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The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young
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The Secret Life of Cows

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The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young
Paperback $17.00
Jul 07, 2020 | ISBN 9780525557333

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  • Jul 07, 2020 | ISBN 9780525557333

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“Clever… [Young] affectionately details veterinary crises, inter-bovine bonds, and the quirks of Ditch-Hog, Charolais Charlotte, and other residents of her family’s farm, in Worcestershire. She makes a passionate case against high-yield farming and in favor of a personalized approach.” –The New Yorker

“This little book is a charmer.” —People Magazine

“Rosamund Young’s The Secret Life of Cows deserves its sudden reputation as a first-hand account of unutterable charm… Young describes her own work as simply a string of anecdotes and observations grouped around certain themes (example: ‘Bovine friendships are seldom casual’), but the musings reveal things far more profound… The extraordinary sensitivity she exhibits towards their idiosyncrasies puts our understanding of the minds of cattle onto a completely different plane—an anecdotal accompaniment to the scientific work that scientists like Temple Grandin have already done… Young’s personal approach gets the message across gently, but no less urgently. Spending a few hours in their company…will certainly teach you a loving lesson about animal dignity, and the value of kindness.” —
The Secret Life of Cows succeeds in showing that cows are thoughtful beings with individual personalities… There’s great insight, too, born of long experience.” —
“Young’s animal stories are truly charming and quietly convincing of the great value of a more natural form of farming.” –Booklist

“Reflecting on over 30 years as a cattle farmer in Worcestershire, England, Young muses on her herd members’ inner lives and shares best practices for keeping them happy and healthy… Contemplative and idyllic… Young’s assertion that ‘all animals are individuals’ is certainly supported by these entertaining and tender stories.” –Publishers Weekly

“A lovely, thoughtful little book about the intelligence of cows.” —James Rebanks, New York Times bestselling author of The Shepherd’s Life

“Within a day of receiving this book, I had consumed it. It is engrossing and informative, full of charming stories as it makes the case for regarding animals as differentiated individuals… An absorbing, moving, and compulsively readable addition to one’s shelf of enlightened animal literature.” —Lydia Davis, winner of the Man Booker International Prize

“I loved Rosamund Young’s The Secret Life of Cows. It’s a plea for us to appreciate the complex inner lives of our inquisitive, loving, bovine friends, whom we arguably exploit more than any other creature on Earth—from what we wear on our feet, via our Sunday roast, to what we pour on our granola. It also makes the great point that we should not judge animal intelligence in relation to our own.” —Matt Haig, bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How to Stop Time

“A charming and surprising tale that reveals how little we know of cows.” —Tim Flannery, New York Times bestselling author of The Weather Makers

“British farmer Young shows how she has continued her family’s farming tradition, a moral, observant, and personal way of farming that predates the ‘organic’ trend or even the use of the term… A pleasant book about the joys of close observation.” –Kirkus Reviews

“A small classic. But while her book is gently humorous, it is not a spoof. Cows really are diverse characters with eventful inner lives… Drawing on decades of experience, Young has a serious message concerning non-intensive, compassionate farming.” Financial Times

“Young recounts tales of bovine love and loss to ‘rehumanise’ cattle in the era of money-driven factory farms. Her prose is curiously moving. I felt myself welling up a little at Young’s account of being ‘wrenched’ from a deep sleep on a cold February night by a moo of absolute determination. It was Araminta, a mother calling out for her sickly son. This touching book will have you looking at Friesians in the field - and even a nice bit of rib-eye steak – completely differently.” The Times (UK)

“Illuminating … Her small, but perfectly formed, volume weaves entertaining anecdotes and profound insights harvested from a lifetime of caring for cows… A charming manifesto.” Sunday Telegraph (UK)

“Her insight is unexpectedly charming and fascinating - so much so that she has channeled everything she has learned about these creatures into a wonderfully evocative and enlightening book… Many amusing anecdotes which illustrate the warmth of feeling between the family and their individual animals… Touching… A wonderful and heartwarming story.” Mail on Sunday (UK)

“A delightful, spry and neatly crafted book… An account of a deeply observant life, and a portrait of umpteen generations of pedigree cows. A powerful pastoral meditation on animal husbandry, one for which Young should be congratulated and championed. Her writing issues a moral challenge to us all.” The Sunday Times (UK)

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