Tom has been an online writer for over seven years. He is enamored with everything related to cowboys, rodeos, and Western history.
Cows (or cattle) and cowboys seem to have been joined at the hip for as long as we can remember, and that has extended to our culture overall, making cows an interesting choice for tattoo designs. They're not only considered a food source, but they have also become a pet in the eyes of many people who bought some cattle to raise them for food.
I've seen more than one person do this, and the key I have found is to be sure not to name the cows you acquire for eating purposes, as you've just about assured yourself they won't be around for a long time. After all, who's going to eat Bessie, one of the more popular names I've heard given to female cows.
With that in mind, most of the cow tattoo designs shown in this tattoo gallery are of a fun nature, with the exception of one of a bull that's snorting fire through its nostrils.
Technically, when using the term cow, you are referring to a female that has had one or two calves (depending on what region it is). The term heifer is used for a female that hasn't had a calf yet.
Cow Tattoo Designs
One interesting thing I found concerning cow tattoos was that the bulls are usually depicted in some fierce manner, as many people remember watching their sometimes unpredictable behavior, which is usually on the wild side.
For cows or heifers, they are almost always designed in a more humorous manner, making bulls and cows, in most circumstances, completely different tattoos.
Now, let's look at some tattoo designs.
Humorous Cow Tattoo
The image at the top of this article depicts one of my favorite cow tattoos; it is the epitome of what a cow is considered in the mind of someone acquiring one for meat and then how she appears when you look at those "trusting" eyes.
Also fun is the way the ears stand out to one side, which seemingly adds to the trust factor.
Finally, the decision to have a cow with white and black colors offers up the idea of what most of us think of as a traditional cow, meaning what most of us think of when picturing what one looks like.
I also like the way the cow is facing directly out, suggesting you're standing right in front of it and looking into its eyes.
Awesome Bull Tattoo
This is a funny bull/cow tattoo, as the artist—whether by design or mistake—created a tattoo of a bull's head with a female cow's body, as evidenced by the utters. The awesome depiction of the bull's snorting head disguised the utters at first, so I didn't see them.
That doesn't take away from the high quality of the tattoo but does give a little different perspective on the design.
What I really like is the detail of this tattoo, as the musculature of the beast is magnificently done, revealing the sinewy muscle of the powerful animal. The way the shadow is done to intensify the power is also fantastic.
Overall a great bull/cow tattoo, but one that leaves you scratching your head as to whether or not it was done purposely or not. It seems it was probably done on purpose.
Angel Cow on Cloud
Here again we have a cow tattoo design showing the love someone had for a favorite cow. To me, it's funny to see someone think so highly of a cow, in the sense of designating 'angel' status to it, but again, it's understandable from the way I've seen people interact with their pet cows.
Either way, it's a nice tattoo, showing a frolicking calf with nothing of this earth bothering it any longer. That smiling face, big eyes, and ears pointing out, capture the essence of how someone imagines their departed friend.
Hilarious Mad Cow Tattoo Design
If you follow the cattle industry at all or at least are aware of mad cow disease, you can appreciate the humor associated with this tattoo, depicting a caricature of the unfortunate disease, which occasionally afflicts cattle.
While a serious disease, I do love the way the artist offers up some humor as far as this cow goes. It's hilarious the way the bloodshot eyes are bulging out, with the straight jacket made to appear to be keeping her safe from herself and others, and the muzzle on over her mouth, apparently in place to keep her from harming anyone else. Either way, I love the play on the theme, and the tattoo is as funny as it gets.
Cow Tattoo Designs
I hope you enjoyed this quick look at the variety of cow tattoo designs in the gallery. They showcase a number of human reactions and observations of cows, primarily from those who decided they're not going to eat their cow, and rather are going to raise them as part of the family.
It also shows the humorous and serious side of cows, offering a variety of cow tattoo design options for those who appreciate the subject matter.