Second, cattle are wary, easily spooked creatures, and would not stand placidly in place while human strangers staggered toward them in the dead of night.
Third, adult cattle weigh more than 1,000 pounds, are squarely built, and have strong shoulders and sturdy legs.
"There's a reason the adjective 'beefy' exists," Swearingen wrote in his piece. "You'd have more luck trying to tip over a Camry than a cow."
Swearingen cited a 2005 study by the University of British Columbia, which examined the physics of supposed cow tipping. The Canadian study concluded that it would take 2,910 Newtons of force, requiring a coordinated effort by 4.43 human adults, to topple a 1,500-pound bovine, assuming the cow stood still for the experiment. "It just make the physics of it all, in my opinion, impossible," according to UBC researcher Margo Lillie.
But the main piece of evidence Swearingen cites in busting the cow tipping myth wasn't around when I wrote my 2001 column:
"YouTube, the largest clearinghouse of human stupidity the world has ever known -- where you can see hours of kids taking the cinnamon challenge, teens jumping off rooftops onto trampolines, or the explosive effects of fireworks set off indoors -- fails to deliver one single actual cow-tipping video," Swearingen wrote.
Despite compelling evidence that it's an activity with no chance for success, cow tipping will continue to attract the gullible, the impaired and the bored, Swearingen predicts.
Cow tipping, he said, has evolved into "a newer, drunker and more dangerous version of the snipe hunt. You take a wet-behind-the-ears kid out into the field, feed him a few brews and tell him to go find Bessie and give her a shove. You, meanwhile, spend some quality time listening to someone slipping and sliding in a dark and muddy field."And lucky for the cows, there's no chance they'll end up on their sides -- unless it's from laughing at the drunken fools staggering through their pasture.