Of all the questions I’ve encountered as a student at WCI, one of the most perplexing questions has been: what exactly is … Cow Club? Around March of last year, I began hearing whispers around the halls of WCI, about a secretive club. It felt almost like a cult, or a gag that went really far, and no one seemed to know too much about it. This year, the club has been made more open to the general public, advertising using social media, posters and at the club fair. Still, an air of mystery surrounds this new club, so for those of you who may not know, I went straight to the source to find out what exactly Cow Club is. I met with Chloe McDonald, who, along with Victoria Giguere and Alana Machaffie, had been the founders of said mystery club. It’s hard to truly explain what Cow Club is, but try to imagine a place where inspirational speakers are your peers, stress simply disappears, and you are free to make friends.
Cow Club was started in March of 2017 on a Monday lunch period, much like any other. The founders had started the gathering as a joke, but it became much more than that. Through interviewing different members of Cow Club at WCI, the Fjord found that this club truly meant something to these students. As Victoria Giguere said, “It was a joke… And then it wasn’t a joke… and then I started taking it more seriously than my schoolwork. We just had a mascot one day, and then we started putting up posters in weird places, and then 27 people showed up to the first meeting!” Chloe wasn’t necessarily sure, at first, if Cow Club really had any specific purpose. When asked what Cow Club does, she responded, “We talk about different ways to improve the school (cow-related, of course). We just want to bring joy and happiness to people. This year one of our goals is to purchase a WCI cow for a family in a developing country.”
The members of the club gather around the central idea of Cow rights, or as they like to call it, “Mooman rights.” Chloe filled us in on the cow aspects of the club: “We have presentations and guest speakers come and inform us about cows. Students share specific thoughts and opinions (about cattle). Sometimes these guest speakers will have an impact on how we view ourselves as a group. For instance, Kate Schneider (graduate of 2017), came in to talk to us about how she felt it was discriminatory to bovine to celebrate just the Cow. She ended up convincing us to change our name to Cow and Other Bovines Club. Cow Club sounds better, though. We talk about different ways to improve the school (cow-related, of course). We talk about bovine equality. There are over 920 different breeds of cows on earth, and it feels like people only see the bovine species very black and white. Quite literally, many breeds of cows are forgotten. We talk about Bovine rights and the immorality of the separating families. Cow families. Just for Humans to drink the milk of another species… Isn’t it weird to think about… Like no other species does that!” Through the informative yet creative and interactive subject of cows, Cow Club is able to gather people together.
Under the disguise of cattle, the Cows and other Bovines club is really just a place to be in a community. This club offers a place of safety and inclusivity for students of all ages. When asked about a target audience, Chloe responded, “Anyone in high school is welcome. We have grade nines to fifth years in the club. It’s mostly a space to hang out, where everyone can get along and no competition is necessary.” This club takes steps to get to know students they might not usually hang out with, using presentations, fun activities and simply being together. One of these great activities uses two “mascots” of the club, which are two small stuffed cows named Bo and Maisey. These plush toys are signed out to different members each week, and short videos are shared about Bo or Maisey’s week. Through this, they get a glimpse into the life of each member. This format of getting together to talk about cows has really brought together an amazing, diverse group of people, and it’s only growing. The group has expanded on social media and has even begun merchandising. “Victoria came up with the idea that we should have merch, and it started out as just the one colour, but we started posting pictures of ourselves wearing the shirts, and we got requests from people all over KW asking how they could get the shirts. This year as a part of our fundraiser for the cow, we will be accepting orders for the shirts, and we will be opening up the color scheme to include black, pink and white.”
Behind the mystery, Cow Club is truly one amazing place. A place to celebrate and to learn about cows, a place to meet great people, and make amazing friends. Come out to Cow Club on Mondays in room 240 during lunch and follow them on Instagram (@cowclubwci). We promise you, Cow Club will put you in a good moo-d.