Cows, also known as cattle, are herbivorous animals and naturally exist on a diet of plants, grass and corn. There are many different types of cow, and they are all smart, intelligent and inquisitive by nature. Let’s take a closer look at these beautiful animals and how they are treated by humans!

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Cow Facts

The word cow technically refers to a female who has given birth. Males are known as bulls, and females who have not given birth are referred to as heifers. Babies are called calves. However, cow is commonly used as an umbrella term for all cattle. Whilst humans have fingerprints that are unique to them, cows have spot markings – and no two cow spots are the same!

Life & Diet

Cows vary in size, and can weigh between 400 and 1,600 pounds. However, the average cow will weigh roughly 1,200 pounds. They will usually eat approximately 50 pounds of food each day and consume between 35 and 50 gallons of water. They can live for up to 25 years, although their life span is much shorter when they are bred in captivity by the factory farming industry.

It is commonly said that cows have several stomachs, but actually they have one stomach with four different compartments. These different compartments are known as the rumen, reticulum, omasum and the abomasum. A great advantage to being a cow, and having so many stomach compartments, is that they are able to digest food that other mammals generally won’t be able to. This helps them to survive in the wild, as they can usually always find something to eat!

Cows Around the World

There are more than a billion cows in the world, and they can be found on almost every continent – with Antarctica being the only exception. In India cows are considered to be sacred and they can often be seen living free, roaming the streets. There are approximately 300 million cows in India alone!

Communication & Reproduction

Cows communicate by making a moo-ing noise at each other. They are incredibly sociable animals and enjoy interacting and communicating with other cows. When a cow gets pregnant they will carry the baby for nine months – the same as a pregnant human! The calf will be roughly 90 pounds when it is born.

Factory Farming

Cows are one of the most exploited animals by humans. They are bred and raised in captivity to be primarily used for veal, beef and milk. In fact, the majority of dairy products are made using milk from cows.

It is important to know that cows do not naturally produce milk unless they have recently given birth. For this reason, cows are repeatedly impregnated artificially and then their new-born babies are taken from them. Calves are then often used for veal, or as new dairy cows. Cows can be heard crying for several days after their calves have been taken from them.

A dairy cow will be forced to produce approximately 200,000 cups of milk during her lifetime.

In America alone, over 29 million cows are murdered every year as a result of the meat and dairy industries.

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