When is Cow Appreciation Day?
Get ready to don your delightful cow costumes because July 11th marks the annual celebration of Cow Appreciation Day. Celebrated the second Tuesday of July, this bovine-loving holiday established by Chick-fil-A is a day of appreciation for cows and encouraging people to opt for their delicious chicken sandwiches instead of beef.
Since then, this celebration has gained popularity, with cow enthusiasts worldwide joining the festivities.
The History Behind the Observance
Cow Appreciation Day traces back to 1995 when the American fast-food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A launched its now-famous Eat Mor Chikin campaign. The campaign featured a group of cows holding signs with the phrase Eat Mor Chikin to promote chicken consumption over beef.
The campaign was a huge success and has since become a staple of the Chick-fil-A brand. In 2005, Chick-fil-A took their love for cows to the next level by creating Cow Appreciation Day.
The idea behind the holiday was to encourage customers to dress up like cows and receive a free meal at Chick-fil-A. The promotion was so popular that it became an annual event, with thousands of people participating each year.
How to Celebrate This Day
There are no Cow Appreciation Day rules on how to celebrate; however, for those who admire cows and want to celebrate, and don’t forget to post your photos and use the hashtag #cowappreciationday. Here are some of the Cow Appreciation Day ideas.
Dress Up Like a Cow
One popular way to participate in the occasion is by dressing up like a cow. Don a cow costume, paint cow spots on clothes, or accessorize with cow-themed items like hats or earrings. If you’re creative, you can create a unique cow costume from white fabric, black paint, and felt materials.
Visit a Dairy or Beef Farm
Another way to honor cows is visiting a dairy farm if you live nearby. Experiencing a cow in its natural habitat is an excellent opportunity to learn more about cows and the dairy business and sample fresh milk or cheese. Witnessing the cows’ daily routine and appreciating their contribution to everyday life can be an enriching experience.
Cook a Cow-Themed Meal
Food enthusiasts can participate in Cow Appreciation Day by cooking cow-themed meals such as beef burgers, steak, and pot roast or dairy-based recipes like mac and cheese or ice cream. Preparing a cow-themed dish could be a fun and creative way to appreciate these animals and their significant contribution to our culinary world.
Donate To a Cow Charity
Donating to organizations dedicated to protecting cows is an option to celebrate Cow Appreciation Day. Contributing to these organizations’ efforts can help improve the lives of cows and raise awareness about their essential role in our society. Read our article and find out more about Metritis in Cows.
Five Things You Didn’t Know About Dairy Cows
Dairy cows are cattle specifically bred for their milk production, providing the primary source of milk for human consumption worldwide. Dairy cows produce large quantities of milk with high nutritional content, which is then processed and sold as milk, cheese, butter, and other dairy products.
The history of dairy farming can be traced back to ancient times, with the domestication of cows and the use of their milk by early civilizations. Today, dairy cows are an essential component of the agricultural industry and play a vital role in meeting the global demand for dairy products. Here are five things about dairy cows you may not know.
- Holsten, Brown Swiss, Jersey, Milking Shorthorn, Ayrshire, and Guernsey are the six most common types of dairy cows. The Red and White breed is a subset of the Holstein species. You can recognize the different breeds’ using their appearance and disposition.
- A cow has a strong sense of smell compared to humans, allowing them to pick up scents from as far as six miles away. Cows use this sense to detect danger or locate food and water sources, making it essential for survival decisions.
- A dairy cow producing milk needs significant water to stay hydrated, with an average daily consumption of 30 to 50 gallons (114 to 189 liters), equivalent to filling up a bathtub. During hot and humid weather, their water intake may double, with some cows consuming up to 420 pounds (191 liters) of water daily.
- Holstein cows are among the largest dairy breeds in the United States, with mature cows weighing around 1,500 lbs (680 kilograms) and standing 58 inches (1.5 meters) tall at the shoulder. Their large size allows them to produce more milk than other breeds, with an average of 342,494 fluid ounces (10,128 milliliters) per lactation, equivalent to 2,774 gallons (10, 500 liters or almost 9 gallons (43 liters) of milk daily.
- In 2017, a Holstein cow named Selz-Pralle Aftershock 3918 from Wisconsin set the world record for milk production. It produced 72,752 fluid ounces (21,515 milliliters) of milk in one year, a testament to the Holstein breed’s milk-producing capacity and significant contribution to the dairy industry.
Five Things You Didn’t Know About Beef Cows
Various breeds of beef cows, such as Black Angus, Brahman, Chalorais, and Hereford, are raised solely for their meat. This practice is common in regions where red meat is a dietary staple.
These cows typically have a stockier build than dairy cows, with a muscular physique well-suited for meat production. Beef meat is common in many dishes, from burgers and steaks to stews and roasts.
In addition to their role in the food industry, beef cows have also played an important cultural and economic role throughout history, with many communities and traditions centered around their rearing and consumption. Here are some of the things you didn’t know about beef cows.
- Beef cows are usually culled around 18 months, whereas dairy cows can live for multiple years. The reason is that beef cows are more succulent and flavorsome when younger.
- In 2017, the USDA Economic Research Service’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Census of Agriculture recorded 768,542 cow herds in the United States. As of 2022, there were 30.125 million beef cows across the country.
- While smaller operations make up most of the beef operations, those with 100 or more cows account for 56% of the total beef cow inventory. Operations with 100 or more beef cows make up only 9.9% of all beef operations in the United States.
- Nebraska is the leading state for beef cow production, with the top three beef cow counties in the United States. With nearly 166,000 cows, Cherry County is the nation’s number one cow county. Oklahoma is the second-leading producer of beef cows in the country.
- Most beef cows give birth during the spring, and the weaning of calves is done between three and seven months old. Cows consume about 2% of their body weight daily and eat approximately for six hours.
Fun Facts About Cows
Cows are fascinating creatures often associated with pastoral landscapes and agriculture. While they may seem simple, they are complex animals with many unique qualities and characteristics. Here is some information about cows that you probably did not know.
- The sense of smell is a vital tool for cows. They use their exceptional olfactory abilities to identify potential threats, locate food and water sources, and even recognize their herd mates.
- The cow’s four-chamber stomach’s unique design helps to digest tough plant fibers. The four stomachs are called the rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum.
The cow then regurgitates the partially digested food, called cud, and chews it thoroughly before swallowing it again. This process of rumination allows cows to extract the maximum nutrients from the plants they eat.
- Cows are highly social animals that form complex hierarchies within their herd established through subtle cues such as body language and vocalizations. Each cow knows their place within the herd and interacts differently with cows of different ranks.
- Cows are incredibly intelligent and have excellent memories. They can remember individual faces and places for years, allowing them to navigate familiar landscapes and recognize their herd mates even after long periods of separation.
- Cows are social animals that form close bonds with their herd mates. They enjoy grooming each other, playing, and resting together. These social bonds help to reduce stress and promote well-being.
- Although cows can doze standing up, they prefer to lie down when they feel safe and relaxed. Lying down allows cows to rest, conserve energy, and helps them stay cool in hot weather.
- A cow’s tongue is a highly specialized organ perfectly designed for grabbing food. The tongue is long, flexible, and can move in any direction, allowing cows to wrap it around grass and pull it into their mouths.
- Cow mothers possess a powerful maternal instinct and fiercely protect their young. They will defend their young against any perceived threat, even if it places them in danger.
- Each cow has a unique pattern of spots on their hide, making them identifiable and distinct. Farmers can use these patterns to keep track of individual cows and monitor their health and well-being.
- Cows have a complex vocalization system and use different sounds to communicate emotions, including excitement, distress, and contentment. By listening to the sounds of cows, farmers can gain insight into their moods and behavior.
Why ILV Loves Cow Appreciation Day
At I Love Veterinary, we love Cow Appreciation Day because it allows us to celebrate these amazing animals and their important role in our lives. We celebrate to acknowledge and appreciate the contribution that cows have products to human society and deserve to be appreciated.
We also love Cow Appreciation Day because it promotes animal welfare and encourages people to think more about where their food comes from. Raising awareness about the dairy and beef industries can help ensure that cows are treated with respect and given the care they deserve.
Some Cow Appreciation Day Costume Ideas
If you plan to celebrate the day, here are a few ideas for Cow Appreciation Day costumes to get you started. You can unleash your creativity and make one yourself or find one in a costume store.
Full Cow Costume
This is a dress like a cow day, and a whole cow costume is a classic option with black and white spots that cover the entire body; a fun and unique way of showing appreciation for these gentle and fascinating animals.
A cow onesie is an attractive, comfortable alternative to a full costume. It is typically made of soft fleece and has a hood, cow ears, and horns.
Other fun and stylish Cow Appreciation Day costume ideas exist if you are not keen on wearing a full cow costume. Some popular choices include cow hats, earrings, and cow-print scarves paired with your everyday outfit to show your love for cows.
Happy Cow Appreciation Day
Cow Appreciation Day is the perfect occasion to recognize these magnificent animals and everything they do for us, whether you like dairy products or beef. So do not be scared to dress up as a cow, visit a dairy farm, or prepare a cow-themed feast.
Learn more about Cow Appreciation Day and how to participate by visiting www.cowappreciationday.com.