Lifestyle Cuddle a cow to de-stress, a new trend at B&B's

Cuddle a cow to de-stress, a new trend at B&B’s

From a cafe in Japan that offers cuddles with piglets to goat yoga, where yoga is done surrounded by these animals for comfort, cuddling cows may possibly become a new trend too

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Ever cuddled a cow before? I’m really not kidding—cow cuddling is a thing, and it’s a thing people swear by for reducing stress, releasing endorphines, and basically just feeling a lot more happy. While cow cuddling started in Europe a few years ago, bed-and-breakfasts in the United States have jumped on the bandwagon and added the special service to their list of offers to guests seeking ultimate relaxation.

There’s nothing like watching funny cat videos or laughing over adorable doggie memes to make your day way better, unless you actually get to hug and cuddle the animals.

For years, humans have turned to animal friends for companionship, comedy and comfort. Dogs have always been labelled man’s best friend, and cool cats became friendlier after cat cafés took the world by storm, first popularised in Japan in the early 2000s.

Chilling with cute kitties while sipping on cuppas warmed people’s hearts, and when Japan opened its first piglet cáfe in May of this year, Mipig + Cafe, where customers can cuddle little micro piglets, the transition was easy.

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Other animal friend trends include goat yoga, which was introduced to the world in 2016 by Oregon farmer Lainey Morse. Goat yoga involves practicing yoga stretches and breathing exercises while surrounded by sweet little goats who are there for companionship and happiness.

Enter cow cuddling. Netherlands native Suzanne Vullers and her husband own Mountain Horse Farm, a luxurious 33-acre retreat in upstate New York where you can cuddle cows for US$75 (S$104) per hour as part of the relaxation experience.

Vullers noted that cow cuddling, while new to the US and the rest of world, has been a practice in Europe for the last few years.
Animals are a big part of the lodging experience in Mountain Horse Farm and are therapeutic for people who need to destress from hectic lives and technology and rekindle a connection with nature.
At the farm, Vullers has horses Cricket, Noa, Jaxon, Stetson, Suzie Q and Missy, and cows Bonnie and Bella who participate in the “Horse & Cow experience”.

Photo: You can cuddle a cow for US$75 (S$104) in Mountain Horse Farm in New York, USA/Mountain Horse Farm Instagram

The farm first offered wellness sessions with horses when they opened in 2010, but after a visit to her home country the Netherlands, Vullers decided to include cow cuddling after learning of the health benefits and stress-relieving qualities of the practice.

“Cows have this wonderful quality that when they are processing their food they like to lay down,” Vullers said to CNN.

“They become really quiet, and it’s a beautiful opportunity to connect with them.”

Vullers believes that cow cuddling is a good alternative to meditation and can promote wellness, both physically and mentally.

Photo: You can cuddle a cow for US$75 (S$104) in Mountain Horse Farm in New York, USA/Mountain Horse Farm Instagram

The farm usually offers one to two cow cuddling sessions a day, limited to two people per cow, at around US$75 (S$104) per hour.
If you need a good old hug to chase the stresses of everyday life away, might cow cuddling be for you? -/TISG
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