Beautiful Cows: Portraits of Champion Breeds
Val Porter, Jeremy Hopley & Andrew Perris
St. Martin's, 2010 (2010)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
is a delightful gift book, one of a series that includes
. With portraits of champion breeds by Val Porter and photographs by Jeremy Hopley and Andrew Perris, the volume makes clear that there is much more bovine variety than most of us ever realized.
reminds us that '
It is the eyes that draw you in: large, peaceful, gazing at nothing in particular. Cows are leisurely and amiable beasts
'. Porter goes on to tell us that the book's purpose '
is to capture their bovine beauty, their character, and some of the many differences between the thousand or so breeds of cattle worldwide.
' Further chapters address
Cows in Civilization
(their wild ancestors being aurochs);
The Development of Breeds
(mainly dairy or beef nowadays);
Breeds Around the World
(adaptable cows are found in every continent and environment); and
(including what judges look for).
ost of the volume presents two page displays of the selected breeds (in more or less chronological order). On the left is a background summary,
Bull and Cow Size
Origin and Distribution
, with a color photo on the right.
offers candid shots behind the scenes at the world's leading cow shows. The back of the book includes a
of bovine terminology, as well as references to
Shows & Associations
've always liked the look of
cattle (featured on the front cover), but all the breeds are attractive in their own fashion (though I do find the
's shape rather odd ). Overall, author and photographers do a fine job of showcasing
, which would make a welcome gift for any bovine collector on your list.
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