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Sacred Cows: To End Childhood Hunger – Charity Meets Creativity

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Painted Cows: Where Church Meets Main – Decorated for a Good Cause …

“One can measure the greatness of a nation and its moral progress by the way it treats its animals. Cow protection to me is not mere protection of the cow. It means protection of all that lives and is helpless and weak in the world. The cow means the entire subhuman world.” Mahatma Gandhi.

Sacred Cow #1: Educated at St Michael's?

Burlington: Lake Champlain in full view ...

Sacred Cows in Burlington ~ A View of Lake Champlain

Sacred Cow #2

Sacred Cow: One that is immune from criticism, often unreasonably so. Figuratively, anything that is beyond criticism:

I had the great good fortune to spend this past weekend as a chaperone at an excellent Young Writers Conference in Burlington, Vermont. Over a hundred high school students from across the country, including one of mine, gathered at Champlain College to read, write and learn about the art and craft of writing.

At Champlain College : Sculpture of Samuel Champlain

Sacred Cow #3

Sacred Cow #4

In between attending workshops and helping out, I headed down to Main Street to catch a glimpse of the creativity and beauty of this lovely area and to take some photos of Lake Champlain. It was Saturday morning. As I turned towards the cobblestone corridor where Church Street intersects Main, walking past crowded Church Street restaurants, stores and little cafes, watching people sitting outdoors enjoying a meal, a conversation and the warm weather, a painted cow caught my attention and then another and then a third.

Sacred Cow Sightings: Intersection of Church & Main Streets

Sacred Cow #5

Sacred Cow #6

I took a closer look and was nicely surprised to discover a colorful and wildly creative display of fiberglass cows up and down Church Street Marketplace. I reached for my camera and shot 25 colorfully decorated and painted cows. Each painted cow, decorated by a local artist in bright colors and beautiful designs, seemed to hold a special story it was simply dying to tell.

Church Street Marketplace ~ Site of the Sacred/Painted Cows

Sacred Cow #7

Sacred Cow #8

“All the good ideas I ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.” Grant Wood

The main story was, as I found out on further research, that 35 unvarnished, Fiberglass cows were sent to local artists as “blank canvases.” The artists decorated them in any manner their imagination or creative muse led them. Once finished, each cow found a temporary home as part of a prominent display in downtown Burlington and regionally. Sometime in October/November 2010, the cows will be auctioned off, to raise awareness and money, to benefit the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger.

Local Performers: Adding to the colorful things in town

Sacred Cow #9

Sacred Cow #10 ~ Champlain College Educated?

Sacred Cow #11

I love cows… I love that cows are revered and unsullied in India and that Lord Krishna had a bevy of devoted cow herders (Gopis) who saw Krishna and God’s undying love in their cows and therefore tended to them with unconditional love; sparing many a cow a trip to the slaughterhouse. Cows symbolize wealth, strength, abundance, selfless giving and a full Earthly life.

Church Street Marketplace ~ A Treasure Trove...

Sacred Cow #12

Sacred Cow #13

Sacred Cow #14

I love cows… I love their lackadaisical temperament, their appearance and the many ways they provide food for humanity. Cows are charming animals and if you’ve ever been on a farm where cows are lovingly cared for and allowed to graze freely, one could spend hours watching them move, feed, and moo their way through life…

Burlington: Looking down Main Street

Sacred Cow #15

Sacred Cow #16

Sacred Cow #17

While the viral spread of Mad Cow disease almost destroyed their positive public relations several years ago, they have rebounded. The image of a contented cow is often plastered on everything good and sometimes, yes sometimes, you want to kick the bloody snot out of anyone who complains about a sacred cow.

Sacred Cow #18

Sacred Cow #19

Sacred Cow #20

Sacred Cow #21

Even as the global death rates drop for children 5 and younger, hunger remains a persistent problem for children here and elsewhere.
If you love cows… walk down Church Street with me and savor the rich hues, the jocular messages, the bold and subtle statements about Vermont life; actually about life everywhere … then join me in celebrating this particular breed of sacred cows. After all, they are on Church Street for a good cause; to End Childhood Hunger.

Sacred Cow #22

Sacred Cow #23

Sacred Cow #24

Sacred Cow #25

Did you have a sacred cow you cherish? A sacred cow you abhor? Do share your views below. Do you have questions or views in general? Please share. As always, your comments are always appreciated. Thank You!

