Customer Reviews: A Cow's Life: The Surprising History of Cattle, and How the Black Angus Came to Be Home on the Range
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on April 6, 2005
If cows are your particular passion, then A Cow's Life will grab you with Montana native M.R. Montgomery's observations of cows gained from his own daily experience with cattle. Much more than just an observational piece, A Cow's Life provides a history of cattle, the black angus in particular, and explores the controversies and issues involved in cattle farm management. An affectionate look at the cow.
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on April 22, 2012
As an urban person living in a condo, I appreciated the wit and the cow stories. There is drama, humor, and significance in cow history, let none deny it. However, I found the degree of detail on methods of artificial insemination, calving, and Scotish cow bloodlines to be rather rather beyond my capacities. Clearly, the complexity of breeding for avoidance of unhelpful resessive traits helps make cow farming a truly intellectual challenge.
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on May 2, 2005
Montgomery's book includes many interesting tidbits, such as the stupendous size of the Aurochs, what to call those cattle that are black on both ends and white in the middle, the brief existence of the open range, etc. However, at times coverage seems superficial, such as on the original domestication(s) of cattle. At other times, the level of detail on 19th century British breeding and showing practices seems a bit much. Another book you might enjoy, although its focus is dairy cattle, is "Portrait of the Burger as a Young Calf."
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on August 13, 2013
I liked the book A Cow's Life very much. The book had a lot of information that I did not previous know about the origins of cattle.
The information about the development of the Aberdeen-Angus breed was very in depth.
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on October 4, 2008
So-so. For those who do not know much about the cattle industry. Is not as interesting as what the title suggests. Atleast not for me.
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on April 27, 2006
This should be required reading in urban schools, but for a farm kid like me (spare the information regarding domestication and a few other tidbits) most was country common knowledge. I realize that the general non-farming public is a greater market then cattlemen, and for those who know nothing about cows this is a great introduction. But as an agriculture student, it let me down. Montgomery's bias towards Angus cattle was very apparent. Every cattle breeder has his own opinion and I felt that a few of his statements about the breed should have been left out of print and saved for show barn banter. His exclamations regarding Certified Angus Beef made me laugh, as an animal has only got to be 51% black to qualify (I know of some Holstein dairy steers that made it). I got the impression that Montgomery was an outsider looking in. Yet, with animal agriculture receiving no press (or when they do, its negative---BSE), I am glad that books like this are being written, published and found on suburban book store shelves!
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on January 16, 2009
This is a good history on angus cattle. I gave it as a christmas gift and it seems to be quite excellent. I do have one problem with it. At the very beginning it starts out talking of the creation of the cow by way of evolution. Since I don't believe in the evolutionary theory, I had to make a note of that to the person to whom I gave it, who believes in the creationist theary as I do. That's the only reason I gave the book 3 stars. It's just a note for creationists or others who may not agree with the evolutionary theory.
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