The Politics Of Sheep Rules

 Following like sheep is a phrase that is often used as a derogative comment, but perhaps we should give a bit more credit to the sheep because at least one of the sheep knows where it’s going or they’d all be going round in ever diminishing circles like some political party.

Once we start to give a bit more credit to our sheep friends about their directionality, the question arises as to their laterality, this is are they right-hooved or left-hooved? Anderson and Murray worried about this and decided to put it to the test using a T-maze (1). They published their results in the journal Laterality which takes these issues very seriously.

The experiment was done with a total of 309 ewes. They were all white-faced ewes so we don’t know if there is a breed difference and that might be tested in the future. The ewes were tested as they were presented with a fork in the road and had no choice but do what Yogi Berra said – “when you come to a fork in the road, take it.” And they did. Two thirds of the time they turned left.

After making this momentous decision, they had to make a decision on the exit lane to get back to their friends.  On balance, the lefties stayed turning left, while those with an initial right bias tended to switch to the left and return to the fold.

It seems that this might be promising news for the forthcoming elections if the population are really sheep-like as some pundits seem to assume. Those that had their right-fling two years ago may be tending to return to the fold by taking a left direction. We’ll see if the politics of sheep rules in November.

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