What is boanthropy?
In cases of boanthropy, victims come to believe that they are in fact cows. Having arrived at this belief, they begin to act like cows.
According to the probably fictional Peabody Institute, victims first become vegetarians and, if that isn’t bad enough, soon take to mooing and snorting and hanging out in fields. The ‘Peabody Institute’ claims that the ox in the stable at the birth of Jesus was actually a peasant afflicted with the condition. I tend to disbelieve them, though. Joseph and Mary would’ve had to have been incredibly nearsighted.
Attack of the Were-Cows
Boanthropy is related to lycanthropy. People afflicted with lycanthropy think that they are wolves. Legends of were-wolves were probably started by individuals afflicted with the condition. One could refer to an individual with boanthropy as a ‘were-cow’. Were-cows have gained nowhere near the notoriety of were-wolves, perhaps because no one cares what happens to grass.
Boanthrope = Misanthrope
Boanthropes are obliged to crawl about on all fours, a task to which the human frame is ill-adapted. They eat only grass and other green vegetables, but prefer not to use their hands. The volume of their lowing serves as a warning to oncoming traffic, but precludes much social contact. And if all that isn’t bad enough, an angry boanthrope will charge when provoked. As someone who has many times been in the path of an angry boanthrope, I would like to assure you that they are dangerous creatures. Most of them have not managed, through force of resolve, to grow horns, but they are not to be deterred by pleas for mercy, or even by the offer of a nearly fresh ham sandwich.
Neb the Cow
Nebuchadnezzar was afflicted with the first known case of boanthropy. The King James Bible says:
Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.
This is one of those cases where God engaged in ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’ He said to Nebuchadnezzar, “Either heed my words and commands or I will turn you into a cow.” Then he said, “No, better yet, I will make you think that you’re a cow, and leave you as a man! Oh, I even surprise myself sometimes, omnipotence be damned.”
Neb understandably didn’t believe that God would do something so ridiculous as make him think he was a cow, but God always keeps his promises. Nebuchadnezzar thought he was a cow for seven years before finally he knuckled under. “You’re the greatest, God. Oh look, a dandelion.”
Neb was probably kept in a private wood by his loyal aides, in hopes that some day he would stop believing himself to be a cow, and return to rule his kingdom with an iron hoof. Today, ‘Discovery Magazine’ uses the story of Neb the Cow to convince children of the scientific veracity of the bible:
Some people who do not believe the Bible is God’s Word have said that this story could not be true. But today we know that there is a rare medical condition that can cause people to act just like Nebuchadnezzar. It even has a name: boanthropy (bo-AN-thra-pee). When people are sick with boanthropy, they do not like to be indoors; in fact, they will spend almost all of their time outdoors, if allowed to do so. Further, they gladly will eat grass (like an ox or cow), and even will drink from muddy puddles (like a dog, or other animal). The hair on their body becomes coarse, and their fingernails and toenails become thick and long.
See kiddies, the Bible never lies! It was right about the existence of compulsive moo-ers, and it’s right about everything else. Why, it’s only a matter of time before we discover the pre-historic wind machines which caused the parting of the Red Sea.
Boanthropy diagnoses have largely ceased. People with the disease are now simply ‘loonies.’ Still, if you have ever wondered what grass tastes like, you have experienced a symptom of boanthropy. If you have ever ingested grass or even mooed, you could be classified a low-grade boanthrope. Boanthropy is a condition that affects all of our lives. Inexplicably, there is no charitable foundation established to research and cure this disease, which causes more than -1 fatalities every ten years. If you would like to help the cause, simply help a cow. Look a cow in the eye, and say, “I understand. Oh, I understand.” Then give that cow a hug. And eat some grass.