Two cows stand in a field, wearing inappropriate bells around their necks. One has an alarm bell and the other a door bell. Beside them is a diving bell with a third cow inside.

There are some bells that shouldn’t be attached to cows. These are non-cowbells and three such bells include the alarm bell, the door bell and the diving bell as illustrated above.

The general purpose of cowbells is to make an animal easier to locate should it wander off, but it can also be used to make (noise in) music. The three given alternatives would fail as an animal locator for the various reasons outlined below:

The Alarm Bell:

While the alarm bell will certainly make a lot of noise and help a cow’s owner to locate it, for any benefit the device would need to be triggered automatically. If it could be activated when a cow wandered too far from a set location, found itself poached or aflame (perhaps a smoke alarm would be better in this case) then it would certainly make a lot of noise. In fact the sudden loud noise would be likely to stun, terrify or deafen a cow wearing the alarm bell. If a cow happens to be burning or poached however, then hearing loss is the more desirable outcome for the cow’s owner*.

The Door bell:

The immediately obvious problem with the door bell for a cow is that to activate the bell (assuming the bell itself is also installed on the cow and not just the button), someone needs to be right by the cow in order to push the button. This could prove difficult in the case of a missing cow. It could only be found if someone was in a close enough proximity to push its door bell button. This would set of an audible tone allowing the button presser to hear the sound and immediately locate the cow. Further to this, cows don’t have doors to necessitate door bells.

The Diving Bell:

I don’t know what sound is produced by a diving bell so I can’t really comment on whether or not it could be heard should a cow go missing while inside one.

Diving bells would be very expensive and if one was provided for each cow in a herd, the cost would be astronomical. Loading a cow into a diving bell could be difficult. I know there is enough trouble just getting a cow to travel up a race and into the back of a truck. If a cow is claustrophobic, further problems such as panic attacks and hyperventilation may ensue.

Feeding and milking a cow inside a diving bell would also be problematic. My biggest fear however, would be if the diving bell-clad cows happened to be on an inclined plane (AKA a hill). If sufficiently steep, there may be an avalanche of sphere-encased cows rolling away and requiring some kind of bell to locate them.

* hearing loss occurring in the cow, not the owner.