This what I imagine life would be like if guys like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos were farmers.
According to Interesting Engineering, one Russian dairy farm has enlisted the help of virtual reality headsets to transport dairy cows into a different, more relaxing universe. The devices are similar to the VR headsets that people use, although they have been modified to fit the cow’s head, eyes, and have even been calibrated to display the proper colors for their unique cow vision.
Studies have proven that cows produce the most milk when they’re relaxed, comfortable, and happy, however large-scale factory farms don’t exactly lend themselves to a healthy emotional state. Around the world, cows have been given massages, allowed to roam more, and played classical music, all of which have shown positive signs for their mental health and in turn, their milk production or beef quality.
Now, VR is taking it to the next level.
And so far, it appears to be working. The cows on this particular farm have been more relaxed, and herd morale has improved. The jury is still out on how much the milk production will increase over time, but all signs point to good.
As much as I love this, it kinda scares the shit out of me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for taking care of the mental health of animals. Like I said, numerous studies have shown that quality and production of animal products significantly increases when the animal is well cared for, both mentally and physically. But these cows are literally living in The Matrix, an alternate universe, a simulation. And at the end of their cow life, somebody takes the goggles off, you realize this whole things is a computer simulation, and then they die.
During Joe Rogan’s podcast with Elon Musk, the two discussed the possibility of living in a simulated reality right now, or in the future. For these cows, they ARE living in a simulated reality. It seems like it’s only a matter of time before we do too.