Cow by Florian Werner
A Bovine Biography

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Synopsis

She is everywhere: as a vehicle for both farmers and advertisers, a subject for research scientists and poets, and ever-present in the form of lucky charms, children's toys, or simply as a tasty sandwich-filler. The female of the bovine species is revered as sacred or reviled as stupid, but one thing she never inspires is indifference. After more than ten thousand years living alongside us, she remains a beguiling mystery. Combining a myriad of richly entertaining anecdotes and an abundance of illuminating discoveries, Florian Werner presents the curious cultural history of that most intriguing of animals: the cow.

Since evolving from the aurochs, an ungulate that grazed the Persian grasslands, the cow has embedded itself into virtually all aspects of our lives. Cow is the first book to look at the animal in its countless manifestations in cultures around the world. Werner examines cows' role in commerce as an early form of currency and their place on our plates and in our stomachs in the form of meat and dairy products. Florian Werner examines how cows are worshipped in some circles, such as in Hindu mythology, and abhorred in others, today being vilified as an agent of climate change. And he waxes philosophic about the significance of the cow's rumination and cud chewing, as well as her simple but meaningful moo.

Combining thorough research with an accessible writing style, Florian Werner offers readers an eye-opening perspective on this commodified animal, whose existence is inextricably intertwined with ours and which we too often take for granted.
 

About Florian Werner

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Journalist and author Florian Werner studied American, British, and German literature and has published a number of books in Germany including the non-fiction book Rapocalypse, a study of millenarianist HipHop lyrics, and Dark Matter: The History of S**t, a cultural history of human excrement. When he is not writing, he tours with his band, Fön, and plays soccer for the German national team of writers' Autonama. Werner lives in Berlin.Dr. Temple Grandin is a designer of livestock handling facilities, a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University and an accomplished author. In 2010, Time Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people. A linguist by training, Doris Ecker is a full-time translator and writer based in Vancouver.
 
Published October 21, 2011 by Greystone Books. 242 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Cow

Publishers Weekly

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Werner's book tells the story of what cows have meant to people, what we say about them, and what that says about us.

Mar 26 2012 | Read Full Review of Cow: A Bovine Biography

Christian Science Monitor

– but there are also fulfilling, rangy chapters on sacred cows (the Hindus have stuffed 330 million gods and goddesses into every cow) and profane cows (horns?

Apr 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Cow: A Bovine Biography

Review (Barnes & Noble)

-- but there are also fulfilling, rangy chapters on sacred cows (the Hindus have stuffed 330 million gods and goddesses into every cow) and profane cows (horns?

Apr 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Cow: A Bovine Biography

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