"My interest in cows as personae got started with something Annie Dillard, one of nature’s most sympathetic correspondents, once wrote about cows: 'They’re a human product, like rayon. They’re like a field of shoes.' She’s absolutely right; cows as we know and quite literally consume them are, unhappily, essentially human. The spectacle of their near-sublime detachment coupled with the knowledge of what we so casually do to them on a daily basis—and in their millions—makes them a natural, nearly inexhaustible, source of interest. For me, no animal in creation better—more essentially?—embodies what is at once most sacred and banal, absurd and horrific, about being human"