Veterinary Medicine For Mental Health In Australia

Lawrence Fox does lyrical waxes when he talks about his cows. He says Holi is the best. “She wasn’t hand-raised like the others – but she’s still the coolest and coolest cow you can imagine.” The Australian has come up with an unusual business idea: with his social venture Cow Cuddling Company he offers snuggle sessions with the cows he offers in Goldsboro, half an hour south of Cairns.

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Fox said that his cows are as trustworthy as dogs. “But like someone who weighs half a ton,” he joked. Like a dog, animals will enjoy being petted. “They keep their heads up and scratch their chins,” he said. Sometimes he would even roll on the floor to rub his stomach.

“My friends needed help”

The 34-year-old wasn’t always a professional cow peter. For many years, Fox was a corporate strategist, a stressful job that eventually left him feeling burned out and empty. The idea of ​​​​animal business came to him during a pandemic lockdown. In 2020, he was stuck in a lonely friend’s farm. At that time his only company was a local herd of cows. “I quickly became friends with the animals and often spent hours with them,” he said. His relationship with animals eventually became so close that he could no longer watch his friends decide to sell the animals. Because the latter would certainly have ended up at the butcher.

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“My friends needed help,” Fox says, not referring to human friends but animal friends. “So I couldn’t help it.” The Australian decided to buy the animals. As an economist, Fox came up with a special deal. He linked the price of the beast to the Ethereum token, the second most important cryptocurrency after bitcoin. In doing so, he assigned a personal fate to the animals: suddenly they were more alive than dead. During this process, Fox decided to quit his job and develop a business idea out of cows. “I suffered from depression during my time on the farm,” he says. Then the cows would have helped him and so he believed that other people could also benefit from the model. The idea of ​​a cow therapy company was born.

15 minutes is enough to rest

The latter is also not purely his personal experience, he said. There are even official studies that will prove it. These confirm that proximity to cows produces immediate physiological effects in humans. A larger animal has a bigger heart, a slower heartbeat and a warmer body temperature, the human heartbeat slows down as well. It is similar to horse therapy.

“You feel calm immediately,” Fox said. In addition, the human body releases the hormone oxytocin during the process. “It gives us a sense of social connectedness.” The company’s founder explained that often, 15 minutes with the cows will be enough to make people feel more relaxed and full of energy. While some visitors see cow-rearing as a tourist attraction, many now regularly visit it as part of therapy. Because in Australia, a doctor can write proposals to certain patient groups, so that health insurance will cover the costs.

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sing like a doctor

Therapy is recognized, for example, for children or youth who live with autism spectrum disorder. “Most of the time these kids don’t talk much to me when I come over,” Fox says. But after interacting with the cows, the children would open up in no time, asking them questions and discussing the behavior of the cows. According to Fox, regular meetings can improve these children’s social interactions.

Fox says that another group that will be of great help to animals are those. According to him, soldiers who suffer especially from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can benefit from the experience. Fox tells of a soldier who quickly becomes involved with a particular cow and spends the entire session with that animal. “Finally, the cow almost lay on top of the man,” Fox says. The animal also had great fun in the hug. The soldier was completely overwhelmed by this conversation and this feeling of being loved.

Hugging the Cow in the Franchise

With the proceeds from the social enterprise, Fox not only wants to improve the lives of cows and visitors. For example, he gives profits to charitable organizations. He wants to use the model to give people with mental health problems a chance in the world of work. Her first co-worker is a single mother who suffered from serious mental health problems and was struggling to find a job as a result. She tells TODAY: “The cows saved my life.” Fox reports that she is so good with cows that she can no longer imagine her farm without them. “I’m incredibly proud of that.”

Fox, who is also pursuing an MBA at an Australian business school at the same time, wants to expand his project as a franchise company in the long term. “I want to see surgeries like this across Australia,” he says. Meanwhile, society will increasingly recognize mental problems as illnesses. Treatment with animals may play a central role in treatment.