The dairy industry clearly knows that today’s consumers don’t want cruelty on their plates—or in their glasses. But instead of switching to growing plants for humane, animal-free milk and letting cows be cows, one farmer is forcing the animals to wear VR headsets—giving them just a glimpse of the kind of sunny pastures they’d love to be in while they’re still trapped in cramped, dirty lots.
It looks like an episode of Black Mirror, but it’s all too real:
A farmer in Turkey has fitted his cows with virtual reality goggles to make them think they are outside in summer pastures. Izzet Kocak found out the pleasant scenes make the cows happier and produce more milk.Future is metaverse! pic.twitter.com/DNZze8Wm5n
— Shuja ul haq (@ShujaUH) January 8, 2022
The farm asserts that the VR goggles “make the cows happier to produce more milk.” But underneath that far-fetched claim appears to be an admission that conditions in the dairy industry are so miserable that cows need to be tricked just so farmers can continue exploiting them.
The dairy industry already forcibly impregnates female cows, doses them with growth hormones, and puts them through grueling milking regimes to make their bodies produce far more milk than they naturally should. The average cow today produces more than four times as much milk as cows did in 1950. Strapping toys to their heads and taunting them with scenes of the lives they’re being denied only adds insult to injury.
The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil even condemned the bleak practice, saying “This is the bad place.” And she’s absolutely right.
There is no humane way to treat mother cows like milk machines. Even if they do get some access to a pasture, farmers still steal their milk and kidnap their calves, depriving mothers and their precious young of everything that matters to them most. But YOU can help cows and others suffering in the meat and dairy industries. All you have to do is choose vegan.
Get started today by participating in PETA’s 3-week vegan challenge: