Why do the Japanese treat their cows so well

… famously giving them beers and massages? According to a Discovery Channel documentary I have just seen, it could be related to Buddhism, maybe even a way of making up for eating them in the new , non-vegetarian age. Seems very unlikely to me, as I hardly think cows are treated better in the more Buddhist countries like Thailand, but all explanations are welcome on Japan explained…



  1. Bond said,

    February 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    In France, there are cows in some regions (it’s not a wide spread phenomenon though) where cows are given beer and massages.
    There’s only one reason for this: it makes their meat the best beef one can find (but not the cheapest one).

  2. crella said,

    February 14, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    All cows aren’t treated like that, just the top ‘brands’ of beef, for us here in Kansai Kobe beef, Matsuzaka, Kurodasho etc. It’s to make the meat soft.

  3. alexcase said,

    February 17, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I know, I partly put it here to show how silly cultural explanations can be sometimes. I hope that JapanExplained hasn’t turned too much into a collection of such explanations (although they, along with all others, are welcome!), because historical accidents, government policy or even just being an example of universal human nature are often just as likely -and interesting. In fact, the true reason is usually a mix of all of them, hence my “any explanations welcome” philosophy

  4. crella said,

    February 19, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Gotcha, sorry about the ‘deshabari’ , I’m turning into a regular Kansai obachan! :-D

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