r/todayilearned May 25 '22 Helpful 1

TIL squeezing your animals can help them relax, works for cows!



u/viewfromtheclouds May 25 '22

They are called “hugs”


u/CyberNinja23 May 25 '22

Sounds like an excuse for someone to tell HR when they make certain coworkers uncomfortable.


u/fantasmoofrcc May 25 '22

Going around calling everyone who looks grumpy "a cow who needed a hug"...it's so crazy it just might work!


u/Djidji5739291 May 26 '22

Nah, hugging a dog or cat mostly scares them, even if your dog trusts you he/she most likely doesn't want to be pinned down, imagine a giant hugging you without consent. I think when they say squeezing they mean gently squish the cat/dog/cow/rhino


u/viewfromtheclouds May 26 '22

Right. Cause the cow and rhino give consent. Important distinction you’ve made.


u/Tato7069 May 25 '22

Not the rabbits, Lenny!


u/uwey May 25 '22



u/CyberNinja23 May 25 '22

That’s a horse


u/fantasmoofrcc May 25 '22

I took IKEA MEAT BALL for the win in the 6th race, he was a late scratch for some reason...


u/twobit211 May 25 '22


u/BunGeebus May 25 '22

It helps humans to relax as well


u/Dhammapaderp May 25 '22

Just squish them tight to your chest. Squish. That. Cat.


u/Colosso95 May 26 '22

This really works

My late cat always disliked getting carried; he wasn't aggressive but he would groan and squirm. I always tried not squishing him because (in my mind) he would have hated it even more if he was squished and restricted

After seeing this video I started holding him tightly and all the complaining stopped, sometimes he would even purr


u/Lebronchitis23 May 25 '22

Pythons are more partial to giving than receiving


u/AndySemantic2 May 25 '22

i often squeeze the weasel to relax


u/No-Structure883 May 25 '22 edited May 25 '22

I heard this stresses out dogs .....

EDIT: Probably depends on the dog


u/Metfan722 May 25 '22

Depends on what's going on. I'm sure they appreciate it when something is scaring them, like during a storm or when fireworks are being shot off. But if you just squeeze them randomly, I'm sure that's not going to be well thought of.


u/Szudar May 26 '22

I'm sure they appreciate it when something is scaring them, like during a storm or when fireworks are being shot off.

By being hugged while scared, dogs feel rewarded for correct behavior so you are reinforcing fear of storm/fireworks in them


u/MrFartSmella May 25 '22

I’ve heard that too but I’ve also seen Thundershirts work for dogs (not mine sadly), and that’s basically simulating getting hugged so who knows.


u/FufusMcSqueebles May 25 '22

My cats disagree.


u/nancylikestoreddit May 25 '22

…but does it work for humans?

Can someone come squeeze me? I’m having a rough go at life right now and have no support.


u/phorest0106 May 25 '22

Also works for Digger my Jack Russell who runs around like a nut case all the time. Except when I squeeze him, usually when he lies down between my feet, then he chills out for a while. Which is amazing because he usually only chills when asleep.


u/SnowedOutMT May 25 '22

I have a jack Russell too. He's a running and swimming machine. Loves the tennis ball. He's 10 now, still at it. Anyways, there's a documentary about Temple Grandin that is worth watching. Check it out!


u/LaDiabete May 25 '22

Works for me as well! Ask my wife 😁


u/EmmaH_1018 May 25 '22

My cat: piss off ...


u/Prolly-wrong May 25 '22

TIL don’t do this with Bulls, Bears or Lions. Probably shouldn’t do this to random strangers in the current social environment we live in either.


u/BrokenEye3 May 25 '22

Boa constrictors, on the other hand, are quite fond of squeezing


u/Harvest_Condition May 25 '22

Social or medical


u/Odins-crow May 25 '22

but if not friend why friend shaped hmm??


u/Ready-steady May 25 '22

Tries with cat; gets lacerated.


u/ToGeekOrNotToGeek May 25 '22

In the battle against inhumane livestock conditions, Temple Grandin was way ahead of the curve.

Since as early as 1965, she's been working towards more humane cattle facilities, with her ideas making her one of Time Magazine's most influential people in the world.

