In the U.S. alone, over 42 million cows are killed in the meat and dairy industry each year. That works out to about 79 cows every hour! And what many people dont know is that cows are very intelligent and social animals, they have feelings and emotions. they like to make friends and even hold grudges against other cows that have treated them badly.
So that steak on your plate didn't come from nowhere, it came from a living breathing creature that is both complex and beautiful. Here are some facts about the amazing animal that is a cow.
There are about 920 different breeds of cows in the world. They were domesticated about 5,000 years ago
And each cow is different and has a different personality. Some are shy while others are bold and friendly.
Cows can live 25 years. You can guess the age of a cow that has horns by counting the number of rings on the horns.
Cows have spots called Holstein spots, these are like fingerprints, no two cows have identical Holstein spots.
Cows have almost total 360 degree panoramic vision and are able to see colors, except red. They can detect odors up to 5 miles away. Cows can hear lower and higher frequencies better than humans.
The strongest bond between cows, much like humans, is the mother-calf bond which intensifies over the years as they spend more time with each other. A mother usually raises her calf as the new member of her herd and they grow up together.
Cows are very social animals. They form large herds and make friendships over time in their herd. They "moo" and use different body positions and facial expressions to communicate with each other.
Research has shown that cows are very clever animals and understand cause-and -effect relationships which means they are able to think about the consequences of their actions and judge what is right or wrong. They can learn to operate simple machines such as drinking fountains or levers.
Cows love to think and solve problems and are know to jump up or get excited when they have found a solution to their problems.
Cows choose leaders in their herds not based on size or strength, but based on social-skills, intelligence and self-confidence among other things.
Like all animals, cows value their lives, they do not want to die. Cows have gone to extraordinary lengths to escape from slaughterhouses. For more about this please read the Fight for their Lives stories.
Cows are beautiful, clever and social creatures, and they are worth far more than a steak or hamburger.