“Cuddling cows changed my life”: How these gentle giants are bringing comfort to those in need

One Aussie man says cuddling cows is a "serious therapeutic medicine."
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Sally, Sophia, and Holly are three of Lawrence Fox’s best friends, and they have changed his life in a very unexpected way. 

He calls them ‘doctors’ and ‘therapists’ and the girls are now working their magic on the paying public – which seems odd given the ‘girls’ are actually cows!

WATCH NOW: Just look at this adorable miniature cow. Article continues after video.

“I first met the cows about six years ago at my mate’s farm,” Lawrence, who lives in Cairns, tells New Idea. 

“I’d sit and have a beer with them and then I had this game-changing moment one evening when I lay next to this one cow, Milkshake, and felt a huge connection.” 

Cuddling up to a 500kg cow could be terrifying to some, but Lawrence insists the experience was serene.

Lawrence found cuddling with the cows was “serious therapeutic medicine.” (Credit: Peyton Blake Photography)

“It was calming and relaxing,” shares Lawrence, who moved to the farm at the start of the COVID lockdowns in 2020.

“I’d been in these high-pressure marketing roles for a few years and then with the added COVID stress, my mental health was at an all-time low.

“The only thing that got me up in the mornings was the time I spent hanging out with the cows. It was a serious therapeutic medicine, but even though I could tell it was beneficial, I didn’t think much more about it.”

Would you give cuddling cows a try? (Credit: Peyton Blake Photography)

It wasn’t until Lawrence discovered some of the cows were due to be sold and killed for beef that he was spurred into action. 

“I’d known some of them since they were babies and they’d become these professional therapists. 

“I knew I had to step in,” he explains.

When Lawrence talked to his mates about buying the cows and then selling cuddles with them, he expected them to laugh.

Instead, they encouraged his seemingly crazy plan. 

“It was a real epiphany moment for me.” (Credit: Peyton Blake Photography)

“[From experience] I knew it worked, but after that, I started researching and found that cow therapy is a real thing,” Lawrence shares.

“It’s an established concept in the Netherlands and is huge in the US.” 

By April 2021 he’d bought six of the cows, with a plan to save the whole herd.

Setting up as a social enterprise Lawrence decided to employ people in need who, for whatever reason, find it hard to get a job. 

With 17 cows to snuggle up with, clients often tell Lawrence they leave their sessions feeling “loved” and relaxed.” (Credit: Peyton Blake Photography)

Three months later, he and his first employee opened the doors of Cow Cuddling Co. – a place to meet cows and find calm. 

Solo sessions cost $179 per hour. Lawrence reveals his clients come from varying backgrounds. 

“We get retired farmers, parents with children who have autism, and veterans. After an hour with a calf lying on his lap, one veteran told me it was the first time he’d felt loved in a long time. It was a real epiphany moment for me,” Lawrence expresses.

Lawrence and his four legged friends bring comfort to those in need. (Credit: Peyton Blake Photography)

He now has a herd of 17 cattle, with the cuddling fees covering food and land costs. 

While he’s not making a huge profit, that’s not his current aim – he is content proving that cow therapy works. 

As well as helping people, Lawrence feels fulfilled and stress-free since swapping the corporate world for the cow-perate one! Plus, he’s sure the returns will come in the future. 

“I’ve had enquiries from all over Australia. I’d love there to be cow cuddling across the country,” he says.

“Cow Cuddling Co. has changed my life completely and in ways I never expected.”

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