In May, the student government at the University of California at Davis held a referendum on changing the school’s mascot from a mustang to a cow.  The change would honor UC-Davis’s roots as an agricultural institution.  Over 70% of the students who voted supported the proposal (Chronicle of Higher Education, June 10th, p. 10).

It is noteworthy in this age of inclusivity that the views of the 300 cows who reside in the dairy facility on campus were not solicited prior to the vote.  Last week, University Life hosted a bovine focus group in which several of the cows participated.  Here is an excerpt from that discussion:

University Life Facilitator:  “How do you feel about the proposed change?  Do you think it’s a good idea?”

Gertrude:  “Count me in!  Sally told me that the honor of representing the school at home football games would be rotated among all of us from week to week.  That seems fair.”

Maeve:  “Gertrude, you’re dumber than a horse-fly snacking on a fresh cow pie.  Do you really believe the U-C Davis administration won’t play favorites?  Hell, that wet-nosed Guernsey Marlene has been sleeping with faculty in the Department of Animal Science for nearly a decade.  Every Sunday at dawn you can see her taking the Walk of Shame back to the barn from Meyer Hall.  I guarantee you, she’ll get a chance to display her perky hindquarters at homecoming a lot more often than the rest of us.”

Florence:  “Hold on there, Maeve.  Slut-shaming is not OK.  This is 2022, not 1952.”

Maeve:  “Bite me, Florence.”

Harriet:  “Calm down, ladies, you’re missing the point.  Showing up at football games and not pooping for three hours?  This represents additional work for us.  Are they going to compensate us for that?  Are they going to give us an afternoon off in the middle of the week to make up for the Saturday afternoons we’ll sacrifice?  We’re union cattle, remember.  Everything must be negotiated.”

Blanche:  “Well, I don’t mind working on Saturdays, but I do mind standing around for hours watching a stupid football game.  Football is B-O-R-I-N-G.  It’s a waste of good grass.  They should scatter our poop randomly around the field to make the game more entertaining.  At least the event would smell better.”

Simone:  “I promise you: they’re going to parade us out to the 50-yard line at halftime and have kids from 4-H engage in milking competitions.  It will be humiliating, having to show our udders in public like that.”

Maeve:  “Marlene won’t mind.  That siliconed hussy had her udder done a month ago.  It’s bigger than a pair of water wings now.”

Serena:  “I swear to God, if a cheerleader tries to put a bonnet on my head or braid my tail with ribbons, I’ll drop-kick her sorry ass to Stockton.”

As a public service, University Life has submitted an unedited transcript of the 90-minute focus group conversation to the Chancellor’s office at UC-Davis.