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“Fitbit” technology is helping farmers exploit more cows

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Farmers in Pakistan are turning to technology to keep up with the simultaneously futuristic and archaic dairy production of the West.

Tech in Asia reports that a startup called ‘Cowlar’ is working to make it easier for farmers to “big brother” their animals. The wearable tech collar, that works like some of our trendiest activity tracker bands, constantly monitors the temperature and behaviour of cows through motion-sensors. The data it collects is run through an algorithm which determines a cow’s health, predicted heat cycle, and any other irregularities than could cost a farmer. Oh, and they get that info sent to them via text because it’s the future.


Photo from Tech in Asia

You see, their cows only yield four to five litres of milk a day, when the US has manufactured theirs to make a grotesque 32. The startup claims it’s missed heat cycles that are to blame for these losses, so this is basically a high-tech cow period tracker. But of course, the numbers they’re most concerned about are dinero. Trials have seen an increase in milk production of 8 to 11 percent, with co-founder Umer Adnan saying “Even if you increase the average yield by 5 percent, it can add US$1 billion to Pakistan’s economy every year.”

The product comes from E4 technologies, a company with ties to futuristic crop agriculture, too. It’s $69 dollars per Cowlar, with an additional monthly $3 subscription, and it can’t even tell farmers why their cows are unwell, despite the fact we all already know there are no “happy” dairy cows. Still, they have their sights set on expanding to Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, and Ireland.

I wonder if the device could be reprogrammed to text the farmers “stop using cows.” What the startup fails to highlight is that more milk means more cows being raped, and more calves being killed. After all, with or without the aid of gadgets, dairy farming depends on exploitation. Not unlike the spiked nose rings that came before it, the Cowlar is just another destructive device, putting the concerns of human animals above non-human animals. If we’re interested in really stepping in to the future, we’ll sink our automation ideas into the world of almond, hemp, oat, and other non-dairy milks.

If you care at all about the wellbeing of animals, and don’t wish to contribute to their horrific exploitation, go vegan.

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