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Cows are more than just food

Without cows, we wouldn’t have cheeseburgers … or violin strings


Cows are more than just food

Without cows, we wouldn’t have cheeseburgers … or violin strings

In a world without cows, we would not have beef or milk. Or leather. Or many other items you may not think of right away when you think about cows.

Cattle are valuable not only for their primary food products but also for numerous byproducts that are derived from different parts of the animal. Cattle byproducts are used to make granola bars, mayonnaise, gelatin, coffee creamer, margarine, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, broth and chewing gum, to name a few.

But cows are much more than just food. Most people probably use at least one byproduct every day


More than 100 drugs are created from cattle byproducts, including those used to treat:

  • Insulin
  • High cholesterol
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Blood disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Allergies
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Anemia
  • Digestive issues
  • Asthma

Did you know?

It takes the pancreases of 26 cattle to provide enough insulin to keep one diabetic person alive for a year. 1 in 10 people — or about 540 million adults — currently live with diabetes.

Bones, hooves and horns are used to make:

  • Buttons
  • Violin strings
  • Piano keys
  • Sandpaper
  • Film
  • Fertilizer
  • Adhesives
  • Photographic film
  • Plastics
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Dice
  • Wallpaper
  • Toothbrushes
  • Combs
  • China

Inedible fats are used in the production of:

  • Cosmetics
  • Tanning products
  • Soaps
  • Lipsticks
  • Face and hand creams
  • Industrial oils
  • Lubricants
  • Laundry treatments
  • Antifreeze
  • Cement
  • Crayons
  • Deodorant
  • Linoleum
  • Rubber
  • Plastics
  • Paint
  • Perfume
  • Tires
  • Toothpaste
  • Insulation

Cattle hide (hair and skin) is used to make:

  • Paint brushes
  • Footballs, baseballs, baseball mitts, soccer balls and volleyballs
  • Boots
  • Adhesives
  • Felt
  • Dry wall
  • Leather products such as sneakers, wallets, clothing and belts
  • Gummy bears and other candies
  • Insulation
  • Medicines
  • Air filters

Internal organs and blood are used to create:

  • Dyes and inks
  • Fishing line
  • Medical sutures
  • Sausage casings
  • Instrument strings

Explore more

help us start the conversation.

As climate change intensifies and the world’s population continues to grow, the pressure on our global food production system mounts. You can play an active role in shaping a more sustainable planet for future generations. Fill out the form below to learn more about how you can partner with us.