It imagines our emotions being characters in our heads and how they interact. My first thoughts on dairy cows is that there must be a couple in their heads that do nothing but watch and wait for me to get close to the cow's rear end.
"Is The Farmer in range?"
"He's not in the full splatter zone. Wait!"
"Is he there yet?"
And that's when they press the "go potty" button and my t-shirt and jeans get an instant brown tie-dyed look.
Maybe we can't actually get a view of a cow's brain or have a conversation with her about her feelings, but we can watch her because actions really do speak louder than words. As I write this our cows are all laying in the pasture after the morning milking. Full, content cows taking a nap is a good sign. Most are chewing their cud and simply resting.
There are many things that can frighten the girls from loud noises or "funny" smells (cows have a keen sense of smell) to visitors to the farm. When those incidences occur the cows will often put their noses in the air and raise their ears to figure out what's going on. If they feel threatened they will run. Cow care and cow comfort, therefore, are a top priority on any farm.
Happy, content cows eat and milk well. When cows refuse to eat, go down in milk, or don't go in to be milked at their regular spot in line then we also know something is wrong. Paying attention to the cows and how they act with others and during their normal daily routine is very important if we want to know what they are thinking and therefore how they feel.
Maybe cows can't verbalize it, but how they act is as good as speaking. Of course, there may be good reasons for cows not talking. Dairy cows have been know to be a little sassy!