Summertime Cows

Price: $3.00
Availability: In Stock
Model: NC-317
Average Rating: Not Rated

     What Cows Can Teach Us
 
    Cloven hoofed, often spotted, cows are watchful, with tough tongues and blunt teeth perfectly suited to tearing plants off close to the ground.  They are ruminants, able to swallow mouthfuls of vegetation whole, chewing it later, in a quiet moment, when it comes up again.  Their stomachs have 4 compartments, able to turn the toughest plant matter into accessible nutrients. 
     We’ve been partnered with cows for the last 10,000 years.  Nearly all modern cows, excepting the zebu variety, can be traced back to a single herd of wild aurochs in Mesopotamia.  Larger and more aggressive than their modern descendants, the aurochs exchanged milk for protection and grass from us.  Back then, we were smaller and less able to digest lactose. For many of us, the ability to drink cow milk was a matter of survival.  We cleared more and more grass for the aurochs, protected their babies from predators, as they nourished ours into adulthood, protecting us from periodic famine.  We built a civilization around their pastures, and our wealth grew as their numbers did. 
     The word cattle comes from the Anglo-French word cattel, meaning stock or movable property. Cows have always meant prosperity for us. Even our gods had cattle. Hermes stole his brother Apollo’s cows because they were beautiful. Zeus turned Io into one to protect her.  Intrigued by the absurd, easily spooked, cows prefer to make decisions by consensus. They are loving mothers and suckers for flowering timothy.  They teach us the importance of chewing things over, letting them sit, and then enjoying it all over again. 
 
Artwork by Susan Bull Riley © 2013
Text by Mariah Plumlee
Tags: animals,