A book of bovine beauty shots seeks to revive the human-cattle bond.
While Werner Lampert was living on an alpine pasture, he discovered that cows have an insatiable appetite for, among many things, poetry. Each morning, he’d clamber up a small hill to the pasture where his bovine neighbors were grazing. There, he’d read aloud the works of the German Romantic poet Friedrich Hölderlin. The cows would gather around him, listening attentively until he finished delivering the poem at hand. “When I stopped … they would soon scatter,” writes Lampert. “But the next morning they would be there waiting for me again.”
According to Lampert, cows and humans share a special relationship—one that goes way deeper than impromptu poetry readings. That’s why he partnered with a team of photographers to journey around the globe documenting the many breeds of cattle that populate the planet, as well as the humans who look after them, work with them, worship them, and eat them. His forthcoming book, The Cow: A Tribute, is an epic ode to the stunning diversity of cows and the many ways in which they’ve helped humans thrive over the past 10,000 years. From the skyward-pointing horns of Ethiopian Raya-Azebo cattle to the spellbinding eyes of Austrian Montafons, The Cow offers a comprehensive, striking mosaic of the global bovine body and soul. (Yes, Lampert asserts, cows have souls.)