Part II: Why I Love Cows So Much

Last week, my husband “surprised” me by taking me to a local dairy farm. I had only gone to a farm once before as a child (school field trip, obviously. I’m Indian, so my parents didn’t really get the whole idea of taking their kids to see animals they grew up seeing on the street). But I had never been to a dairy farm before! As a cow lover, I couldn’t ask for anything sweeter. Well, maybe some chocolate cake! Hehe. 

You have to understand that for a husband to surprise his new wife with a trip to a dairy farm, you know you got a freakazoid on your hands. Flowers? Jewelry? A trip to Paris? Nah. I wanna see cows!

A dream come true!

People usually come to know of my love for cows when we’re gathered around for a meal, if they notice that I have chosen to not take the beef dish(es)… or more overtly, when I’m doing my best to deflect a very loving relative of mine informing me that eating beef will give me strength or whatever.

To which I then almost reflexively respond: “I don’t eat beef because I like cows.”

I’ve been 99% beef-free for a few years now. I did eat some talava gosht (fried beef) my mom made at the behest of my father about two years ago, but it just tasted nasty to me. Or maybe I told myself it tasted nasty. But at least that got my dad to stop “informing” me. To eat beef now would almost be tantamount to betraying my Rafianess.

But that leaves the question: why do I like cows so much?

I can’t exactly pinpoint a reason. I didn’t always love cows. I actually preferred bunnies when I was a little (I never ate bunnies either). But a lot of it has to do with what cows represent to me today.

As you may or may not know, I used to be severely overweight and was so for most of my life. Growing up as an Indian girl, surrounded by extremely thin Indian girls my age, I was reminded of this fact every single day. I guess after a certain point (i.e. high school) instead of apologizing for it, I embraced who I was… at least as a way to deflect people who made me feel awful for looking the way I did. I was like, “You gonna make fun of me? Nah. I like cows! Think of a better insult, lady!”

So, in a weird Batman-esque inspired turn, cows became my spirit animal or something like that. Okay, okay, I know that Batman embraced his fear. But I will never embrace fish. Never!!!!!! (I am afraid fish, for those of you who don’t know).

Funnily enough, I think my cow fetish became even more pronounced after my weight loss. That’s when I decided to stop eating beef. It just seemed to go hand-in-hand, you know? Jillian Michaels once said that stretch marks are like battle wounds. They provide a physical reminder of your struggle and overcoming it. Don’t be ashamed of them, own them, she says. I’m still working on accepting my stretch marks. But cows represent this sentiment in a more palatable (LOL at my word choice) way.

Also, cows are cute. Just look at my new friend 41!

Oh, I miss 41 so much!

Don’t tell me she’s not precious!

Update on April 16, 2017: I went to this same dairy farm last weekend. Though I didn’t get to see 41 again, I did learn that her name is Lily and she is a mother now! Her calf’s name is Daisy. Isn’t that the cutest thing ever?

Update on May 8, 2018: Even though I had a momentary lapse for a few months back in late 2016/early 2017, I am happy to announce that I am 100% beef-free again. I have no intention of ever eating beef again for the rest of my life. I guess I needed that lapse to know for sure that I am not missing out on anything. Oh, and it may even by sunnah. So, boo-yah. I am stronger now.

9 thoughts on “Part II: Why I Love Cows So Much

  1. Haha! Your title made me read on. By the way does your averiosn to cows in any way relate to being from India…since they avoid sacrificing cows there due to religious reasons?
    By the way I am from Pakistan too and was called Bhains because of my weight so I can totally relate to you :D
    Hina –

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lol I would love to meet you in person! You seem like a very interesting person, Rafia. BTW, if there were more people like you in the world we would not be facing global warming! Too many cows bred for consumption is the greatest contributor of CO2 to the atmosphere!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha, I love you girl! I will definitely keep the Rafiness going! You better keep the Abbieness going, too! What will I do without our cute and creative little graphics?? Yay for FB pages :)


  4. I got so excited for a second when I thought a fellow Muslimah shared an affinity for cows! Haha, finally someone who understands. But camels are cute, too. Camels are not such a big part in our culture, so I guess the association wasn’t as quick… but camels, like cows, have beautiful eyes. They have camel farms??? I’d like to go to one. Have you ever ridden a camel before?


  5. Haha, I purposely titled it that way! No, no, not at all. Even though I’m Indian, I don’t really identify with the larger Indian culture as much as I do with my Hyderabadiness. Besides, I’m Muslim so even if I joked about it, my mom would start saying Astaghfirullah! I don’t want people making that association, which is frightening and I’ve often wondered if this could be a slippery slope… but no, I just think they’re cute. I’m sorry you were called bhains as well (I got that name, too) but I decided to take ownership of it, so it wouldn’t sting as much. Thanks for your comment, Hina!


  6. Awww, you’re so sweet! I’d love to meet you too, Shahnaaz! I certainly get interesting looks. So if that means I’m interesting, then yes, I am!!!

    See??? That’s what I tell people! My way of living is environmentally-friendly. No need to become a hipster either. It’s crazy what they do to those poor little cows. It breaks my heart that we’re literally killing the environment in an effort to eventually kill ourselves.


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