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Cow [Paperback]

Hannah Velten

Price: CDN$ 21.90 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Oct. 15 2007 Reaktion Books - Animal

From the milk we drink in the morning, to the leather shoes we slip on for the day, to the steak we savor at dinner, our daily lives are thoroughly bound up with cows. Yet there is a far more complex story behind this seemingly benign creature, which Hannah Velten explores here, plumbing the rich trove of myth, fact, and legend surrounding these familar animals.

        From the plowing field to the rodeo to the temple, Velten tracks the constantly changing social relationship between man and cattle, beginning with the domestication of aurochs around 9000 BCE.  From there, Cow launches into a fascinating story of religious fanaticism, scientific exploits, and the economic transformations engendered by the trade of the numerous products derived from the animal. She explores in engaging detail how despite cattle’s prominence at two ends of a wide spectrum: Hinduism venerates the cow as one of the most sacred members of the animal kingdom, while beef is a prized staple of the American diet.  Thought provoking and informative, Cow restores this oft-overlooked animal to the nobility it richly deserves.


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"The book's design and illustrations are beautiful, which means, I suspect, that Cow will be probably bought most often as a gift--for country lovers, perhaps. . . . Velten has a passion for her subject and it comes across. Her account is sweeping but precisely detailed and subtly persuasive. . . . Look hard at cows and you learn about humans. Fascinating and delightful."
(Carola Groom Financial Times Magazine 2007-11-11)

"The book feels comprehensive despite its size, for Velten's writing is meticulously well researched. . . . She makes fascinating detours into domestication, breeding, art, religion, BSE, stampedes and the rodeo, and the section on African pastoralism is particularly evocative. . . . Velten's passion for the cow works subtly, incrementally becoming the narrative which binds the text together, and her insights into this seminal beast leave us wanting more."
(Patrick Evans Times Literary Supplement 2008-02-08)

"A fascinating paperback . . . A fascinating mix of history, myth and record prices paid for top breeding animals."
(Eastern Daily Press 2007-12-08)

"She aims to help us see the animals that produce beef, milk and leather as mythical and awe inspiring."
(Country Smallholding 2007-11-01)

"Considering the central role that cows have played in cultures around the world, it is remarkable how rarely an author has undertaken to devote an entire book to the complex history of this commendable animal. All the more welcome, therefore, is Hannah Velten's Cow, a brief but eminently readable book positively crammed with every sort of cattle lore."
(Richard Bullie Agricultural History)

About the Author

Hannah Velten is a freelance journalist who has worked as a livestock reporter for Farmers Weekly and has years of experience working with cows and oxen, including on Australian cattle stations and dairy farms in the United Kingdom.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Bovine Hardcopy July 10 2012
By Blackbull - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well-writ, well-illustrated, good read. Author's only mistake was to believe the corporate cover up of "mad cow disease," which is caused by insecticide residues in contaminated drinking water.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! Nov. 28 2008
By Sue Weaver - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're interested in the history and evolution of the bovine race, this is your book!

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