Holy cow! One in eight young Britons have never seen a cow!

31 July 2017

The cows roaming India's streets may be a traffic hazard, but at least virtually every Indian has seen the now holier-than-ever animal. This is in marked contrast to the UK, where one in eight young adults has never seen a cow in real life, according to a survey.

Research by the Prince's Countryside Fund reveals that 10 per cent of the Britons surveyed admitted to seeing a cow only on television, while 20 per cent have never ever visited the countryside.

The latter statistic may not provide much of a contrast – a great many Indians too may have never been to the countryside, simply because they cannot afford a holiday in the country. The difference is that here, you don't need to go to a farm to see a cow; they are ubiquitous enough even in the towns!

Frivolity aside, the researchers – who interviewed about 2,000 people between 18 and 24 years - also found that a good 40 per cent of young Britons did not have basic knowledge about common fruits and vegetables and the seasons they are best grown in, highlighting a lack of understanding about farming.

For example, 54 per cent of those surveyed, were not aware that strawberries are a summer fruit, while 9 per cent did not know that turnips grow in winter.

Over 40 per cent confessed that their knowledge of the countryside and farming is either 'poor' or 'extremely poor'. Only two in 10 said they believe their familiarity of the subject is 'good' or 'excellent'.

One fifth (or 18 per cent) of the respondents said they have never moved out of the city they currently live in.

The survey also revealed that many Britons think farmers in the country earn double the income they actually get, and estimated a farmer's annual salary to be at least £75,000.

One in four guessed a farmer's average income to be little less than £47,000. They also said they like the idea of quitting their day job to become a farmer and work on a field.

However, according to a 2015 government data, the average income of a British farmer fell below £20,000, which reportedly was the lowest since 2007, the Yorkshire Post reported.

According to The Times, a separate poll had revealed that 95 per cent of British farmers believe the general public lacks understanding of the challenges they face.

"As a nation we have always prided ourselves on our beautiful and diverse countryside, said Lord Curry, chairman of The Prince's Countryside Fund, according to The Telegraph. "But this research shows many of the younger population are losing touch with what the countryside has to offer and are unaware of how their food is produced."

He urged Britons to support British farmers by buying home produced food.

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