Professor Grandin believes her autism — or what she calls her "cow's-eye view" — has been her special tool, providing a unique insight into how animals see the world.

In fact, she believes they see the world in the same way she does.

With a crowd behind, a woman with short grey hair, black print shirt hugs woman with sparkly dress and blonde hair. Both smile. Temple Grandin says her career is accurately represented in the film about her life, in which she is played by Claire Danes (right).(Getty: Michael Buckner) She empathises with cows in particular, and says that's enabled her to understand what makes them distracted or stressed, and what calms them.

And in helping farmers around the world improve their treatment of cattle, Professor Grandin learnt that some of the things that alleviate animals' stress, reduced hers, too.

Take a look at how a child, whom doctors thought should be institutionalised, went on to become a world-renowned expert in the field of animal science.

Autism offers 'insight into the animal mind'

It's perhaps unusual that someone raised in an urban, rather than agricultural, environment could inspire a rethink of farms around the world with her cattle station designs.

Yet, by her mid teens, Professor Grandin, who was born just outside Boston, had "never been west of the Mississippi".

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. LISTEN Duration: 21 minutes 54 seconds21m Play Audio. Duration: 21 minutes 54 seconds Hear more from Temple Grandin and how she developed her world-renowned designs. Download 20.1 MB At 15, she visited Arizona to stay on her uncle and aunt's farm and noticed the cattle there were, at times, quite agitated.

She says her autism, which causes her to think "visually", gave her a unique insight into what was impacting the cows.

In a 2010 TED Talk, which has amassed over 5 million views, Professor Grandin explains that she doesn't think in language, but rather in pictures, which has been a "tremendous asset" to her.

"Visual thinking gave me a whole lot of insight into the animal mind," she explains during the talk.

"An animal is a sensory-based thinker, not verbal. [It] thinks in pictures, thinks in sounds, thinks in smells."

YOUTUBE Watch Temple Grandin's TED Talk: The world needs all kinds of minds Professor Grandin says for animals, sensory-based information is placed into categories, and says she shares this compartmentalised way of thinking.

She can also relate to the cattle's stress.

"When I got into puberty and I went out to the ranch when I was 15, I started having horrible panic attacks and anxiety," she says.

She noticed that stressed cattle relaxed inside the tight confines of a "squeeze chute" — or cattle crush, as it's known in Australia — a cage that holds livestock while they're examined.

She wondered if it might have the same impact on a person.

"I went to try it," she says.

And it worked.

"So then I built a device that I could get into that applies pressure," she says.

It was a rubber-padded machine that she could use herself.

She says pressure "doesn't work with everybody", but is a sensation many people with autism derive comfort from.

Changing attitudes to autism My two sons have autism. Not that long ago, I may have been labelled a 'refrigerator mother', writes Cathy Pryor.

Read more Professor Grandin also noticed that cows don't like distractions and says removing those from cattle facilities is really important.

"I've been into abattoirs where paper towel hanging out of a rack moving slightly stopped the cattle. They tend to notice little things we don't notice," she says.

"They also don't like going into the dark."

In her designs she's lit up cows' darkened entrances and noticed improvements in their behaviour.

"Very simple changes can make a big difference," she says.

Having autism wasn't the biggest hurdle — being a woman was

It's no small feat that Professor Grandin's designs have led to changes in cattle stations around the world, and she's received international recognition for her work.

As well as being a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and one of Time's most influential people, her life is the subject of an eponymously titled movie starring Claire Danes.

But the early days in her career proved tough.

A woman with short grey hair and coloured print shirt with white neck tie looks to camera. A crowd is seated in background. Grandin says her autism causes her to think visually.(Getty: Michael Roman) "When I started out ... in the cattle industry in the US in the early '70s, it was totally a man's world. There were no women working out the yards," Professor Grandin says.

"Being a woman in a man's industry in the early '70s was a much bigger obstacle than autism was — a much, much bigger obstacle.

"There's a scene in [the movie] where I was thrown out of the feed yard because the cowboys' wives didn't want me to be there. They put bull testicles on my vehicle. That actually did happen."

She says she wasn't defeated. She was incensed.

"What I had to do is make myself really good at what I did," she says.

Listen to the podcast Life Matters is here to help you get a handle on all the important stuff: love, sex, health, fitness, parenting, career, finances and family.

