How Now. . .

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by Laura Parker Roerden

Quick. Close your eyes and picture a cow. What did you see?

How many of you saw a black and white cow?

Hands up







I thought so.

Poor misunderstood BROWN cows: Ashyires, Jerseys, and Herefords.

Our farm has always had brown cows, which poses a bit of a problem when you’re trying to decorate.

Cartoons, ceramics, household goods alike, all usually feature black and white cows.

I mean, how awesome is this planter? But it’s not brown.







And how about this dream room?









Again. NOT brown.

And black and white cows are a source of endless humor.










That’s because brown cows are not funny.

(But they are hilarious on a grown man’s polo shirt.)












Brown cows are generally too cute to be funny. And risk being confused with Teddy Bears, who are apparently really very sad brown cows that have lost their udders.


Growing up, I thought that my dad chose brown and white cows because they harmonize well with the reds, browns, greens and beiges of storybook farm life.


But instead he picked them for their high butter fat content.

Which means that there is hope for brown cows after all.

Their milk is used to make butter.









Not only that. Brown cows supply cream! As in ICE CREAM.


And as Julia Child famously quipped. . .


So it turns out, brown cows might just be worthy of a place in our hearts, if not in our homes and kitsch.

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Published by Laura Parker Roerden

Laura Parker Roerden shares a love of what nature can teach us. Writer, public speaker and supportor of youth to boldly know and save the wilds. She is the founding director of Ocean Matters and a fourth generation farmer and thinks today’s young people are reason to be hopeful about the many environmental problems facing us. She lives on a family farm in Massachusetts with her husband, three boys, and an assortment of fruit trees and farm animals.

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