Cow Appreciation Day

Cow Appreciation Day - Sunday, July 14, 2024

Animal Appreciation Brand

Cow Appreciation Day, coined by Chick-fil-A, occurs annually on the second Tuesday of July (July 14). There are more reasons to celebrate cows than just free Chick-fil-A in July, but a free chicken sandwich isn’t a bad perk!

*Please note that Cow Appreciation Day 2020 was postponed by Chick-Fil-A because of the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

1995 marked the beginning of the cow revolution, when herds of beef cattle everywhere decided to take a stand for the future of the bovine race. Far more intelligent than the others, Heff R. Jones (now known as Eaton Birds) took his limited grasp of his owner’s language and painted “EAT MOR CHIKIN” on a billboard.

With this daring move he set in motion a movement among cows everywhere, to encourage us to eat more chicken, so we wouldn’t be eating them. Cow Appreciation Day commemorates Heff (I’m sorry, we mean Mr. Birds) and everything he’s done for cattlekind.

Learn about Cow Appreciation Day

Cow Appreciation Day is a day that has been designed to raise awareness about cows and appreciate everything that they do! You will see some weird things going on during Cow Appreciation Day. A lot of people dress up like cows for free food, and that’s just the start of it! So, we hope that you have a spare cow suit handy. We are reminded of all of the amazing products that cows bring our way, and a lot of people like to milk the occasion. Sorry for the awful pun… 

History of Cow Appreciation Day

Alright, it’s a fun story, but ultimately Cow Appreciation Day was the clever brainchild of the Chik-Fil-A company, creating the story of the daring cow to encourage people to skip their favorite burger joint, and come to their local Chik-Fil-A instead. Little did people know that indulging in this bit of fanciful celebration would introduce them to a fundamental truth about fast food.

There isn’t anything quite as delicious as chicken. Chicken can be prepared any number of ways, but there’s a rich, juicy, light flavor it brings to the table that just beats out beef on every front. Rich marinades, the delicious taste yet healthful taste of grilled chicken, or wings dipped in Barbeque Sauce, however you like it it’s impossible to deny that chicken is an incredibly versatile meat.

Also… It’s not beef, so that makes Eaton happy, and saves cows everywhere one more day. Speaking from a health perspective, chicken is also immeasurably healthier for you, and has been shown to not be a harbinger of quite as many carcinogens as you find in beef. Isn’t that thoughtful? By saving themselves, the cows are saving you. That’s what you call a win-win proposition!

How to celebrate Cow Appreciation Day

Well, this is the simplest thing ever honey! You just find your way down to your local Chik-Fil-A and indulge in a great tasting meal made with tender juicy chicken. While you’re at it, dress up as a cow and you’ll win yourself a free entrée. You might say that Eaton and his crew have been working hard with Chik-Fil-A to make the prospect of eating their feathered (ahem) friends a lot more enticing. Children get free sandwiches, adults get free entrees, and everyone goes away happy on Chicken Eatin… We mean Cow Appreciation Day!

There are a lot of different ways that you can celebrate Cow Appreciation Day. Why not hug a cow? If you are lucky enough to live close to a cattle farm, why not pay a visit? You can spend some time close with these animals, showing your appreciation for them in the best possible day! Of course, we are sure that cows probably don’t know that there is a day just for them, but you can make them feel like this is the case by giving them some much-deserved attention.

Another great way to celebrate Cow Appreciation Day is to celebrate and support local dairy farmers. Why not take a trip to your local farm shop and make a purchase from there instead of buying your groceries from a branded supermarket? You can also go out of your way to make sure that the local farmer in your area knows how much you appreciate all of their hard work and effort. After all, it is always good to make people feel nice, no matter the date or occasion, right?

Of course, you can spend some time finding out more about these animals. Did you know that cows are very social? This is another reason why you should make them feel appreciated on this date and pay them a visit. Cows are emotional and social creatures. They form tight bonds with their family and friends. This is especially the case when it comes to the relationship between calves and their mothers. If they are separated, they will show extreme distress.

There are a lot of other interesting facts about cows as well. Did you know that they can create a monumental 125 pounds of saliva every day? That is pretty insane, right? While cows don’t actually have four stomachs, as some people believe, they have four chambers in their stomach. These are the abomasum, omasum, reticulum, and rumen chambers, and they all help with breaking down the tough grass that they digest. This is why they produce a lot of salivae! 

Another fact is that cows create a lot more milk when they are happier. This is something that has been concluded in a study, showing that cattle have lived a happier life, creating more nutritious milk that has a greater amount of calcium. This probably should not come as much of a surprise. After all, as humans, we tend to be more productive when we are happier!

