Thank you Cows!
The Second Tuesday of July is Cow Appreciation day… This holiday started in 2004 by the Chicken Chain, Ckick – Fil- A. If you are not familiar with this fast food restaurant, their marketing revolves around cows who humorously tell us to: “Eat Mor Chikin”.
Cows are quite valuable, and dare I admit cute. Today is as good of a day as any to learn about their contribution to society, impact on the economy and raise awareness to issues surrounding cattle farming and dairy production. You can choose to celebrate by indulging in a burger or chicken – I’ll leave that to you!
Quick Cow History
Christopher Columbus introduced Cows to the Americas in 1493. Cows have been used for milk since 4,000 BC. As far back as 6,000 BC cows were used as money, they were traded! So if you happen to be short on cash, just see if the local store will take Cow instead!
Cattle is big business. An economic analysis published in 2014 reported that beef cattle production contributed approximately $165 billion to the U.S. economy through direct and indirect economic and employment opportunities.
Dairy farming developed after pasteurization was invented in the early 1900s. Milk is an important ingredient in many recipes, yet up to 65% of people worldwide are unable to properly digest lactose. This has causes a significant rise in the popularity of milk alternatives. It is recommended that we have 2 – 3 cups of dairy a day. (But not all of those cups can be ice cream, darn!)
Holy Cow! – We’re not kidding!
In India the cow is indeed holy. Cows walk the streets and are not slaughtered or consumed to honor Hinduism. In ancient Hindu texts, the cow appears as “Kamdhenu” or the divine cow. Kamdhenu fulfills all desires: Its horns symbolize the gods, its four legs, symbolize the ancient Hindu scriptures or the “Vedas” and its udder symbolizes the four objectives of life:material wealth, desire, righteousness and salvation.
In one state in India you can find as many loose cows as the population of Dallas, Texas, more than 1 million cows. It’s not necessarily a good thing. Sometimes these cows are un-cared for because they are no longer producing milk, and it is against the law to slaughter them. Farmers can’t afford to feed them and turn them loose instead. It’s a tough situation! There are organizations working toward creating more cattle shelters.
In our house, the Cow is pretty sacred as well… My oldest has quite a collection over the years. Her favorite cow, “Buloney” seen here when the two best friends were just wee little ones!
Cows in Literature
One of the most touching stories involving Cows has to be, the true story: 14 Cows for America
by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez
14 Cows for America tells the true story of when one small African village heard about the events of September 11th 2001 from a returning Medical student, they were moved to send American the only help they could — a gift of 14 cows. After hearing about the terrorist attack, they invited the US Ambassador to visit their village, and when he did, they conducted a ceremony and presented the 14 cows, an unspeakable gift of generosity in their world, meant to help America in their recovery.
One tip shared by the website, THE BEST CHILDREN’S BOOKS is that when using this with children today, they may be unaware of the events of September 11th at the same scope as adults are, so when the book mentions the “Buildings so tall they can touch the sky” (at the time the World Trade Center towers were the tallest buildings in the world) and “fires so hot they can melt iron” some discussion may be necessary as is age appropriate.
Paper Plate Craft
You can create your own adorable Cow in honor of Cow Appreciation day, or in conjunction with this or many other Cow themed Literature, with our Cow Paper Plate Craft for just $1.00! Comes with Color options in both Brown or Black and White as well as Color your Own Templates!
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