I did a lot of research on different animals and their symbolism as part of my AS Level Art project last year entitled 'People and Animals' and I thought it would be fun to share some of the stuff I learned. Here is Part 9: Cows. Scroll to the end to get the links to the other parts!


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  • Cows are the national animal of Nepal
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  • In Ancient Egypt, bulls were the embodiment of Apis, god of strength and fertility
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  • In Greek mythology, many deities took on bovine forms - Zeus used it as a guise to rape many women
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  • In Gaul, a cure to infertility was to cut mistletoe from an oak and sacrifice two white bulls
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  • Judaism forbids the wearing of leather shoes during mourning - beef is Kosher
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  • The bull was lunar in Mesopotamia (its crescent-shaped horns)
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  • Cattle roam free on the streets of Dehli as they are revered
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  • There is a Zoroastrian mythological giant bull so large it could straddle the mountains and seas which divide the seven regions of the Earth
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  • Eastern Anatolians believed the weather god, Teshub, was carried on the backs of bulls
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  • In Judaism, a red cow is used as a symbol of perfection
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  • The cattle goddess was known as Boann in Celtic Ireland, and Damona in Celtic Gaul
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  • Because of the cow's use for dairy products, tilling fields and cow dung as fertiliser, Hindus identify it as a maternal figure
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  • Most beef eaten in Myanmar is from old cattle, past their working lives
Image by Violeta
FILM: Home on the Range
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SONG: Cash Cow by We Are Scientists

Cow Gallery

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