Added on 28 March 2011
Whilst out walking the other day in this Green and Pleasant Land, past piles of rubbish and urinating arseholes too lazy to walk to the nearest toilet, I noticed there was a farmer rolling a cow field. Not cutting the grass or some such, just running a roller across it so that it looked nice. Like Wembley before the Cup Final, or Lord's on the Thursday morning of the 1st Test. Then, driving up to Scotland last week I saw quite a lot more of the same thing. Cow fields that had been rolled into wide symmetrical lines. So that they looked good.
Here's the question. For whose benefit are the fields being rolled? For the cows? Does the modern cow expect her field to look neat and tidy? Do cows arriving at the gate of a non-rolled field stop and say, 'Hang on a second. What the fuck do you call this? It's not been rolled. Turn around, girls, we ain't eating this shit.' Is the modern cow as sensitive a caring soul as the modern human, expecting respect, (while giving none)?
Perhaps there's some new Bovine Rights Act.
Realistically, though, we know it's not for the cows. Cows don't give a shit about fields looking good, they don't care if their field looks like Lord's. Most cows have never even heard of Lord's.
So, if it's not for the cows, who is it for? Must be for us humans. But why? Do humans really want to see a rolled cow field? Fields are, of course, a human creation, just as much as roads or factories or Shite Television Shows on ITV1. However, the field allows us to forget that it is man made. Grass grows, animals eat the grass, then they shit on the grass, then they do both at the same time, then the grass grows some more. There's a wild element to it, something that allows us to forget that if it wasn't for man there wouldn't be a field, there'd be a forest.
However, the minute you run a roller over it, it doesn't make the field look nice, it makes it look like a golf course, which instantly reminds us that there's nothing natural about the field at all. All that running a roller over it does is remind us that we might as well be looking at Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station.
Some further investigation, however, reveals the truth behind the matter. The rolling of cow fields is aimed squarely at a group of humans who prefer the world skewered and manufactured, preened and polished, with all the blemishes removed. American tourists.
Research undertaken on behalf of One Thousand Voices has revealed that European Union Directive 2516 Pt3 c suggests that farmers make their fields look presentable for the benefit of tourists from the Old Colonies (sic), to which end the EU will pay farmers the sum of €1550 per hectare of farmland rolled and preened to an acceptable level.
Apparently, EU scientists are also working on a new brand of fragrant horse manure for a similar purpose.