Thursday, 30 August 2012

Till the cows come home...

So, I seemed to have caused some confusion last week by mentioning a cow while using a sheep to illustrate my post! Won't do that again!

Anyhoo, to avoid any confusion this week, I am still working on the cow painting and so here is just a sneaky peek of part of it.   

Cowmodity - Work in Progress - acrylic on canvas

While we're on the subject of cows, I recently read a book called the Mad Cowboy by Howard Lyman who used to be a cattle rancher in Montana, USA.  Following a spinal tumour which almost left him paralysed, he became vegetarian and then vegan and began looking into the causes of Mad Cow Disease which was just starting to appear in the UK (he appeared on Oprah Winfrey's show, she denounced burgers as a result and then they both got sued by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association for disparaging comments about beef - it being illegal to be defamatory about food in the States, seriously!) They were found not guilty of any wrongdoing and Howard went on to become president of EarthSave and then Voice for a Viable Future.


Did you know they don't bother to remove these tags
before they render the bits of cow that makes dog food - nice huh?

It's a really interesting and surprisingly humourous read and an eye opener to anyone interested in learning exactly what they're putting in their mouths. I can't recommend this book enough - written by someone who was a third generation cattle rancher who changed his own farm from a small family run concern to a massive feedlot like those all over America today, if he's telling us to stop eating beef, maybe we ought to listen! 

Linking as always to Paint Party Friday - thanks to Kristin and Eva as ever for hosting!

37 comments:

  1. Really liking the look of this !

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  2. This is very intriguing, looking forward to seeing the rest! Valerie

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  3. Loving your work on the cow you have captured the eye beautifully. On a personal level I hate seeing those tags they pin to their ears, you can tell am not a country person can't you.........lol Happy PPF and enjoy the weekend, Annette x

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  4. Cow is looking pretty! :) I love hearing these finds of yours. I never really went too deep into vegetarianism or veganism, I just decided I'm not eating meet anymore. :) I'm finally off cheese, too, but I do eat an occasional egg, so I'm not totally there, yet. :)

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  5. Very interesting and powerful post!! Sounds like a great book.. What I see of your lovely cow is amazing, as is all your work!!

    Hugs Giggles

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  6. Oo-er! I think I'd rather be in blissful ignorance, lol!
    Actually, I think if we knew how most of our food was produced, we probably wouldn't eat it. I could easily become a vegetarian for both moral reason and because I could simply survive without it. But it's hard when you live with meat lovers! I like shellfish and seafood - I could live on that! The cow is already gorgeous and bursting with personality!
    By the way - thanks so much for the comment on Pauls sketch. It seems that we live almost parallel lives! :0)

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  7. AMAZING painting, I love how much SOUL you've captured in his eyes! I told my Dad (he and my brother have an organic farm) about your first blog post with the cow photo and the story behind it. Very moving to my whole family.
    Hugs,
    Stephaie

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  8. The cow is coming out great. Such a soulful eye.

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  9. Great post ~ love the cowmodity painting process ~ lovely ~ (A Creative Harbor)

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  10. Fabulous cow you've got here! I thought is was beyond ridiculous that Oprah got into legal issues over her beef opinion.

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  11. I love how it's so obviously a cow, yet at the same time retains that impressionistic feel. You are one talented artist, you know that?

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  12. I love the way your cow is coming along. You do such expressive eyes. I don't want to know what horrible things are in our food, as we have to eat! The veggies are not safe either, as in the last few years, it has been lettuce, spinach that have sickened people with salmonella! I had steak for dinner last night with arugula salad with tomatoes, celery and olive oil. YUM!

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    1. Thanks Gloria, I had to reply to this as the only reason veggies are considered unsafe re salmonella etc is because of the animal manure used as fertiliser or their being watered with water taken from wells near livestock!! Salmonella comes from animal products and with so many animals making so much poop the farmers need somewhere to spread their BS - hence the contamination of some veggies as a result! So, if no one ate animals - there wouldn't be so much poop and our veggies wouldn't get contaminated with salmonella!!

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  13. I love the way you paint and love the way the cow painting is progressing.

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  14. Hi Nicola, your hint of the cow is looking fabulous already.

    I remember that incident with Oprah and the ensuing lawsuit by the cattle industry. Some of the food lobbys (beef, dairy, tobacco) are so strong and powerful it's no wonder we think that this is all we can eat.

