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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Tattooing Cows

Giving a cow a tattoo is the latest method farmers and cattle ranchers are using to identify their herd. Now these are normal tattoos, quoting the article these RFID (radio frequency identification) tattoos "enable an identifying number embedded under the skin to be read from over a meter away." First it started with branding some sort of logo into the side on the cow, the method of using brands has been used at one time or another in all countries and all civilizations. I suppose that someone thought this method of identification was little inhumane, so the people who sit around and think about this kind of stuff all day decided to punch a hole in a cow's ear and and stick an ear tag in it. Check out this web site that sells ear tags of all shape, sizes and colors. Now with all the advancement in technology some one has found the time to incorporate technology into identifying cows. As the article states this is not the first time technology has been used to to id cows and other animals, "in the UK pets travelling abroad, and returning, must have an identification chip inside them, but these are expensive and relatively large (12mm by 2mm in diameter), and the readers have a very restricted range." This is how the RFID tattoo works, "The system... uses an array of needles to quickly inject a pattern of dots into each animal, with the pattern changing for each injection. This pattern can then be read from over a meter away using a proprietary reader operating at high frequency." As another article outbreaks, and on this topic points out that there are no metals in the tattoo and "Best of it all, it's apparently safe for humans to ingest allowing the FDA to track back Mad Cow Disease, e-coliSoylent Green." Now that makes me feel so much better, so when they are preforming my autopsy after I die from mad cow disease they'll know which cow killed me. I have a better suggestion "Why don't they think up at way to prevent all these diseases and outbreaks??"

Now if we look at the similarities in the history of cows and humans you will find that we brand cows and people get branded, we put ear tags on cows and people put "ear tags" in their ears, nose, lips and where ever else they want, and we RFID tattoo cows and I am sure that it is only a matter of time until people are getting RFID tattoos. I can see the day now, standing in the line at the DMV waiting for your turn to sit down and get your ID tattoo, so the next time you get pulled over the police officer will just scan you to know who you are.

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