A Bosnian farmer has spent nearly two decades trying to make his Norwegian cows feel at home. After seeking refuge in Norway from the devastating Bosnian war in 1992, Jusuf Arifagic returned to his home country with new ideas about the future of livestock -- specifically, that all cows should be pampered. It's not surprising that he came to this conclusion: we already know that cows can feel happiness, relief and excitement, and they're even known to "jump for joy" when they're treated well. But, according to the Associated Press, Arifagic's cows are treated very well:
[The] animals sleep on mattresses in a barn with a computerized air conditioning and lighting system. They are bathed regularly, get a massage whenever they feel like it and receive the occasional pedicure ... Relaxing music - sometimes classic, sometimes local serenades - makes sure milking is not stressful. ...
Arifagic and his 25 employees monitor every corner of the rubber-floored barn on computer screens. The huge hall looks almost empty, as most of the animals prefer to hang out by the six automatic car wash-style brushes, enjoying massages. A computer regulates the temperature, the quality of air and the lighting, keeping the cows healthy.
Arifagic spent years negotiating to start his $11 million venture, which opened four months ago with a herd of 115 Norwegian Red Cows. The AP reports that the breed is known for producing "more and better milk," and Arifagic's cows are producing even more than anticipated -- the farmer estimates that his cows produce five liters more milk per day than average. "Nobody should envy my cows," Arifagic said. "Everybody should just realize that the visa for the future is science." And that means treating animals well.