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    1. yep its like George Carlin said 'polititians dont run the country; big corporations run the country and polititians are only there to make you think you have a choice!'

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  15. I'm glad we grow our own veggies, including lettuce, beets, and other. There are times though when we do have buy depending on the season. Your cow is looking very very nice. I love it! Have a wonderful weekend.

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  16. THOSE EYES! So sweet...what a cutie! Love your work, thanks so much for sharing. :)

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  17. Love all the detail on this piece. A happy Mooey PPF to you today.

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  18. Wonderful cow! She is going to be a beauty. Glad you showed us the detail. Happy PPF

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  19. Oh, I love what I see so far from the sneak peek of the cow painting!
    Marvelous!!
    ♥♥♥
    Happy PPF!!
    Mary
    Mixed-Media Map Art

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  20. Amazing hair effects. How do you do that?

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  21. I can hardly wait to see this cow finished! Thanks for the tip on a biography.....

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  22. Love the cow!

    I am putting off reading stuff like that because I don't think it would go over too well with my guys--the girls and I would be fine with it, and I would feel lots better. And I know that once I read it, I would have to make the change...

    I'm a chicken at heart (no pun intended :)

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  23. Your cow is looking wonderful, awesome colors and brushwork! Your background story makes it very poignant, too... Looking forward seeing the finished piece! Happy PPF!

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  24. you got the cow's eye perfect!

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  25. Holy Cow, Nicola - great stuff. Lot at 'steak' when you beef about US food!

    The tag on the cow's ear is a nice touch - reality mixed with pathos. I'm looking forward to this piece developing. Btw, I notice the use of close ups, that you mentioned to me earlier, they really work well don't they?

    Have a nice weekend

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  26. WOW. This is fabulous, I love the textures. Fantastic representation and gorgeous composition. Love the contrast of the tag as well. Stunning.

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  27. Great job, you always get so much expression in their eyes!

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  28. At this stage of the game I am not sure I am willing to give up burgers 100%...look at how soulful your cow's eyes are. What can be all bad in that. Now I know I have to keep it to a minimum for cholestrolal sake, but come on once in a while a nice juicy burger on a bun with fresh tomatoes and red onions and yellow mustard? Makes me want to draw one at least! HPPF on Saturday.

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    1. the fact that a cow is a sentient being that feels pain and bonds with its young and that soul shows through in its eyes is exactly why I could never eat it again. robert downey junior has soulful eyes but i'm guessing you wouldnt want his rump slabbed in a bun and smothered with mustard!

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  29. Your cow is adorable! I love how you have painted it. I am not sure that I will be having a burger any time soon either!

    P.S. Thank you for popping by my blog and leaving such lovely comments. x

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  30. Oh, I love that eye! And all the dots! beautiful work. Sounds like a very interesting book ...

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  31. Beautiful work, you really are brilliant at capturing the soul of a being that many would say doesn't possess one.
    My grandfather had a dairy herd, but it was a small, local operation, with the milk never leaving the community. I remember the barn being one of the most comforting places in the world, filled with the sound of cows contentedly munching their hay, and leaning against my grandfather while being milked. The chickens had a lovely big yard with their own peach tree, and laid dozens of eggs which the neighbors bought.

    Now that I think about it, I can't remember my grandparents eating meat; their table was always groaning under the weight of the vegetables. I suppose it was because they had a personal connection with their animals.

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  32. So I love that book, and my 12 year old is reading it now. The eyes here are so gorgeous and that tag!!! ugh! ...so, let me tell you, my 12 year old nearly vegan showed me the cutest pic the other day...it was a calf playing ball like a dog! It was so freaking cute. To me, the video made it clear how sweetly young and playful even cows are, which people just don't see. It made an impression on me for sure! :D

    This painting is gorgeous!

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  33. The sneak peek has left me so curious. So far I love it! As for eating meat, I enjoy it but I can live without it. I actually feel better without it, as much as I like a juicy steak with my wine. It doesn't seem to agree with me afterwards...giving me headaches and stomach aches. I'd like to read that book. Thanks for reviewing it and have a great day, chica!

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  34. Ha, I have been waiting for this cow!! Love that eye, as always. Can't wait to see the whole:-)

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Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.

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