Find a way to get humans to stop breeding themselves to death and the problems of GM might be more relevant, but will still be far down the list of causes of human misery. I won’t be around to see the worst of it, so I’m becoming less and less concerned about such problems as GM food all the time.

  7. Aridog – I am of the opinion that halter classes spoiled the Arab breed.

    Those little Arabs are amazingly tough, but the average sized person was small, especially in the ME. Nowadays, I’m glad when they breed them a little bigger. I had the most amazing, soul mate 16 HH Polish gelding with a coat like flame and a neck you could crack a tooth on. He wouldn’t have won any halter classes, but he could DO anything and had zero fear. We now have 3 Arabs, ranging from 14’2 to 15’2. That little 14’2 Arab is like an ATV. I would ride him down terrain I’d have to slide down myself, and we’d never take a misstep. Hot as a firecracker, though.

    • Karen – we had 2 little Arabs and they are great for trail rides, great endurance. The imported Arabs are too ‘hot’ for my taste.

  8. Tyger – you mean you won’t be lining up to eat the genetically modified salmon that’s been released? Unfortunately, alfalfa is now GM, so any beef you eat that isn’t purely pasture raised will be contaminated.

  9. Well, right, if you develop a breed based on an aurochs, it will try to kill you. Those things stood almost 6 feet tall and, like any megafauna, were capable of fighting off enormous predators.

    Plus, they didn’t genetically engineer these bovines, not in the modern sense of the word. They bred primitive breeds more closely descended from aurochs, and combined them with the Spanish fighting cattle, and voila, a bovine that really wants to kill everyone. At least they weren’t able to attain the height of the aurochs; this breed is average sized for cattle.

  10. Genetic modification will soon make selective breeding obsolete, for cows, dogs, people, and everything else. Ain’t science wonderful?

  11. Aurochs are still extinct, so there’d be no hunting in the wild west of said extinct species. The relationship to them by fanatical breeding is purely incidental. Just like the dog breed Neapolitan Mastiff’s are not the original Roman war dogs, except in the mids of their breeders. Messing with genetics to create visual and disposition similar breeds seldom ends well…you usually get poor disposition and faint replication otherwise. Similar to purported Arab Horses in the USA, if you see a 16 hand tall one it is not a original Arab Horse, but a modified and perverted version of the original 14.2 hand variety. It is almost a necessity to in-breed to achieve these goals,…by “setting” characteristics otherwise not prevalent. In domestic breeds it is a frequent delusion that you can restore an extinct breed, or make a breed adapted over hundreds of years better by fiddling with genetics. New breeds derived from ancient breeds are a far better recourse.

  12. He should move them to the open wilderness in the West in the US and set up bovine safari trips. People would pay big bucks to have the opportunity to hunt a once extinct species. One that our remote ancestors hunted and feared. Except we wouldn’t be using spears this time.

    Just think of the amount of steaks you could get from one of those babys!!!!

  13. I am sure that they could use the White House as a pasture. They are going to increase the height of the fences to 9 feet. Still, it gives The Running of the White House Bulls a new meaning.

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