Skip to Main Content

Schools Display Mutilated Cows as Cheap Thrill

Written by Michelle Kretzer | April 26, 2012

It shouldn’t happen to intelligent, sensitive cows, but it does: With holes cut into their sides, they are used as sideshow-like attractions to lure children and prospective students to university events and fundraisers. Distraught attendees at some of these recent events sent PETA these disturbing photographs:

The cows are part of common experiments that involve permanently removing a chunk of the animals’ abdomens to expose their stomachs. Experimenters feed the cows various foods and then reach into the hole to take samples, even though there are modern non-animal methods for conducting these kinds of studies.

The “fistulated” cows are then often put on display at events, with patrons invited to “touch a cow’s stomach” or “put your hand inside a cow.” PETA often hears from upset students and parents who have witnessed such a display. Unfortunately, the only law that protects animals used in experiments, the Animal Welfare Act, does not extend to animals used in agricultural experiments, meaning these cows have no legal protection from cruelty.

Each time PETA hears about these hideous mutilations, we contact the school (and the group that visited the display) to ask them to stop the experiments and remind them that there are much more humane ways to teach students about science and animals than having them gawk at a mutilated cow. PETA also offers parents, teachers, and administrators resources to help students at every educational level achieve scholastically and compassionately. Visit to download or order a wealth of free materials.

Commenting is closed.
  • KittyKat says:

    I saw cows like this today. It’s sad and there all kept in tiny pens. One cow tried to stand and smashed its face on the wall. We were told not to take pictures but we all did. It’s so depressing the cow looked so sad.

  • Lovexchildx says:

    Cornell University have these poor cows with holes in their stomachs!!! I saw them in person and they look miserable and hopeless… 🙁

  • Larkin says:

    Why do people do that to poor animals that would be like me doing that to you cows do have felling like people do

  • Staci says:

    Thanks Barb, for a minute there I thought it was completely insane to do this to any living creature, but you’re right! We’re just not capable of learning any other way. My bad.

  • Barb says:

    As a student of veterinary medicine, I can tell you that the “modern non-animal methods” for conducting research are simply inadequate. You cannot possibly capture the complexities of a living system with in vitro experimentation.

  • Nunya says:

    This is sick and UNhuman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyone who takes part in this is NOT human at all! Karma is a bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Leena says:

    This is the most disgusting, cruelty I have ever seen!! IT’S INSIDES ARE OPEN TO THE OUTSIDE!!! Imagine a giant open hole in you that people could just stick their hands into, you would get sick and die so fast! And it would hurt, this is TERRIBLE!!! Where are these places? I will do a one person protest if I have to, THIS IS INJUSTICE AT IT’S FINEST FOLKS!!!!

  • stephanie videira says:

    Stop using those poor babys to teste on them chemical products!!

  • Mary Quatela says:


  • MA says:

    Any story you post in Facebook or elsewhere should come with a link to sign a petition and donate too as an option. Thanks.

  • Morna Crites-Moore says:

    I don’t agree with having a “touch the inside of a cow” event (really? this happens?) but I do know this means of performing “scientific” experiments on cows is common practice and considered acceptable. Therefore, I think it is a GOOD THING to expose students to these photographs. Show them THE TRUTH. It SHOULD BE upsetting! If you don’t show the truth, then all the students “learn” is that cows live on pretty farms where they lead a bucolic existence, frolicking in the hills and dales, and being milked by Farmer John in his denim overalls, chewing on a piece of hay. And that’s a load of cr*p. But I do believe, even will all the progress which has been made in recent years, that the vast majority of consumers actually have no idea how bad things are for animals.

  • Vyolet Albano says:

    What schools are these? Publishing the names would be helpful.

  • Du Youlan says:

    How to put an end to these practices? This just can’t go on.

  • Leslie Phillips says:

    What schools and universities so such things? It would seem that this is illegal activity that must stop. Mutilation and animal abuse. If this is done at federally funded schools, what are the legal ramifications? And again, what schools? I want to write to them and legislators in my state to stop this.

  • Svjetlana Jaklenec says:

    how do we make this illegal??? please, tell me!! I’ll drop everything to work on getting this banned!!!!

