Why Russian Farmers Have Been Fitting Their Cows With VR Headsets

Russian farmers have been submerging their cows into virtual worlds in an attempt to reduce their anxiety.

The meat and dairy industries are under more pressure and scrutiny than they have ever been before. Not only are more and more people turning to vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, but many of those people are doing so after witnessing how animals who are being used for food are treated when in captivity. The word cruel feels too tame to describe some of the conditions animals are forced to live under.

Farmers all over the world are being forced to up their standards, and quite right too. If we’re going to use an animal for its by-products, or end an animal’s life in order to use its meat, then the very least we can do is make sure they are comfortable and have a good quality of life during or prior to that.

Sometimes that isn’t entirely possible, no matter how hard the farmers try. Take cows, for instance. Although they can’t verbalize it, we’d have thought a cow’s ideal home would be in a sunny field filled with lush green grass. In many parts of Russia, that picturesque scenario simply doesn’t exist, whether on a dairy farm or otherwise. That’s why Russian farmers have had to think outside the box.

Observer reports that Russian authorities have revealed they’ve resorted to fitting some of their cows with VR headsets. That’s right since they can’t physically create cow paradise, they’re trying to make the cows believe it exists through virtual reality. The aim is to reduce anxiety in the cows which in turn should lead to them producing more milk. There has been research conducted that confirms calmer cows produce more milk.

This experiment hasn’t been as simple as slapping a headset onto a cow and hoping for the best. The hardware used has been created specifically to fit the head of a cow. Its creators also had to consider the differences in vision between cows and humans. Cows typically have poor depth perception and can see shades of red better than they can blue and green. All of that was taken into account when creating these headsets.

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