The Mootrix: Dystopian farm plugs cows into virtual reality
Aksaray, Turkey - The Matrix is here, but not for humans. Instead, a Turkish cattle rancher decided to try to make his cows more productive by strapping them into virtual greener pastures.
According to The Sun, Izzet Kocak decided to give his cows a break from the nasty winter weather in Aksaray, Turkey by giving two of them VR headsets, which were developed with vets and tested without issues on cows in Moscow.
The virtual meadows aren't just Kocak's way of being nice to his herd: he wants them to crank up their productivity while they are stuck inside.
It turns out that his efforts were worth it, since the cows with VR goggles are "mooving" more product, that is, milk, than their counterparts that are stuck in the real world.
The plan is working so well that the cattle rancher plans on plugging more of the cows into virtual pastures.
But hold the phone – this is literally the setting of The Matrix, where humans are strapped into a virtual reality while fueling a robot civilization with their body heat.
Since we have to resort to tricking cows into making more milk with tech, it might be time to think about just eating and drinking less dairy products. That would arguably be better for the animals and definitely for the climate – especially since milk ranks 11th, cheese takes fifth, and meat from dairy herds comes in third on the list of foods with the highest environmental impact, says Our World In Data.
For now, one potential future for animal husbandry looks like it includes subjecting animals to virtual reality – at least until the cows take the red pill.
Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / Everett Collection, Panthermedia, Nature Picture Library