Categories: News

Why did a Turkish farmer put VR headsets on his cows?

It seems like a bit from a standup comedy set: dairy cows hanging out, watching scenes on virtual reality headsets, merrily lactating. But for the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in Russia and, more recently, a Turkish farmer named Izzet Kocak, this scene was no joke: They believed the VR headsets, displaying imagery of a sunlit pasture versus grim indoor enclosures, instilled in the cows a sense of happiness and, as a result, caused them to produce more milk. Kocak, who previously played classical music for his herd, was so pleased with the results on a pair of his own dairy cows that he planned to buy 10 more headsets. But as technology and animal welfare experts explain in Vice, the reality is far less rosy. It’s unclear if the goggles are calibrated for “cow vision,” but also whether cows, who are often housed indoors all year, would even know what the pasture they’re looking at actually is. One scientist hypothesized that, in the end, the light from the smartphones was the real cause of the milk production boost. —Matthew Sedacca

Related Post
The Counter
Published by
The Counter

Recent Posts

Is California giving its methane digesters too much credit?

Every year, California dairy farms emit hundreds of thousands of tons of the potent greenhouse…

6 days ago

Your car is killing coho salmon

Highway 7 runs north-south through western Washington, carving its way through a landscape sparsely dotted…

1 week ago

The pandemic has transformed America’s dining landscape into an oligopoly dominated by chains 

One of the greatest pleasures I had as a child growing up in the Chicago…

2 weeks ago

California is moving toward food assistance for all populations—including undocumented immigrants

Undocumented immigrants experience food insecurity at much higher rates than other populations, yet they are…

2 weeks ago

Babka, borscht … and pumpkin spice? Two writers talk about Jewish identity through contemporary cookbooks.

Writer Charlotte Druckman and editor Rebecca Flint Marx are both Jewish journalists living in New…

3 weeks ago

How some big grocery chains help ensure that food deserts stay barren

Last fall, first-year law student Karissa Kang arrived at Yale University and quickly set out…

3 weeks ago