Lobotomized chickens plugged into a factory-farm system straight out of The Matrix could become a reality if André Ford, an architecture student at the Royal College of Art in London, has anything to say about it. Ford is making waves in the media by proposing that chicken farms become vertical factories that treat “‘animals’ bred for consumption” as “crops and agricultural products like any other,” removing chickens’ cerebral cortexes to deprive them of sensory perceptions and packing 1,000 birds onto each “leaf” of a vertical system by using tubes to provide them with food, water, and air and remove waste. While Ford describes his project as “pragmatic, not cynical,” it has been highly controversial and even proposed to be an ironic statement about the trajectory of animal welfare.
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