A Vice News segment that recently aired on HBO spotlighted Jerry Jorgensen, a “supercow” dairy farmer in Michigan who genetically optimizes cows to maximize his profits. Animals at the farm are separated into “super elite” (the cows whose embryos are used for reproduction) and “elite” (the cows who carry those embryos). The so-called “supercows” are artificially inseminated using sperm bought from “super elite” bulls and given hormones to increase embryo production. “It’s like the bovine spin-off of The Handmaid’s Tale,” Vice News journalist Roberto Ferdman said. Ferdman described this unnatural reproductive process as “a little like speeding up cow evolution every 30 days.” The exposé concludes with Jorgensen scrolling on his computer through the genetic scores a lab assigns to each of the cows on his farm, choosing which cows will be egg donors, which will be carriers, and which will be auctioned for upwards of $150,000—a storyline that is indeed eerily similar to Hulu’s award-winning dystopian drama series The Handmaid’s Tale.
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