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Process Essay – How to Name a Cow

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Process Essay – How to Name a Cow


Naming your cow may not be an easy task. While some claim to be well versed in bovine nomenclature, many first-time cow owners are not. It may be true that cattle should not be named because a growing attachment to your cow may hinder economic gain—if you plan to eat your cow, don’t name it.

Most cow lovers need not worry about any of this. Their cows have become welcome household pets. They have put down their steak knives and decided to dine with them, not on them. Such docile animals have now become a part of the family, and owning but a few cows has eased the problem of naming a vast herd of cattle.

I once knew a family in Loma Rica that tried to name all their many cows. They couldn’t keep track of them, and the family became mean, bitter people. Cows are just too damn difficult to distinguish from each other when they are in large groups, and you just plain run out of names.

Cow connoisseurs usually begin with one or two cows and are therefore able to relate to their cows on a more personal level. Get in touch with your cow. Spend quality time with it. Get to know it as it gets to know you. Both you and your cow have distinctive attributes that distinguish either of you from others. That should play a big part in the naming process, and spending time with your animal creates a better bond and gives insight to a proper name for the creature.

I might like a bizarre name like Sink, Horse, or Unhalangami, depending on the personality of my cow. Another person might like a more traditional name like Daisy or Buttercup. Try naming your bovine after an obvious characteristic or physical feature. If your cow is a rich brown color, na...


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...ter, Rolling Pin, Dinner Jacket, Vendetta, and Alaska. You can get some really great names by employing this technique, but it may take several tries. Try other reference books for variation.

An alternative approach: Instead of names, give your cows words. Paint a word or phrase on each cow. (Nontoxic cold-cream-based finger paint works well for this.) As your cows arrange themselves in a field, in a sort of fluxus tradition, they create an artful type of found poetry. Your cows can be your art.

All in all, research your possibilities; milk your sources. If you are religious, pray, and ask for guidance. Ask your friends. Ask your grandmother. (If you ask me, I would name my cow Heimlich. Then I could have Heimlich manure!) Most of all, be creative. Don’t stress, because with these pointers, naming your cow will be fun, easy, and satisfying.


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