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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Holy Cow’ more than just a saying

    Though many of us might not follow the same religion as Hindus, the idea of a “”Holy Cow”” might not be such a far off ideal. If you define being “”holy”” as the quality of being an omnipresent entity which has an effect on countless numbers of things in all aspects of life, then maybe that overused saying carries more meaning than we realize.

    Creamy, smooth, a never-ending variety, an endless array of flavor (from overwhelming to subtle), delightfully colorful and just plain good, cheese is probably the most universally liked cow product. Its consumption isn’t specific to gender, race or sexual preference. It’s a nice garnish to a seemingly endless range of foods in all cultures, it’s a great marketing tool and it’s hailed as one of the most popular snack foods. It is ever-present: We even “”say cheese”” when taking pictures.

    Aside from their effect on our taste buds, cows also have a significant effect on the economy. To get an accurate idea of where it might affect the economy, here are a few consumer products that are directly related to cows: cheese, steak, other various meat products, partly used in make of Jell-O and leather.

    Let’s take leather, for instance. Leather jackets are a multi-million dollar industry. From Harley Davidson to Armani, leather jackets are a popular item to many people. But leather is not just used in jackets. Another usage for the cow product is in shoes. Shoes frequently come in either a vinyl state or leather. Many of the basketball, football, cross-country, comfort, running and dress shoes that you find will be made at least in some small part by leather. The combination of both industries could easily total in the billion-dollar region.

    Another frequent and important role of cows is their role in providing fertilizer for farms and other organic things. Since most fertilizers are derived from either horse or cow waste (the majority from cow), it could be argued that along with feeding the hungry, clothing the cold and providing a means for people to effectively walk in almost any terrain without seriously injuring their feet, cows are also responsible for providing a large amount of the produce that we consume on a daily basis.

    Milk’s enormous impact on our lives just furthers the idea of the cow’s underestimated relevance. Yahoo News reported last Wednesday that the industrial chemical melamine leaked into a large amount of a Chinese milk-suppliers product. According to the report, four infants died as a result of consuming this dangerous chemical (usually used to make plastics and fertilizer) and 53,000 others came down with illnesses directly related to the contaminated milk. The ripples are being felt all the way from China to Britain to New Zealand.

    If cows are responsible for all the above-mentioned things and some unmentioned, why are they not a more talked about and commonly addressed topic? When the price of cheese flew off the charts, very few people cared to know that it was due to the decreasing value of cheese and increase in the price of milk. Very few are complaining daily about the high prices of milk by the gallon, which is projected to be more expensive than a gallon of gas.

    With our high usage of milk-containing products, mainly but not limited to cheese, if the prices of cheese and other dairy products keep rising, a trip to the grocery store to buy dairy and filling up at the pump might ultimately be equivalent. Will cows be the next ExxonMobil? In the end we’ll all be wishing we’d have listened a little closer to those commercials when they attempted to warn us: “”Ah…the power of cheese.””

    – Isaac Mohr is a journalism freshman. He can be reached at

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