To tell the story of the relationship between humankind and cattle is to tell the story of civilisation itself. Since the beginning, cattle have tilled our soils, borne our burdens, fed and clothed us and been our loyal and uncomplaining servants in the work of taming the wilderness and wresting a living from the land. There has never been a time when we have not depended on cattle. As human societies have migrated from the country to the city, the things they have needed from their cattle may have changed, but the fundamental human dependence remains. Blending personal experience, recollection, interviews with farmers, butchers and cattle breeders and studding the narrative with little-known nuggets of technical detail, Philip Walling entertainingly reveals the central importance of cattle to all our lives.
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