  • Suzanne Sheldon says:

    Perhaps PETA should publish the names of the schools that take part in this total disregard for the animal kingdom. It’s outrageous that children are being desensitized to animal cruelty and taught that animals are here on earth to do to them whatever we feel we would like to do…because we can. Very sad indeed.

  • Suzanne Sheldon says:

    Perhaps PETA should publish the names of the schools that take part in this total disregard for the animal kingdom. It’s outrageous that children are being desensitized to animal cruelty and taught that animals are here on earth to do to them whatever we feel we would like to do…because we can. Very sad indeed.

  • tmm says:

    This is the sickest thing I have ever seen. I can’t believe this isn’t illegal

  • Lisa says:

    Wow America seems to be a really sick Country, is this how you teach our kids?? Unbelievable

  • paula says:

    this is disgusting and cruel. i seen this on food inc dvd. poor cows existing like this because of humans. sick!

  • Vaibhavi Vaman says:

    We have stupid laws telling that one shouldn’t smoke and spit in public areas .What about formation of laws for the protection of animals and APPLYING them? I just dont understand what kind of world we live in.So brutal,selfish,senseless,moronic,cannibalistic.I’m really ashamed to be a HUMAN BEING.When we randomly ask people about the reason behind the killing of animals,they say it is done for population control.Seriously?Population control?The human specie itself dominates over 7 billion!What about population control in humans?We have to be the change we want to see. Humans are considered to be intelligent animals.Why cant they see that they discover or invent something to reduce population growth in a harmless way?

  • Irene Leggett says:

    It really seems as though the human race is evolving backwards. Its appears that NOTHING is beyond the realms of cruelty and brutality but its still considered ‘normal’ Have we lost all compassion, all empathy and cetainly all moral ethics when it comes to the treatment of all other species? What gives us the RIGHT to act how we do???

  • Rina says:

    I’m replying to Laura S. I’m really disgusted when you say “they get to live in a comfy barn”. I know you’re trying to see the bright side to this happening, but how comfortable would you be with a HOLE IN YOUR BODY, having people grab your insides! This is just unacceptable! These poor cows! They’re being punished for living. I know you said you don’t agree with this, but there is no “bright side” about this situation at all.

  • James Thomson says:

    I spent a lot of my early years on a farm with cattle and sheep. Cows are intelligent, sensitive, adorable animals which will treat you as a friend when they know they can trust you. It is heartbreaking to think of the suffering these poor animals go through for the selfish human race. I’m ashamed to be human.

  • Jenny says:

    Human beings absolutely sicken me to no end.

  • Ashley says:

    I think this is just another way to desensitize future farmers to the suffering of farm animals. The goal is to have people who realize that castrating and cutting the tails off of fully conscious and terrified animals is really no big deal. Beating a cow with a metal rod, shocking it in the face with an electric prod, is just bussiness as usual and nothing to get worked up about. If a cow’s uterus prolapses just shove it back into her body and wait for the beef truck, it’s probably not as painful as it looks.

  • Marin says:

    Wait, what? These are living cows with holes in their sides and children are reaching into them? This dumbfounds me; I can’t believe this actually happens. Why are humans being such complete idiots? By the time I’m a grandmother, I hope there will be a much bigger and better change in how we treat animals.

  • laura s says:

    My school does this, and as part of the animal science program (pre-vet), I was required to palpate the rumen as part of my class. It is disgusting, and the idea of what is done to the cow disturbs me, but the bright side is that the cows are not used for anything else. They get to live in a comfy barn, and are never used for milk or breeding. I visit them between classes to just pet and talk to them; they really don’t seem that unhappy. However, I would personally prefer that the practice stop.

  • Shari says:

    Is that cow alive? If dead, I think it’s still gross. Please tell me if that cow is alive or dead. I can’t sleep until I know.

  • Luke says:

    Where is this?

  • Luke says:

    The laws need to change. These people should be arrested.

  • Scareifina says:

    Every time I think I know all there is about disgusting behavior I find something else. This hick bs needs to go. Evolve already.

  • keith says:

    Mahatma Gandhi said, ” The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”