History of Cow Appreciation Day

The first Cow Appreciation Day was launched in 2004, in light of Chick-fil-A’s humorous “Eat Mor Chikin” marketing campaign, which began in 1995. The idea behind the campaign is that cows want people to eat more chicken instead of beef. While cows help produce extremely delicious byproducts, like milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream, we eat much more beef overall than those dairy options. Though beef can be extremely rich in vitamins and minerals, and good to eat in moderation, there’s an appreciation we should be giving to the animals themselves that we often overlook.

Humans have been drinking milk from cows for thousands of years. Modern dairy farming began in the early 1900s after pasteurization was developed. Today, up to 65% of people worldwide are unable to digest lactose, with that number around 90% in certain ethnic groups, including Native Americans, African Americans, and those of Hispanic origin. So why are we still drinking milk? To start, it’s delicious, and often a key ingredient in many recipes. However, recently milk alternatives have been gaining popularity and momentum for many adults worldwide. Leading health organizations still recognize the nutrition benefits of milk for young children, and recommend natural dairy milk over plant-based milk for adults only.

Lactose issues aside, cows have given us a lot to be grateful for in the past thousand of years and longer. The ASPCA states that many cows, and other farm animals alike, are treated inhumanely on factory farms. It doesn’t have to be this way. Small-scale family farms and homesteading farms are managed differently than “factory farms”, which have 500 cattle or more. Supporting these small-scale farms, which are likely owned by families instead of corporations, strengthens local economies, and ensures cows get the care and respect they deserve.

Cow Appreciation Day timeline

Aug 25, 1493

The Moo World

Christopher Columbus brought cattle to America.

500 BC

The Great Moo-gration

First known cattle in Africa.

4,000 BC

Got milk?

Milking cows began.

6,000 BC

Moos in the bank

Grain and cattle were used as currency and traded.

8,000 BC

Have a cow

Origins of the domestic cow.

Cow Appreciation Day FAQs

What day is Cow Appreciation Day?

Celebrated annually on the second Tuesday of July, Cow Appreciation Day 2020 is on July 14.

What is Cow Appreciation Day 2019?

2019’s Cow Appreciation Day – held on July 9 – saw the holiday’s organizer, Chick-fil-A, breaking out its annual tradition of giving a free meal to customers who came dressed as cows.

Can you go through the drive-thru for Cow Appreciation day?

Yes, as long as you show up and show out dressed as a cow, it doesn’t matter whether you go in the store or just through the drive-thru window.


  1. Cows are very social

    They are very social, emotional creatures who form tight bonds with their friends and family, especially the bond between a mother and her calves, which both will show extreme distress if separated.

  2. Cows produce more milk when they are happier

    A recent study has just concluded that cattle who have lived a happier life produce more nutritious milk with more calcium.

  3. Cows can produce up to 125 pounds of saliva in a day

    To process their food, cows don’t have four stomachs, but their stomachs have four chambers - The rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum chambers help them break down the tough grass they digest.

  4. Cows are sacred in India

    You will see cows roaming the streets everywhere in India, because they are considered holy, and no hamburgers, because eating the meat of a cow is considered sinful, due to the beliefs of Hinduism.

  5. Cows have great memory

    Cows are known to remember almost everything. They also have great spatial memory.

Cow Appreciation Day Activities

  1. Hug a cow

    If you’re lucky enough to own cows, or live near a cattle farm, visit your local cattle friends (don’t actually hug a cow without prior permission from the owner.) If you aren’t near a cattle farm, check to see if you might live near a farm animal sanctuary.

  2. Thank a dairy farmer

    Thank a local dairy farmer in person, or buy local milk and dairy products from them. 

  3. Dress up as a cow and visit Chick-fil-A

    Most Chick-fil-A’s will offer a free meal if you dress up as a cow and visit their restaurant.

Why We Love Cow Appreciation Day

  1. Cows produce essential foods we eat daily

    Cows give us the ability to have the dairy products we love, including milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. The typical American consumes slightly less than two cups of total dairy each day, which is less than the USDA recommended two to three cups.

  2. The U.S. economy relies on cows

    Based on a 2014 economic published analysis, beef cattle production contributed approximately $165 billion to the U.S. economy through direct and indirect economic and employment opportunities.

  3. They’re adorable, kind creatures

    We have a lot more in common with cows than we think. We share 80% of our DNA with cows, according to a 2009 study in the journal “Science.” Also, cows have been known to form friendships and familial ties, as humans do. Like humans, cows also show extreme excitement after being let out into an open field, after long periods of time indoors.

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