Cow tipping was a bizarre, dangerous and illegal phenomenon that reached a peak in popularity in the late 1990s. Cow tipping consisted of people, usually bored teens and preteens living near farming communities, pushing over sleeping cows. Since cows sleep standing up, the tipped cows would simply fall from their standard vertical position... to a horizontal one. The cow would either stay asleep on the ground or wake up as it landed with a thud. Supposedly, the cow tippers found entertainment in watching the stunned and unhappy cow's reaction.
A sudden surge in the popularity of this pastime led to many news reports and, for a short time, received much attention from concerned animal rights groups. Many farmers, featured in the news reports, commented that the cows weren't seriously injured, just greatly bothered. However, the increased publicity raised many concerns and complaints about cows being hurt or even killed were reported. As a result, various regions have determined this activity to be a felony.
The popularity of cow tipping has remained with certain groups. To meet the demand for a cruelty-free version of this activity, there are many Virtual Cow Tipping sites on the Internet.