As I was scouring the Internet the other day looking for a good topic to blog about, I happened to stumble upon an article that can only be classified as truly bizarre. And as luck would have it, the story resonates with concepts right out of The Matrix. Specifically, the story discussed the concept of a Matrix-like chicken farm designed to allow chickens to be treated inhumanely without them being consciously aware of it (I’m not sure if they make Matrix sunglasses for chickens, but that’s beside the point…).
The idea is the brainchild of an architecture student who really hates the cruel way chickens are raised on farms. For example, they are typically kept in cages they can barely fit into so they do not move around and burn calories, and their beaks are shaved off when they are young. Although the chickens probably don’t care, we as humans generally don’t like the idea of cruelty to animals, and hence it was just a matter of time before someone offered up an alternative.
The alternative is called the “Headless Chicken Solution,” and it involves removing the cerebral cortex of the chicken’s brain in order to eliminate its sensory perceptions. However, the chicken’s brain stem would remain untouched. So the net effect would be that the chickens can’t perceive anything, but they can still grow physically. It’s sort of like being in a vegetable state.
Once the chickens are desensitized, they would essentially be packed into small areas and hooked up to a Matrix-like apparatus where nutrients, water and air would be provided via tubes. Urine and feces would be pumped out in a similar fashion via different tubes. The net effect is that nearly 4 times as many chickens could be stuffed into a given area than could be achieved today.
So if you were thinking The Matrix is way outside the realm of possibility, think again. Although the concept is not yet “live,” it seems reasonable to assume that it will be within the next 5-10 years. So I would suggest you buy yourself some Neo sunglasses right now – before the Matrix Apocalypse happens!