A Common But Important Animal
By Christy Lowman
Hi friends! This month I wanted to talk about an animal that we take for granted. What I mean is, it is a very common animal and sometimes we don’t realize how important it really is to us. We get a lot of what we eat from this animal including yogurt, cheese, milk, ice cream, cottage cheese, beef, beef jerky, hot dogs, hamburgers, steak, the list goes on. This animal is known as the “foster mothers of the human race” because they produce most of the milk we drink. Do you know what this animal is?
If you guessed a cow, you are correct. Cows came to America with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage. Eventually, every family had their own cow until around the 1850s when they stared transporting milk by train.
Cows are herbivores, with four chambers in their stomachs. The first chamber, the rumen, holds 50 gallons of half-digested plant food, this is also where cud comes from. Cud is regurgitated, semi-digested food, that comes back up in their mouth from their first chamber stomach. They chew on this for up to eight hours a day. I always like to think a cow is happy and healthy if you see it chewing its cud. If it’s not chewing cud, something is wrong.
The second stomach chamber is called reticulum, this is the part of the stomach that protects the cow from the hazardous material they might accidentally eat. If they eat plastic, nails, pieces of fence, it will stay in this compartment, protecting the cow from the object causing further health problems.
The omasum is the third stomach compartment which acts as a filter. And the last compartment is called abomasum which is a lot like our stomach.
Cows love to eat. They gobble up to forty pounds of food a day and drink as much water as a full bathtub. A standard bathtub holds up to 80 gallons of water! Could you drink that much water a day? Humans are encouraged to drink only half of a gallon of water a day which I find hard to do sometimes.
Cows are very smart animals. They remember who their friends are as well as those who are mean to them. They spend most of their time hanging out with their pals during the day and they stay away from those they don’t like. Cows remember people the same way. They will recall how you have treated them in the past. Cows also recognize up to fifty other members of their herd.
Cows are great problem solvers! They love solving problems and will work hard to find the answer. The problem can be as simple as getting to the greener grass on the other side of the fence. They can figure out cause and effect problems as well like if I raise this handle with my head, water comes out for me to drink. Cows can smell water and odors up to five miles away and can hear both low and high-frequency sounds that we can’t hear.
A cow’s lifespan is twenty years, but most don’t live that long. If a cow has horns you can count the rings on them to estimate how old he/she is.
Not all cows are mean. Some are sweet, gentle, or timid. And all cows are curious! The assumption that the color red makes bulls mad is a myth. The movement of the bullfighter’s cloak is what makes the bull charge. You are also safe to wear the color red around cows; you are not going to get chased because of it, because cows are red/green color blinded!
Cattle have 32 teeth in their mouths but none of these are located in the top front. Instead, they have a rough pad of skin on the top and teeth on the bottom front, along with molars on the sides. Cows also have a long rough, sandpapery tongue.
Mother cows carry their babies inside for 9 months just like we do. If a baby calf gets lost after it is born, a mother has been known to walk many miles to find her baby. Mother cows are very protective, I cannot tell you how many times I have been charged at and ran off by a very protective mother. After a calf is born, I have witnessed the others in the herd come and check the baby out, welcoming it to their family. Mother cows will hide their babies in tall grasses, hay or under trees to keep them safe until they get old enough to hang out with the others.
There are two types of cattle, dairy, and beef. Today, with the help of milking machines, a single dairy cow can produce 25 gallons of milk a day, which is 400 glasses of milk!
Did you realize that cows were so important to us? That we depend on them to survive. Some people think that they are just dumb animals that don’t belong, or that farmers and farming are not important. Did you know that cows were mentioned in the Bible? In Elijah’s time, there was a contest. The heathens sacrificed a bull to their gods to see if they were real and would make it rain, they did not. God then had Elijah sacrifice a bull to Him and He made it rain, showing that He was the one true God!
Can you think of other things in your life that you might have taken for granted? Or maybe you didn’t realize how important they were to you? It may be even a person. I can think of at least two people that I have taken for granted before. My parents. They kept me fed, in nice clothes, gave me a place to live, took care of me, and told me about Jesus when I was young. I’m sure that you have someone in your life that has taken good care of you that maybe you sometimes forget to say “thank you” to. It is the same way with God. Sometimes, we get mad at Him when things don’t go our way. Sometimes we distance ourselves from Him for no good reason. Maybe we think we can handle a problem all by ourselves without needing His help. Or maybe we don’t realize all the good things He does for us or has blessed us with. You see there are many things in our life, that we take for granted. Did you know that God blesses us each day just by letting us wake up to a new morning? The guarantee of the sun coming up each day is a blessing, the air we get to breathe in is a blessing. The fact that no matter what we do wrong, God will forgive us, when we ask, is a blessing!
Dear Lord, please help us not take You or our daily blessings for granted. Help us be thankful and appreciative of each and everyone one that you have blessed us with. We thank you for the animals you have given us to use to help nourish our body and to help us grow. In Jesus’s name, I pray AMEN.
PS I included a picture of Violet the Cow for you to enjoy!
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Romans 1:20-21
Christy Lowman is a Christian author and illustrator that lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband and two children. She enjoys writing and illustrating books for all ages. Some of her short stories are published with Guideposts and HCI. Christy gives all the glory to God in everything she does. A portion of every book sold from the Small Bible Character Series will be donated to battle human trafficking. If you enjoy her books, “like’ her author page on Faceook and let her know! You can buy her books at //www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AChristy+Lowman&s=relevancerank&text=Christy+Lowman&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1. You can reach her at //www.facebook.com/authorChristyLowman/