Beware Of Nazi Cows

Andrew Sullivan —  Jan 9 2015 @ 8:25am

They’re mean bastards:

This particular breed dates back to the 1920s, when German zoologists and brothers Heinz and Lutz Heck, recruited by the Nazis, began a program to resurrect extinct wild species by cross-breeding various domestic descendants — an effort typically referred to as “back breeding.” Among their success stories was the half-ton Heck cattle, a reasonable facsimile of the hearty and Herculean auroch cattle that dated back some 2 million years prior and has roamed en masse all over Germany centuries prior.

The back-breeding program reflected the dual Nazi obsession with eugenics and nostalgia; the wild ancestry of the auroch reflected a time of “biological unity” before civilization softened and “uglified” man and beast alike. And in fact, the program’s research patron, one Hermann Goring, sought to preserve biological unity not only by resurrecting extinct species, but by restoring them to their original habitats; thus his plan was to return the aurochs to the primeval Białowieża forest.

Is anyone really surprised that the cows turned out to be murderously dangerous?

To wit, English farmer Derek Gow, the only owner of Heck cattle in his country, was forced to slaughter half of his herd this week because they were getting far too aggressive:

“I’m not sure how appealing Third Reich sausages would be,” he joked. “But they are very tasty.”

Update from a reader:

Please PLEASE tell me you saw Aasif Mandvi’s bit about “Nazi Cows”. You cannot mention this story without mentioning this bit. It’s classic TDS.