A Cow's Life
The Surprising History of Cattle and How the Black Angus Came to Be Home on the RangeBook - 2004
Offers an evolutionary history of the "king of cows," covering its primal ancestor, the six-thousand-pound extinct aurochs, and the Aberdeen-Angus' emigration from Scotland to the United States in the late 19th century.
A bovine tour de force
Millions of people, from nature lovers to collectors of cow memorabilia, are enamored of cows, yet few have any inkling of the fascinating history of, arguably, the animal most crucial to the survival and advancement of human civilization. Our close relationship with cows goes back eight thousand years, to the revolutionary advent of domestication in Mesopotamia and the Indus River valley. Since then, humans have relied on cows for milk, meat, and muscle.
M. R. Montgomery's own keen interest in cows began on his cousin's Montana cattle ranch. He traces their history from the formidable, long-extinct Auroch—the 6,000-pound ancestor of all cattle on Earth—to the ancient cattle roads and drives in England, to the selective mixing practiced by British cattlemen well before Charles Darwin or Gregor Mendel. He charts the origin of breeds and relates the path by which the Aberdeen-Angus has today become the "king of cows." With a sympathetic eye for detail, born of his own experience, he chronicles the day-to-day life of cattle and their keepers— from encouraging good mothering skills to rooting out genetic disease in a herd. After experiencing Montgomery's bovine fascination, even cow lovers will have new appreciation for the objects of their affection.
Treating the Aberdeen-Angus as the "king of cows," a Montana native who migrated East traces the evolutionary history of the cow from primal ancestor to modern genetics and the emigration of this beefsteak breed from Scotland to the US in the late 19th century. Montgomery also chronicles the daily life of cattle and ranchers. Illustrations include founding fathers of the breed, and a comparison of the cow and human retina. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)