Cow is an animal that man uses for food. They produce both milk and meat (when slain). Their value is in their easy nature to domesticate.
Cows are usually very tame, and easy to work with as far as feeding and keeping them. Only the male bulls are sometimes very ornery and difficult to work with. They can present a danger to people, and as with many kinds of animals, when they are wanting to mate (as God has put them on a cycle as far as they hormones are concerned) they can be difficult during those times because they are wanting their nature to take over, and if humans prevent that or frustrate that, then they can get violent. Also the females can get very brave when defending their young.
The cow was considered a clean animal by the Jew, and it was acceptable for sacrifice. Basically, cows were a mainstay in the Jewish farming. They ate grass which could be gathered through the year for the winter months. Otherwise they would starve to death.
But their nature is very different from that of sheep. Sheep are more docile than cows. Sheep are more inclined to socially or emotionally “stick” to their caregiver than cows. In the American west, we see these differences come out very often. Cows are “driven” but sheep are “led.” The assumption underneath that is that sheep will follow good leadership, but cows are just more dense, less inclined to follow a human caretaker.
Cows are herded, which means that they will go along when the crowd leads them. They are not following cowboys (cowboys drive them from behind with whips and other instruments of pain), but sheep follow their shepherd. That means that the shepherd has less care for them really, because he knows that his sheep will go wherever he leads them.
By David Cox
Cow (see Cattle)