I am sure some of my readers may consider the title of this week’s blog to be a bit provocative. The idea of regulating (or more precisely over-regulating) these dear cows as they eat grass is abhorrent and I feel it is time to bring these issues to the attention of the civilised World. This week I came across a number of articles in the alpine press which indicated that some people in authority are prepared to use their powers to ban, tax or fine innocent animals (specifically cows trying to make milk) which are just trying to go about their normal business. Repression appears to be alive in the heart of Europe.
When taken at face value the articles I have reviewed may appear to indicate that authorities in the civilised world are going mad. However, I prefer to consider them to be symptoms of something much more wonderful: the German sense of humour.
On my travels across the world I have often heard people comment that ‘the Germans don’t have a sense of humour’. Usually my reply to this has been that in my experience German people do have a sense of humour but you need to have a good understanding of the language to appreciate the joke. You also you need to look in some rather unusual places to see German humour at its best.
So this week I have reviewed four articles which for me reconfirmed that the German-speaking Peoples do have a sense of humour. You should keep this in mind when you read about some of their more excentric proposals about the creation of unusual rules and laws. In the end sanity usually prevails – but you can have a lot of fun on the way.
Article 1: Horse Poo crimes in Berlin
This is a subject which is getting ever more attention from the Berlin Public Order Authorities. The article explains the nature of the problem and what can happen to you if you get on the wrong side of the Horse Poo authorities (Berlin staatlischen Pferdescheiß Behörden). It also describes how some of the best technical brains are working on an innovative solution to ensure that visitor’s encounters with poo are kept to an absolute minimum.
The article can be found by clicking here.
Article 2: Proposed tax on snakes in Cologne
Snakes (Schlangen) are becoming an increasing problem on the streets of Cologne, particularly after hours. At the same time, like many cities, the authorities are trying to find ways of raising more taxes. The proposed solution is pretty simple: tax the snakes (Schlangensteuer). This article explains in more detail what kinds of snakes the authorities are considering taxing and how the tax will be applied (here the length and width of the snakes is quite important). Interestingly the biggest snakes tend to be found outside of Cologne’s discos and pubs.
If this brief summary is enough to wet your appetite please take a look at the article which can be found by clicking here.
Article 3: Men Only Slides at the Water Amusement Park in Erding
Clearly ladies (and especially German ones) are not poor defenceless animals but my attention was drawn to this article because it followed on so closely after the ‘men only parking spaces‘ in the German town of Triberg (if you would like to read that article just click on the link here). When I researched a little more deeply I realised that there was an important health issue for any ladies who use the high-speed slides found in these leisure parks and therefore I have reviewed the available facts in a new article. A number of ladies have had to visit the hospital after using the water slide in Erding so clearly this is a serious issue.
To find out more, including what ladies can do to minimise the risk, please read the article which can be found by clicking here.
Article 4: Alpine cows get fines in Austria for ringing their cow bells
This is this weeks horror story. Anyone who has visited the alps will be familiar with the welcoming sound of cow bells as our industrious friends go about their milk producing business. For those of us who spend a lot of time on the mountains it will be clear that the bells are essential for finding cows that have strayed from their normal grazing ground and get lost in the mountain forests. The bells are also a useful reminder to visitors to give grazing cattle a wide berth – they have important jobs to do and do not take kindly to disturbances.
Therefore it was with horror that I discovered that some of these poor, hard-working, innocent creatures have been fined for ringing their bells while grazing. Please read the article to find out more – but be warned – you may not sleep easily afterwards. The details can be found by clicking here.
After reading about this bovine trauma in the Alps I immediately took my camera and raced up my local mountain (the Schwarzenberg Mountain, above Bad Feilnbach in Bavaria). There I took some photos of my local mooing friends (I mean cows of course) who were happily ringing their bells as they munched on the mountain grass. If the Austrian courts have their way this is may soon become a thing of the past. Therefore I am dedicating the rest of this blog to the cows I met today; please see the photographs below which I took this afternoon. Long may the alpine cows eat grass and ring their bells!
If you are interested in reading my other health focused articles try the following