Sick Cows Lie Down, And Why It Matters For The Price Of Your Burger

Study tracks how sick cows lie down, and the findings may inform more humane factory farming practices

Oct 02, 2015 at 12:24 PM ET

Cows lie down at random, studies have shown, but the healthiest cattle stand up again at fairly regular intervals. This strange bovine factoid resurfaced recently, after the researchers behind it accepted an Ig Nobel Prize for, “achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think.” But the study is about more than lazy cows—and the findings could change how factory farms care for livestock and what you put on your dinner plate. Here’s why it matters: