Articles/journals Therapy/Service animals

Dairy cows as ‘therapy’ props to de-stress students

The Dairy Cattle Teaching and Research Centre of Michigan State University in Lansing offered a new program, for students to come cuddle and brush the cows. The program, which ran in December 2018 was called “Finals Stress mooove on out!“. The farm reportedly offered students “a unique way to de-stress while studying for finals”. MSU students paid ten dollars for 30 minutes of cow brushing time.
The program was even labelled a form of ‘therapy’, while therapy stands for the attempted remediation of a health problem, usually following a diagnosis. So I find labelling this a therapy quite an overstretched medical approporiation of a profit making leisure activity. People report that “[The farm manager] said she was also particularly keen on finding a new way to utilize the herd.”

Animals should not be exploited for milk, nor used as therapy props.
Do they also show where the calves are? How the mothers grieve and keep calling out for their calves who are taken away from them?
Do the students also accompany the cows to the slaughterhouse?
 
Animals should not be exploited for milk, nor used as real or supposed ‘therapy’ props.

 

Image description: screenshot of title + photo on People website. Title reads: Dairy Cows Are the New Therapy Dogs, Helping College Students De-Stress During Finals. ——– Photo: Inside a diary farm. Lateral view of the front of a black and white cow, behind metal bars, looking up towards a white woman, with a blue bonnet with fur pompom and black jacket, white rubberlike gloves on her hands. The woman has her left arm reaching over the nose of the cow, stroking her with a brush]
screenshot of Lansing State Journal. Title above reads: How spending time with cows helped Michigan State students de-stress before finals — Haley Hansen | Lansing State Journal. — Photo: Inside a diary farm. Close up of head of black and white cow, head sideways, behind metal bars. White woman with dark bonnet, wearing white rubber like gloves, dark jacket, closed eyes, holding the cow’s head against her head, left hand close up to the cow’s nose/head, the other hand holding two brushes up in the air]

LINKS:

Dairy Cows Are the New Therapy Dogs, Helping College Students De-Stress During Finals, People, December 21, 2018.
How spending time with cows helped Michigan State students de-stress before finals, Lansing State Journal, December 11, 2018.

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