In the past, a brand was simply a permanent mark which was burned onto the leg of a cow so that it was clear to all which cowherd it belonged to. Today, the situation is similar. But not more – only similar.
A brand still stands for something that is burned into something – only now, it’s in our heads. All information that reaches us through a brand, everything that we see, hear, feel and taste with regard to it, is formed into an image by us, which we then store in our head and then recognise it over and over again.
Strictly speaking, a brand only exists in our head. And the reason why it exists still has to do with the fact that all cows actually look very similar. And the brand in our head ensures that we concentrate on the similarities within a small group of cattle, and not on their similarities to all other cows, even when those are very apparent. But not when we are branded.