A cow is the female of the “cattle” species, the most common type of large domesticated hoofed animals. The male of the species is called a bull. The cattle species is a member of the subfamily Bovinae, or “Bovine,” and are raised as livestock for meat (beef and veal), as dairy animals for milk and other dairy products, such as butter, cheese and yogurt, and as draft animals for pulling carts and plows. Other cattle products include leather and even manure for fertilizer or fuel. In some countries cattle are considered sacred, such as India, where cows are venerated within the Hindu religion because according to Vedic scriptures, they are to be treated with the same respect as one's mother because of the nourishing milk that they provide. It is estimated that there are 1.3 billion cattle in the world today.
Holsteins are the black and white cows illustrated on this Scramble Squares® puzzle. The Holstein is a breed of dairy cow known today as the world's highest production dairy animal. Originating in Europe, Holsteins were developed in what is now the Netherlands and more specifically in the two northern provinces of North Holland and Friesland. The animals were the regional cattle of the Batavians and Frisians, two tribes who settled in the coastal Rhine region around 2,000 years ago. The Dutch breeders bred and oversaw the development of the breed to produce animals which would make best use of grass, the area's most abundant resource. The result, over the centuries, was an efficient, high-producing black-and-white dairy cow. Holsteins are black and white due to artificial selection by the breeders. With the growth of the new world, markets began to develop for milk in America, and dairy breeders turned to The Netherlands for their livestock.