Teats and Tweets

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Teats and Tweets

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I just read about a new project called “Teats and Tweets” where tweets are sent out “by” a cow as her RFID tags are read when she comes to be milked.

The cows don’t actually write the tweets themselves, of course. The people who set up the project created a set of tweets, and the data gets filled in from the information collected by the milking machine. The tweets are extra creepy. Here are some of the most recent ones:

Teat race! Front lefty loses again at 3:3 seconds.

Teat tweet: left front teat took 3:49 secs.”Drop milky udders”

Farmers feed cities. 13.1 kgs.

Laser guided robot milker found my teats. Gave 18.7.

“More copious soon the teat-pressed torrents flow”

I just squirted 12.1 kgs of milk out of my teats in 5:19 seconds. What did you do today?

Sound much like anthropomorphism? And “teat race?” Shudder.

I’ll bet that we won’t see tweets like “gave birth today and my baby was taken away from me,” “so sad I have all this milk and can’t feed my calf,” “some man came and stuck his arm up my ass and then impregnated me.” No, apparently all cows have to say (and apparently care about) is how much milk they “gave.”


9 Comments

Becci

March 8, 2010 at 10:34 am

Holy crap, that is CREEPY.

Roger

March 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Is it just me, or is it gross how much milk that is in each milking? A kg of milk is about a litre–so 12.1, 13.1, and 18.7 is a *lot* of milk to be carrying around.

18.7 litres is almost 5 gallons. Poor cows.

Wo_Dao

March 10, 2010 at 2:14 pm

………….

18.7L.

18.9L= 5 GALLONS=

APPROX 43 LBS.

I’ve carried 5 gallon bottles with both arms. Then held both per arm when loading them onto people’s cars.

43LBS on someone’s stomach, and carrying THAT around is “OW OW OW OW OW OW!”

*guh* I would imagine that the cows were forced to drag themselves across or be stationary in a spot.

dawnofanewera

March 18, 2010 at 6:55 pm

So disturbing.

Mr.MilkMan

March 29, 2010 at 9:32 am

Perhaps we should all properly educate ourselves before passing judgment on such articles. Cows in robotic milking barns are free to do what they want when they want. milk when they please, eat, drink, get groomed and sleep when ever they desire. In terms of animal welfare these barns are cutting edge, but unfortunately we cant keep everyone happy (at least the cows are).

Glenn

March 29, 2010 at 10:00 am

What about all of the calves that these cows give birth to? How happy are they? And how happy is a mother who has every single one of her children taken away from her immediately after birth?

And where is the grass? The sun? If they had their calves with them they could eat whenever they want, be with their children whenever tehy want, sleep whenever they want, and more. They would be free. Your idea of being free to eat and sleep and be milked whenever they want is just a mockery of the natural life they could be living, if their reproductive systems hadn’t been manipulated and their babies stolen from them – all so that we can indulge our addiction for milk. Sad.

Mr.MilkMan

March 30, 2010 at 6:14 am

Good Question, how happy are they? do you know, have you asked them personally? unless we have a Dr. Dolittle to translate we will never know exactly what they are thinking. Animals think and act like animals and humans do so as humans.

Would you want a cow and her calf outside in -20 winter weather or in a inside an insulated and ventilated barn. or Perhaps outside in 35 degree summer weather baking in the sun and humidity, or in shade with fans and misters cooling them.

If you want to get back to natural life, perhaps you should sell your house, lose your computer, find a cave and hunt for your food, clothing and survival like it was thousands of years ago.

We are failing to notice a huge step that has been taken in the farming community to improve animal welfare.

Glenn

March 30, 2010 at 8:26 am

I grew up around cows, and it is possible to understand them. I understand the way the mother cries when her calf is gone. I understand the way a calf cries when he can’t find his mother and can only get milk from a bottle. There are enough similarities (they are mammals, after all) that it is quite possible to get a good idea of what they want.

So they should trade their own life for the life we choose for them? What right do we have to decide that? It is not right to tell anyone that he has to live in a certain building and lose his freedom. In fact, we call such a place prison. Let’s speak honestly here and call things what they really are. We steal their freedom because we want their bodies and the products of their bodies.

Animal welfare? Would you trade your freedom to visit your family, to leave your house when you want to and go wherever you want to, for anything? If you were really concerned with their welfare you might provide shelter for them and then let them come and go as they please and let them lead their own lives – instead you confine them in prisons, impregnate them via artificial insemination (its own perverse brand of disgustingness), and then take and kill their children. How concerned can you be about welfare if their lives mean so little?

Alexandra Jones

March 30, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Giving better “welfare” to beings who have been brought into existence merely to serve our own selfish ends, and who will all eventually be slaughtered, is beside the point. “Humane” slaughter is an oxymoron; there is no kind or humane way to kill someone. Similarly, there is no kind or humane way to take someone’s baby, which is what has to happen in the dairy industry in order to sell cow’s milk as a “product” for human consumption. Cows are like humans in that they have to be pregnant in order to produce milk, so their male offspring, considered a byproduct, are slaughtered for veal. These are facts of the dairy industry, no matter the size of the farm or how “happy” the cows may superficially appear.

It was even true in the case of the cow my family used for milk when I was growing up. My parents weren’t trying to make a profit off the milk, but they still sold our cow’s offspring for slaughter because the cost of feeding and housing them would have been too expensive. (So yes, I do know what I’m talking about. It never fails to amaze me when animal industry advocates automatically assume that vegans don’t know what goes on in these industries. We *do* know, and that’s why we’re vegan.)

The most tragic part of this cycle of death and brutality is that it’s for a product that is completely unneccessary. Most people are grossed out by the idea of drinking human breast milk, but the dairy industry has convinced us that drinking the milk of an entirely different species is somehow normal and necessary. Obviously it isn’t, considering that even the calves themselves would be weaned of the stuff if nature were allowed to take its course.

Non-human animals exist for their own reasons. They are sentient beings with their own interests. Giving them better “welfare” by confining and killing them in slightly nicer ways is missing the point; they have a right to live, a right to their children, and a right not to be our property–period.

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