On genes and cowettes

The proceedings of a conversation between me and my father.

  • Is the black-and-white patterning of (some) cows a side effect or something that has been bred for?
  • Considering how far you can breed dogs, for size and shape and all, could you arrange for similar variety in cows?
  • Introducing: Mini-size city cow pets — milk for your nature-missing skyrise yuppie?
  • If you’re talking really small cows, lap cows so to say, it would be a funny thing to see one in a carrying harness, like a small black-and-white suitcase.
  • Come to think of it, it might be too much to try to breed a cow with a handle sticking out of its back.
  • Unless you got a humpback cow to begin with.
  • But warm milk, egh. What biological way would there be to make the cow produce cold milk?
  • Well, dogs stay cool by wheezing with their tongue out. But that might be bad for the (sub)urban pet value of these cows.
  • “Honey, we did bring the cowette. Shut up and listen to the wheezing from the trunk!”
  • Warm milk, even hottish milk, would be easy. Just arrange some vigorous exothermic reaction in the cow; some internal stress reaction caused by the manipulation of the relevant parts. (Sounds udderly ominous.)
  • Pure milk is kinda dull. How about a cow that gives coffee milk?
  • Coffee’s a plant product, isn’t it?
  • Well, all animals have gut flora, don’t they? And cows have guts and stomachs… stomaches? Stomachii? Lots of them anyway. New flora could cause body biochemistry changes that flavored the milk (produced in different parts of the cow) differently, and voila! coffee milk!
  • Add different flora and you got chocolate milk!

It must be genetic, this way we think.

Also, a good thing that that was where our conversation got sidetracked, because the next step would have been me speculating on the possibly unspeakable procedures of adding different gut flora into a cow’s intestines.

Possibly with the help of a rubber glove and a hose. (“Yes, I have heard of this ‘good taste’ of yours. It does not appeal to me. Release the hounds!”)

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