Is Cow the Only Animal to Exhale Oxygen? No, It’s True for All of Us!

While it is true that cows do exhale oxygen but that is applicable on all living beings.

2 min read
Hindi Female

Allahabad High Court judge Shekhar Kumar Yadav in an order on Wednesday, 1 September, said that the government should bring in a Bill to include protection of cows within the 'scope of the fundamental rights of Hindus'.

While passing an order denying bail to an individual for offences under the Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act in Uttar Pradesh, Justice Yadav observed that “scientists believe that the cow is the only animal that inhales as well as exhales oxygen.”

However, that's not just cows. All animals (and even humans) exhale some amount of oxygen that they breathe.



The air that we inhale primarily consists of nitrogen and oxygen with small amounts of carbon dioxide and other gases.

A BBC article details that even the exhaled air comprises of the aforementioned gases, however, in different proportions as compared to the inhaled air.

If we look at the percentage of gases present in the inhaled and exhaled air, there is a decrease in the amount of oxygen present in the latter as compared to the inhaled one.

The inhaled air comprises of 21 percent of oxygen while 16 percent of oxygen is present in exhaled air. (Kindly note that these are approximate figures)

While it is true that cows do exhale oxygen but that is applicable on all living beings.

The table shows the composition of gases present in inhaled and exhaled air.

(Source: BBC/ Screenshot)

The BBC report also notes that while we inhale 0.04 percent of carbon dioxide, the exhaled air consists of 4 percent of the gas.

We also spoke to Associate Professor and Head of Department of Botany Central University of Punjab, Felix Bast, who too said that the statement is not true only for cows but a common feature for all.

"Whatever you inhale, you are going to exhale. Carbon dioxide concentration will be more in the exhaled air as compared to the inhaled air. At the same time, oxygen concentration will be less in the exhaled air as compared to what we inhale."
Felix Bast, Associate Professor and Head of Department of Botany, Central University of Punjab

Several such myths have been debunked in the past and experts have issued clarifications on statements related to cow, its urine, cow dung and more.

Ministers, religious leaders have propagated that cow urine can help cure cancer, can help in the treatment of COVID-19, can even cure tuberculosis. But none of this is backed by science.

While it is true that cows do exhale oxygen, but this is not exclusive to cows. This is applicable to all of us!

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Topics:  Cow Slaughter   Cow   Humans 

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