Daisy had herd that there were changes ahoof on the farm. She and her sisters had talked about what was coming during their walks to and from the milking parlour. They had seen the new sheds being built, they all agreed that something had to be done.

The radio was always on when they got to the parlour so they were able to keep up with the news because Henry the milker was a Radio Four man. Daisy liked John Humphries best because he knew which buttons to press on the politicians to get them to make fools of themselves. James Naughty was just too full of himself, he didn’t realise that the programme was about the people he interviewed, not about him. As for the others …

The programme was full of the news that the UN had declared that the world’s human population would pass seven billion today. Daisy wasn’t sure how many that was but knew it was a bigger herd than hers and surely it was too many. How would you manage to milk all those animals every day? They all settled down quickly because John was on today and there was going to be an interview with a man from Defra. This could be interesting, what was he going to talk about?

‘Thank you for coming in today, Minister,’ said John, who was always polite before sticking the knife in.

‘Lovely manners,’ said Daisy to one of her sisters, Gertie, who was in the stall next to her.

‘A real gentleman,’ agreed Gertie.

‘With the world  human population increasing so rapidly, what will be the effect on dairy and beef production, given that humans are building on more of the land that has traditionally been used for grazing cattle?’

‘The answer is intensification.’ said the minister. ‘We can no longer afford the luxury of allowing cattle to ramble aimlessly around pasture land. We can bring the cattle indoors,  grow feed crops intensively and so get as many as three crops a year from the old pastures. My civil servants have estimated that we can increase dairy and beef production by a factor of three if it is done properly.’

‘What about the welfare of the animals?’ asked John. ‘What will they do cooped up all year in buildings with a lot less space, no fresh air and only silage to eat, no fresh grass?’

‘They will just have to put up with the changes, even humans will have less space so we all have to contribute our share. We will need more of them to feed the growing human race.’

‘That seems a little unfair, minister. It is humans that are over breeding and yet it is the animals that will have to suffer.’

‘Good one, John,’ said Daisy quietly

‘Stick it to him John,’ grunted Gertie

‘I’m afraid that is just how it is going to have to be,’ said the minister

‘Thank you minister’ said John, always polite, knowing that he had just got the minister to upset several thousand animal rights activists.

‘Now for sport with Rob Bonnet.’

‘I don’t want to spend all my life indoors eating only processed food,’ moaned Gertie as they wandered back to their pasture, looking forward to a late breakfast of lush, fresh grass in the morning sunshine with the birds singing for them – cow heaven. ‘What can we do though?’

‘I, for one am not going to stand for it, lets call a cow council tonight to decide what we can do,’ said Daisy defiantly. ‘Think of all the methane from those extra cattle and the effect it will have on global warming. Oops, excuse me’

They all gathered in the evening gloom. There were no humans around to hear what was going on and they probably wouldn’t understand their Friesian accent anyway. Billy the bull was sent over the corner of ten acre, he was too stupid to understand what it was all about. They would try to explain it to him later.

The herd discussed the situation and came to the reluctant decision that something had to be done. They agreed on two action points. They would not allow the humans to breed more cows and Daisy would be dispatched to spread the message to as many herds as she could reach. They decided on a code name for it: Operation Lysistrata.

It was going to be difficult for them all, perhaps Billy would be affected more than most, it was all he had been bred for. They scouted around the edge of the field, looking for a way out for Daisy. They found it, along the stream. She was sent on her way with the good wishes of all of her sisters in the herd.

The revolution was on, no more bovine bonking.

© Richard Kefford                                                                                                        Eorðdraca

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