Photo by Dave A, CC

It’s easy to forget how important they are to our food chain, so July 11th was christened as Cow Appreciation Day. Here are some great ways to say “Moo-chas grasses” to bovines everywhere:

– Learn about cows

Did you know that cows form close friendships, with at least two preferred pals? They also hold grudges – for years. They are emotional creatures and they will produce more milk when treated better as individuals.

They get excited if given the chance to solve problems: When challenged to figure out how to open a door or get to food, their heartbeat increases, their brainwaves show excitement, and some even jump into the air.

Cows benefit from almost 360-degree vision, with the ability to see predators coming from any direction. They also have an excellent sense of smell and are able to detect odors from up to 5 miles away. Their hearing is also beyond human capacity, with both low and high frequency sounds.

– Have a glass of ethically sourced milk.

Or better yet, make it a milk punch, a sweet, cold, elegant blend of dairy and liquor that dates back centuries, which is enjoying a revival these days.


– Visit a working farm and hug a cow.

If you don’t live near a local farm, you can go on a vacation to Fearrington Village, a resort and spa on a historic dairy farm in North Carolina. Or if you’re really into cows, you can even host your wedding there.

The farm is home to these Belted Galloway cows (above), which are reminiscent of an Oreo cookie. (Milk, please!) This striking breed of cow, which originated in Galloway, Scotland over a century ago, now adorn many fields in the USA today.

– Donate a cow to end hunger for a family.

Heifer International is famous for its program that lets you buy a cow and donate it to a family, helping lift them out of poverty.

For the last 70 years, the organization has donated thousands of dairy animals to communities in need across Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

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In addition to being able to buy a heifer, water ox, or goat for a faraway family, you can also make a difference by sending girls to school or helping to jumpstart a local business.

– Take a local cheese making class and learn the difference between cow, sheep and goat’s milk cheeses.

This tip may not be applicable for vegans, so here’s a recipe for a substitute cheese sauce that I primarily use for mac and cheese and lasagna. I know that there is plenty of vegan food that misses the mark, but I have yet to host a dinner guest who has not gone back for seconds when using this recipe.

Photo by Martin Abegglen, CC

– Fun stories about cows:

If these tips didn’t moootivate you, check out these articles…

How about an 11-year-old girl who learned to ride her pet dairy cow after she was denied a horse? Or, check out the heart-melting photos of a toddler who started caring for a 3-day-old calf after its mother died.

Also, watch this video of a bewildered beaver who accidentally got a job herding cows. Oh, and don’t forget about the little girl who causes mini-stampedes whenever she whips out her concertina.

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  1. I really like cows, and go on a motorcycle ride most evenings to ride past them and blow my horn and MOOOO! My wife thinks I’m nuts, but I always get a thrill out of seeing them and honking to them and saying Hello! And now that I know today is Cow Appreciation Day, I’ll be sure to take that ride and visit them! Maybe ride just a little bit slower today……..Thanks for this story. 🙂

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