Alpage, cowshit and bullshit

Summer time is phasing out warmly. For cows it’s the end of grazing in the high succulent alpine pastures. Farmers have adorned them with colorful bouquets. It is Saturday 28 September the day fixed for bringing them down to the plains ceremoniously with much folkloric fanfare. I joined a huge crowd in St-Cergue, a picturesque town near Geneva in the Swiss Jura Mountains. The spirit of the festival is the same as I had seen it almost three decades ago, except that there were more spectators who lined up to watch the passage of colorfully decorated healthy cows looking contented led by the farmer family dressed in their traditional clothes.   Local people and visitors alike applauded the parade of hoofed performers supported by yodel music and rustic tunes emanating from various music bands.

The first herd passed in front of the town hall leaving behind the arena spluttered with “cowshit”, not smelly at all. Many unaccustomed spectators stepped into it before turning to stalls selling local bread, cheese, dried meat and souvenirs until they heard bells clanging rhythmically of the next herd of cows.  Ten farmers paraded their cows and skills of decorating them. Each herd left behind plenty of “cowshit”. At half time a big truck passed cleaning the fairway nicely in one go. The truck pricked my nit-picky brain to ponder. It is so easy to clean the “cowshit”. But how can we clean all the nasty foul bullshit incessantly poured out by political, commercial, industrial and agricultural leaders mucking up the entire world and its environment and devouring the ecosystem? I wished there was a truck capable of cleaning their shit?


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