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.
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.