Meta’s highly anticipated virtual reality project, Metaverse, is set to be the start of a whole new era. And while we are excited about all the opportunities this new virtual world could offer us, not all uses of virtual reality are for humans.
You may remember our previous coverage of Russian cows equipped with VR glasses. These VR headsets were supposed to help the cows relax by giving them sunny views of lush green pastures so the animals would be happier and produce more milk.
A bovine matrix for “happy” cows
Today, a Turkish farmer is testing the same theory on his own cows. Izzet Kocak, a cattle breeder and rancher living in Aksaray, Turkey, started putting VR headsets on some of his cows to see if the animals would actually produce more milk when they think they are in a beautiful environment. sunny outside rather than in a milking parlor.
According to turkish newspaper Anadolu Ajansi, Kocak believed that tricking cows into believing they were in fact outside using virtual reality headsets would make them happier and produce more milk, as cows are trapped inside, especially by winter.
Kocak said he had to look for other ways to produce more milk after the feed prices hike in Turkey. Before trying the VR glasses, Kocak said he played calming classical music to his cattle. Talk to Anadolu Ajansi, he said: “In Russia, cows were equipped with virtual reality glasses. We decided to try it out in our own business. First, we tested the virtual reality glasses on two of our animals. We monitored the process for about 10 days. We observed an increase in both the quality and quantity of milk in animals wearing glasses. “According to Kocak, cow’s milk production has increased from 5 gallons (22 liters) to 7 gallons (27 liters) per day.
Cattle VR headsets were originally tested in Moscow, Russia, and are said to have been developed in coordination with veterinarians. Since the glasses have proven to be a hit on his farm, Kocak said he plans to order 10 more helmets from Russia and put them on his animals.
While early results appear positive for farmers, the process raises serious questions about ethical farming. Would more milk be worth putting animals in a bovine matrix where they have no perception of the real world (a dairy farm locked up with dozens of other cows)?