So, there is a beauty pageant for cows too. Like beauty contestants at the Miss World and Miss Universe competitions, the female of the four-footed bovine beauties also strut the ramp before the judges. But while their human counterparts must be unmarried for eligibility, these competitors have to win over the judges by not only their shapely udders and position of teats but also the amount of milk produced.
The other subtle differences may be catalogued like this: Apart from the wide udder, the dairy darlings need to have strong legs as against the human leggie. Their back has to be high and straight as against the zero-size waist and upper body curves for Miss Universe and Miss World contestants. But then the differences vanish. In both cases taut and shiny skin, bright eyes and alertness are in demand.
These domesticated dames are also groomed for the occasion to make them acclimatise with the hustle and bustle that is part of the pageantry attended by a bevy of 200 such large contestants out of 2.0 million hopefuls. And then eight finalists are left to catwalk - or should we say cowwalk - to display their stuff before the judges for clinching the title.
It is yet to be an international event. Mostly lower Saxony in Germany arranges such competitions for Holstein cows. It is a famous breed and only highlights the culture evolved through man-animal relations. When animals become an integral part of life, the bond is celebrated everywhere. Horse race, dog competition, bull fight or race and cock fights have evolved from the special care people in certain parts of the world have taken to develop a local super breed.
Also affluence in a society plays a part in the invention of games and sports or gala events for entertainment. In this part of the world, though, beauty contest for cows is an anathema. In some countries even Miss Universe and Miss World contests are still frowned upon because they consider those a slight to the modesty of women. If cows are not especially favoured for their beauty, they are sort of revered by some communities.
Yet they cannot think of holding a beauty pageant for cows. Rather, they would be thrilled if bulls of enormous sizes and good shapes are pitted against each other in a race or fight. Such races and fights are still held in villages of Bangladesh and India. The cow that won the title of the most beautiful in Germany is not expected to score high in this part of the world. Even if fight or race among bulls is not some people's cup of tea, there may indeed be a most absorbing contest among the handsomest bulls or bullocks of a few particular varieties here. A picture of a gentle bull accompanying the Hindu God Krishna in his childhood shows how beautiful bulls can be. A few real-life specimens like it may indeed be found if a countrywide hunt is arranged.
How they will behave if gathered for a parade is, however, a different proposition. Not all the contestants in Germany could cope with the stress. Of the eight finalists, one urinated right in front of the judges at the time of cowwalk and another tore down the judges' table. Thank God, no one was hurt. So the ultimate difference between beauty pageants held for humans and those for animals is likely to be decided by this element of unpredictability of animal behaviour. In a world where a large number of people still go to bed with empty stomach, people cannot be blamed for condemning the lavishness of such shows and their utility.
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