Saturday, July 13, 2019

Your Therapist Is a Cow

Are you worried that artificial intelligence (AI) is going to take your job? And that it is going to send you into premature obsolescence? Even if you are a professional poker player, AI can now beat you. It can also beat you at chess.

When you read these ominous warnings, and learn that a machine can perform most of what you do to make a living, you might feel diminished. After all, if a machine can do it then how much does your sacred humanity count? How much does your job express your inner truth or goodness or beauty?

Now, the New York Times has a small consolation. If perchance you are a therapist, and if you imagine that no machine can be quite as empathetic as you are, we have now learned that a cow can do your job just as well as you do. That’s right, Elsie the Cow, a bovine beast, with udders, no less. Worse yet, an unlicensed cow that has never even taken a psych course.

The cow can do it, the Times explains, because she has natural talents. She is patient and non-judgmental. Besides you can cuddle with a cow. If your therapist lies down to cuddle with you, good-bye therapist license.

Anyway, cow therapy is the latest offering in therapy animals. The Times has the story:

Even without a psychology degree, Bella’s natural talents made her an excellent therapist: She is calm and accommodating of a range of personalities, with the patience to listen to endless problems without so much as a judgmental moo.

From a lush, secluded pasture on the Mountain Horse Farm, a 33-acre bed-and-breakfast in the Finger Lakes region of New York, 3-year-old Bella and 2-year-old Bonnie are the highlander-angus crossbred cows that provide animal-based therapy.

Cow cuddling, as the practice is called, invites interaction with the farm animals via brushing, petting or heartfelt chats with the bovines. The experience is similar to equine therapy, with one game-changing difference: Horses tend to stand, but cows spontaneously lie down in the grass while chewing their cud, allowing humans to get even more up close and personal by joining on the ground and offering a warm embrace.

As more people are turning to a variety of animals — dogs, ducks, alligators — for their mental health, states are cracking down on how and when therapy animals can be used. But cows? You can’t take them with you.

No, you can’t take them with you… but you might keep them with your forever if you turn them into hamburgers. 


Sam L. said...

What's the likelihood of it rolling over on you?

Anonymous said...

Sam L. asked:
What's the likelihood of it rolling over on you?

About 0. Cattle-wise, if it isn't laying on it's belly, it's probably dead.

Old Farm Boy Bill