Saturday, October 3, 2009

What's In A Name?

We have always had animals of one sort or another around our little piece of heaven for many years. The dogs and cats are usually named after baseball players. There was a beautiful yellow lab named Babe because of his gentle giant ways like the King of Swat, Babe Ruth. A handsome tabby we called Casey and our current boxer mix, named for Ty Cobb, the meanest, roughest player to ever put on a pair of cleats. 

But when it comes to the chickens, rabbits and ducks we use pet names only to designate those who may end up in a stew or roasting pan as the main course. There have been the Buffys, Fluffys and Quackers and it was duly noted that their life on this planet was safe and secure. We always thanked the others for the eggs and manure, offering up the occasional treat for their efforts. The words free range and organic were not yet common place other than in our own backyard.

A pair of British researchers are the winners of the Ig Nobel Veterinary Medicine Award for their study of the affect of human behavior on animals. The Ig Nobel awards are preceded by the Nobel Prizes. They honor people who not only make people think, but that also make them laugh. This year they celebrate turning tequila into diamonds and whether it hurts more to be hit over the head with a full or empty beer bottle. An among these interesting award winners, these British researchers, Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University in Newcastle UK, have found that cows with names produce more milk than the other moo cows in the field.

Not sure what this information will mean to dairy farms with hundreds of cows but don't be surprised to see the newest book on Best Seller List - A Thousand Animal Names for Guaranteed Productivity! 

For now, I'll stick with  "here chicky, chicky". That's what a wise grandma would do. 

No comments: