The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young – Published in hardback by Faber & Faber, October 2017
This book was recommended to me by a friend* who thought I’d enjoy its quirkiness. It’s certainly unlike any other book I’ve ever read (but in a good way).
It’s an affectionate look at some of the many animals living on the author’s farm, examining their personalities, their need for play and their relationships with each other and with humans.
It’s also a reminder that the way we treat animals (all of them) should reflect the way we ourselves want to live. So, for example, just like humans, cows form friendships, they benefit from variety, a good diet, the ability to make choices and so on. In other words, just like humans, they’re individuals, with differing temperaments, intelligent or less so, determined or docile, sociable or shy.
The farm at the centre of the book reminds me very much of the farm on which I spent my childhood holidays. And the way the animals are cared for and treated as individuals prompted some wonderful memories: naming each animal, sadness at losing one, joy at each new arrival.
If you aren’t already committed to eating only organic free range/pasture fed meat, poultry and eggs you almost certainly will be by the time you finish this thoughtful and heartwarming. book.
* Thank you Wendy! It lived up to your recommendation.