The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Most people probably don’t even consider where the milk comes from when they reach to get it from the fridge for their morning cuppa. When they do venture into the countryside, the may be vaguely aware of these black and white animals in the fields as they flash past in the car. It is only when they have left the climate controlled atmosphere that they realise quite how big they are. Sadly, modern factory farming sees them as machines to either pump milk from or to be dosed full of antibiotics to grow at a rapid rate for slaughter.
At Kite’s Nest Farm, Rosamund Young sees all her animals in a very different way, and her cows hold a special place in her heart. Each cow is named and rather than being forced to stay in a single field, they are allowed to roam freely around the farm so they can find the best grass or shelter as necessary. This freedom, coupled with the fact they there are not treated as commodities, means that their own personalities shine through. Her observations have shown that they are capable of forming life-long friendships, can hold grudges, play games when younger and grieve when another in the herd dies and in their own way can communicate with us mere humans.
In this gently written, quirky and charming little book, Young sets about rewriting everything that you thought that you knew about cattle. In telling the stories of her animals, there are amusing anecdotes, moments of sadness and examples that show just how highly intelligent they can be. They seek out the plants that can help them when they are ill, and many of them know when to approach the family for extra assistance. This a book that is strangely moving and shows what can be gained from treating animals with the respect that they deserve and is a compelling case against the horrors of factory farming. 3.5 Stars
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