Photo Credits:
Sacred/Painted Cows from E. Obih-Frank’s personal photos

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Bree permalink
    24/05/2010 1:08 am

    Hysterical … Love this piece and the cows! And its all for a good cause!
    Thanks again. 🙂

    • 27/05/2010 2:11 pm

      The cows made me smile and the cause warmed my heart. Burlington is truly a great place to be … Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, creative people, lovely landscape, cows, and more. What’s not to love? Thanks for the visit. 🙂

  2. Cass permalink
    24/05/2010 8:40 am

    I like the playful style yet you are talking also about a serious topic – End childhood hunger. I also like that you make sure we don’t forget that they are decorated for charity. how long did it take shot them all? The pictures are really colorful and you did a great job. Time to visit Burlington!

    • 27/05/2010 2:08 pm

      I went down to the Marketplace 2 times and it took me about an hour. I took multiple shots of each cow and uploaded the best shot. It was a busy and crowded day. I had to maneuver around people, ask people nicely to move, and wait for the perfect moment when it wasn’t as crowded and so on. Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  3. 26/05/2010 4:24 am

    Great photos! Such a great idea to bring attention to an important cause. I love cows! I wish I had an opportunity to spend some time with some cows. 🙂

    • 27/05/2010 2:02 pm

      Thanks Jessica Anne!
      I concur on the important cause and cows are such perfect nurturers. I loved taking the pictures and wished I had a chance to capture all 35 of them. A found a few more on the Face Book site for the group “Cows Come Home to Burlington.” I will add a few of their shots tomorrow. 🙂

  4. 27/05/2010 8:47 am

    I used to be an auditor in Boston and had a client in Burlington. The cows are so fun, but the pictures remind me of long working days topped off by ‘blowing off steam’ walks along the lake. And harpoon beer. Great pictures.

    Thanks for stopping by – and just had to share that we didn’t have a party 😉 We just really like juice 😉

    • 27/05/2010 1:58 pm

      Thanks MommaKiss … wish I had more info on the Harpoon beer to try it. 😉 The Lake is beautiful and the weather was fantastic when I walked down. I love Burlington too — such a welcoming area and stunning landscape> Merci 🙂

      • 30/05/2010 4:43 am

        Fun cows — and for such a great cause! The only cows I see around here are those ones grazing in the meadows . . . .:)

        Thanks for stopping by Sugar Tails.

  5. 27/05/2010 9:41 am

    SITS visiting and blog following. What a neat post. I’ve really enjoyed looking at the cow pics – very creative, and I like that they’re for a good cause too. Peace. 🙂

    • 27/05/2010 1:56 pm

      Thanks for your visit Michelle! I was touched by the charity behind it too and just love those colorful cows.
      Eliz 🙂

  6. Goz permalink
    28/05/2010 3:49 pm

    Nice post,lovely pictures and what a colourful town..makes me think it must be full of cheerful people! Love the ‘how now green cow’ caption and the cow it represents (#25)There’s a lot of creativity right there. Do post more pics if you can.. Thanks for sharing!

    • 20/12/2010 12:51 pm

      Will do… I have a few that were never posted and will upload them and shift things around… This is one of my favs… I just love those cows. 🙂

  7. 29/05/2010 11:18 am

    My favorite was Cow #22…I’m a hippie at heart 🙂

    Stopping by from SITS, have a great day!

  8. 30/05/2010 11:01 am

    Gorgeous cows! When we were in Taos, New Mexico (and if you haven’t been, get there asap – it is a spiritual and artistic vortex of beauty and magic) there were a lot of life-size horses painted in a similar fashion. This is 10 years ago and I love them in my memory still.

    It is one of half a dozen times when I swear I have been protected by an angel come in human form. As we walked a wooded trail a woman and her dogs was sitting on a rustic bench. She warned us that there was a mother bear and cubs around the corner. We went slowly – where we had been striding – and found ourselves between momma and baby. We edged slowly backward.

    When we turned to go back the way we came, the woman and her dogs were no where to be seen. The trail was clear ahead of us and we had been around the corner less than 2 minutes. She could not have physically got far enough down the trail to be out of sight.

    Thanks for the cows and the reminder of the great goodness of spirits and nature.

    • 20/12/2010 12:57 pm

      You know Caitlyn,
      I’ve been to Santa Fe and Albuquerque a few times but not Taos. Taos is now at the top of my places to visit list. I have a couple of friends out there and will look to visit sometime in 2011.
      I love your story and would love to hear about your other angel events. 🙂 Best,


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