Farmer makes cows wear VR headsets to simulate green pasture

Daniel Sims

Posts: 678   +27
Staff
Through the looking glass: Last week, a news outlet in Turkey reported on a farmer trying to use VR headsets to decrease anxiety in his cows and increase milk production. The method was inspired by what Russian farmers started doing a few years ago.

State-run Anadolu Agency reports that İzzet Koçak tried fitting VR headsets on two of his cows. Koçak ran a simulation of a summer field while playing classical music for the cows to take their minds off of being densely packed together in a barn.

To make the human-sized headsets fit onto the cows, Koçak used one on each eye. After about 10 days, they gave more and better milk. One went from 22 liters to 27 liters of milk.

The idea came from farmers in Moscow who, in 2019, ran a similar test. The Moscow farmers cooperated with VR developers to make headsets uniquely designed to fit the cows and field simulations developed to accommodate cow vision, which is different from how humans see.

Koçak plans to move his experiment to a trial phase by ordering enough Moscow headsets for 10 cows. If that works, he plans to use VR on all his cows.

On the one hand, this can improve the mental well-being of farm animals—studies have shown their emotional state can affect their health and milk production. On the other hand, it could just be a Band-Aid on top of the larger problem of how those animals are treated in factory farms.

It recalls the 2012 UK proposal to raise unconscious chickens that are unaware of being raised in densely-packed warehouses. One could also draw similarities between cow VR simulations and the plot of the Matrix films in which humans are kept in a simulated world so machines can harvest their body heat.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 6,308   +7,248
Imagine if one of the cows takes the VR glasses off and realizes he's literally in Hell on Earth - a farm of nightmarish machines literally packaging them into meat and products...and then he tries to free the other cows from their VR experience, but some of the cows prefer the illusion of happiness so much they turn him into the farmer...
 

RudyBob

Posts: 831   +844
Uh OH! Some rights group will complain or maybe a new group will form. It happens everyday no matter what ya say
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,316   +965
Or you could buy milk products from NZ - where cows eat real grass , feel real rain and sun .
Not without it's problems - nitrogen hitting waterways , cows with humungous udders .
You could drink oat milk

Remember watching Soylent Green in the 70s - way before Matrix ( never made sense to me using humans as batteries or whatever -unlike human brains used to run spaceships ) - the human cattle in the movie could watch some nice scenes - you don't want stress hormones in your food
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,359   +8,562
If the bulls ever get hold of them and discover cow porn those poor cows are going to get awful lonely ....
 

Ashford

Posts: 33   +47
What do gamers and cows have in common? They both get milked so they can wear that sweet VR headset.
May I?

What's the difference between gamers and cows when it comes to VR?

Gamers get milked before using VR, cows get milked after.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,517   +2,259
I'm not sure if this is more or less dystopian than the people that want to grow meat in vats. Cow matrix or horrible protein blobs spinning off burgers like cotton candy?