Farm fits cows with virtual reality headsets to improve their quality of life
The rise of veganism as a lifestyle choice has made more and more people reconsider the ethics behind factory farming. Every farm is different, and livestock can be treated humanely in some places and brutally in others.
The conditions that millions of animals live in for the sake of meat and dairy can be poor, but many farmers are taking steps to improve their quality of life. Now a farm in Russia has even fitted their cows with VR headsets to help soothe them while they are milked.
According to a recent report by BBC News, the strange initiative was launched by Moscow's Ministry of Agriculture and Food, which cited research from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
This research apparently proved that environmental conditions have a significant impact on the health of herds. The same research also found a link between the positive emotional state of a cow and the amount of milk it yielded.
According to a statement from the ministry: "Experts recorded a decrease in anxiety and an increase in the overall emotional mood of the herd. The impact of VR glasses on the milk production of cows will be shown by a further comprehensive study."
They continued: "The developers of the virtual reality studio, in collaboration with veterinarians and consultants from the production, adapted human VR-glasses taking into account the structural features of the head of cows.
"Based on numerous studies of cattle's vision, showing cows better perceiving shades of the red part of the spectrum and weaker green and blue tones, virtual reality architects also created a unique summer field simulation program."
Recently, this vegan activist was arrested for filming a dying cow at a farm:
Researchers intend to continue to analyze the effects of the program in the long term, and want to expand the project if it continues to yield positive results in the future.