Read more She worked hard to gain the credibility, qualifications and knowledge to introduce change.

And while she says her autism made certain things difficult (with algebra, for example, "there's nothing to visualise"), she became adept at playing to her strengths.

"I love Stephen Hawking's comment right before he died. He said, 'concentrate on the things your disability doesn't prevent you from doing well'," she says.

"I really like that."

Professor first, autistic second

Professor Grandin, who also devotes her time to educating and inspiring children and young people with autism, is clear about — and proud of — who she is.

"I'm a college professor first, autistic second," she says.

"Autism is an important part of who I am. I like the logical way I think, but the college professor and the animal science and cattle design, that comes first."

She still has her squeeze machine, but finds she needs it less these days.

"It broke a number of years ago. I still have it, but I'm hugging real people now," she says


u/cutelyaware May 25 '22

I think of Temple a lot because my cat would come under the covers when it gets cold. We'd sort of spoon and she generally doesn't like to be held, but once when she was entering the bed between me and my hug pillow, I sandwiched her with the pillow and she just sort of froze and relaxed. Since then that's become our thing she stops and waits for the squeeze, it's so cute.


u/dontknowhowtoprogram May 25 '22

is this the same women that went into slaughter houses and walked from start to finish in the same path the animals would take? If I recall to make the animals less stressed in their final moments, she found that the dangling chains caused them to get jumpy and stressed whenever they banged into each other from the sound, she also found "like in above post' things hanging in their view would also spook them so changes where made such as making sure the rafters where clean from dangling ropes, making sure chains and hooks where covered in rubber to reduce the banding sounds and other stuff like that. I vaguely remember something like that but don't know if I'm thinking of the same women.


u/MisterGoo May 25 '22

Not so much for canaries, though...


u/llamadrama2021 May 25 '22

I want to hug a cow.


u/LLaasseee May 25 '22

TIL that doesn’t work for frogs


u/GossipIsLove May 25 '22

Is it like spa body massages?


u/_Bryant_ May 25 '22

also works for autistic people I hear.


u/BrokenEye3 May 25 '22

Not for me, it doesn't. Quite the opposite.


u/thesandwich5 May 25 '22

I know Temple Grandin uses her squeezie machine in the HBO movie to calm down, but you also might be thinking of the pseudoscientific "holding therapy" for autism, which is disproven and dangerous afaik


u/NarrativeScorpion May 25 '22

Some autistic people do enjoy deep pressure (aka a tight/firm hug). Others do not. Like allistic people, all autistics are different.


u/Kameraad_E May 25 '22

Your mileage may vary.

In other news, "Toddler mauled trying to hug pit bull dog."


u/BeesInATeacup May 25 '22

My cat is so relaxed, it hasn't moved in days


u/FinalBreakthru May 25 '22

Have you heard about little Timmy's record in holding his breath under water? The first minute or so was hard work, he was struggling in the water, likely with excitement, but now he's settled down and is still going strong at half an hour!


u/marchmadness3 May 25 '22

Pretty much what butchers do when making minced-meat. Wait! We ARE talking about minced-meat right?


u/Trama-D May 25 '22

Instructions unclear, I squeezed them udders and got a white liquid. Is the cow relaxed now?


u/StuartGotz May 25 '22

Were there four udders, or just one big one in the middle?


u/RobinsShaman May 25 '22

Is anyone here a veterinarian?


u/StuartGotz May 26 '22

“I took the liberty of milking your cow.”



u/grubbugs May 25 '22

Are pet hansters more relaxed with their eyeballs popped out of their skulls? Asking for a friend…


u/scntst83 May 25 '22

What kind of "squeezing" we are talking about? Meat grinders kind of squeeze, yes it does relieve them from eternal pain of existence.

If you are referring to hugs, I completely agree with you.


u/PDiddleMeDaddy May 25 '22

I once squeezed/hugged my aunt's Labrador. It shit on me. I literally squeezed the shit out of it.


u/GossipIsLove May 25 '22

Okay guys so key words are squeeze chute and cattle crush. But what's the name of her invention.

If i will try to hug a cow i am sure she will throw me away.


u/RogueNine 1 May 25 '22

And stroking a bird's back arouses them.