Writings on technology and society from Wellington, New Zealand

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Guest post: Cows are the ideal form of currency

cowface.jpgCows. They’re good for a lot of things. You might not think that money is one of them. But that’s where you’re wrong. Cows are the ideal form of currency and I believe they should replace the New Zealand dollar in the near future.

Firstly, they fulfill all of the criteria required to make good money.

  • They are durable – cows are very tough.
  • They are portable – in fact cows transport themselves. Do coins do that?
  • They are perfectly divisible – you can just lop a bit off.
  • And finally they are very recognizable

Of course these features alone don’t make perfect money. They have to be accepted by the people who use them. But who wouldn’t want to use cows? Think of the possibilities. Small children would keep them and love them as pets. Gangsters would wear cow themed jewelry. Businessmen would no longer need to go to boring meetings about the latest weekly profit margins, or the monthly cash intake, but instead go to meetings concerning the latest cow deposit rate. And when you retire too a farm as your life winds down, you would never need to stretch your arthritic limbs to go down to the nearest bank to withdraw enough money for the milk, but instead not only will you have all the milk you could use, but your life savings will be conveniently kept outside your house.

Secondly there would be no need to trust the banks with your money in this unsure economic time, just to gain a few cents of interest. In fact your cows would reproduce and gain interest themselves, and after your money has matured over say 4 or 5 years then you could have gained an average of 20% interest per year, much better than the measly 3% some banks will offer you.
Also your money will feed you with a steady supply of milk, and when one dies you will have clothing and meat for a long time to come.

Many will say that this idea is stupid. In fact someone even labeled it “the stupidest system they had ever heard”. But really, is it? With the technological capabilities of genetic engineering almost all negatives can be overcome. The cows can be made immune to pain so they wont even whimper when they are split up to create smaller denominations or when the serial numbers are branded on them. This could save you a lot of pain and embarrassment just incase your cow went on a manic rampage in the middle of the mall because that particular top you wanted so badly was only one cow’s tail. They can be made immune to disease, because mad dollar disease has never been much of a problem, but with cows… well you can see my point. They could even base the official currency around just one cow, cloning that cow repeatedly, making all the cows equal in value.

Some nations around the world are already incorporating cows as the main, accepted, currency. Across east Africa, especially in settlements around south Sudan, the cow is used to buy all kinds of things, from water, to clothes, and even land. The Vikings also used cattle and in fact the English word fee is derived from the Norse word Feoh meaning cattle. Even today cows have become a de facto currency in some parts of Zimbabwe; some schools now demand fees to be paid in cows. If this system works well in these places, who can say it wouldn’t work in New Zealand?

So why not? Its clear that cows have the edge over the dollar in almost every way. So next time you need some extra cash, don’t turn to the pathetic New Zealand dollar. Turn to what we all know to be the better option, and start using some Moo-lah today.

— Jonathan

posted by colin at 4:34 pm  


  1. As an ignorant non-economist, I’m attracted by the idea of a hard currency, backed by something of value. I must admit, though, that I never thought of using a cow as the basis of a modern currency.

    Comment by Tim McKenzie — 1 July 2009 @ 6:06 pm

  2. Funny how I could already tell who wrote this after the second sentence!

    Comment by Matt — 1 July 2009 @ 6:44 pm

  3. Is it something the neighbours are doing at Fermilab? ,

    Comment by Sad36 — 23 October 2009 @ 5:32 am

  4. Wiley making an appearance up and down the I35 corridor this past year, I thought he could use a figure painting challenger. ,

    Comment by Sad64 — 23 October 2009 @ 5:34 am

  5. But this brings us into another area I see a great need for reforms: land and natural resources, and the private monopolies that now exist in them. ,

    Comment by John79 — 24 October 2009 @ 12:15 am

  6. Never mind that it is trivial, in the big picture, even if it is true. ,

    Comment by Settor94 — 24 October 2009 @ 2:42 am

  7. Then, auctions are held to replenish tiles as per the original idea, picking in order of the permutation. ,

    Comment by Ganry80 — 24 October 2009 @ 2:42 am

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