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Less than a fortnight into 2022, we have stumbled upon one of the most depressing stories of 2022. A Turkish rancher has put virtual reality headsets on his cows to simulate a lush outdoor environment and increase milk output. Swap a few of the words out in that sentence and you've basically got the plot for The Matrix. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the sentiment that the synthetic reality that Neo has spent his entire existence living inside was... not good?
As per The Sun and Turkish news outlet Anadolu Ajansi, cattle breeder and rancher Izzet Kocak had the idea as a result of the frigid winters that the province of Aksaray experiences. The animals must be sheltered indoors over these months and Kocak thought that the cows might produce more milk if they think they're outside rather than the comparatively warm and safe yet uninspiring shed. I'm vegan, and now that I've mentioned that, a handful of you will be thinking, "oh, here she goes, up on her high horse, better than everyone else." You know what I say to that? Yes. I am on a high horse and the view is absolutely abysmal.
One game that certainly won't be streamed to the cow's headsets is Resident Evil 4, though it was a hit with players who felt the classic was offered a new lease of life with its VR version. Check it out here!
I completely understand the need to house the cows inside in the winter. I don't want cows to be cold. It feels weird, though, to be tricking them into thinking that they are out in a gloriously green field when they're standing inside. If this is triggering a sense of déjà vu, these are the same headsets for cows that hit the headlines when Russian cattle ranchers tested them in 2019. "Based on numerous studies of cattle's vision, showing cows better perceiving shades of the red part of the spectrum and weaker green and blue tones, virtual reality architects also created a unique summer field simulation program," said the Moscow Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
It just feels more than a little Matrix-y. And as aforementioned, the story of The Matrix is about escaping the Matrix. Kocak stated that the headsets seem to be working as the two cows that have been wearing them have seen their milk output rise from 22 litres to 27 litres per day. Anyone for a cup of tea? Red mug or blue mug?
Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures, 127071 via Pixabay
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