We could all use a hug right about now.
The world is in chaos, the pandemic is ongoing, and we're just craving some contact. Unfortunately, social distancing rules have kind of put the kebosh on hugs for now. But that's no problem for the folks in the Netherlands, and their practice of "koe knuffelen."
Koe knuffelen, in Dutch, literally translates to "cow hugging." And yes, cow hugging is exactly what you think it is.
Apparently, a cow's warm body temperature, slower heartbeat, and mammoth size make for an incredibly soothing experience. And, giving the animal a backrub, leaning against them, and even getting licked is all part of the therapeutic encounter of koe knuffelen.
Cow hugging is also believed to promote positivity and reduce stress by boosting oxytocin in humans, which is the hormone released in social bonding.