Food by VICE

There's Now a Tinder for Horny Cows

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, it’s not just vegans, tattoo lovers, and gamers that have their own dedicated dating sites; now French bulls and cows have one, too.

by Lauren Rothman
Jan 12 2015, 11:00pm

Finding a good batch of bull sperm just isn't as easy as it used to be.

With both beef and dairy farming on the decline in France—in 2012, beef production fell by 5.5 percent as compared to the year before, and between 2000 and 2010, over one third of dairy farms closed—it has become more difficult for farmers to find local, suitable mates for their heifers. But thanks to the wonders of the internet, it's not just vegans, tattoo lovers, and gamers that have their own dedicated dating sites; now French bulls and cows have one, too.

Last October, during France's annual Farming Summit, a group of cow breeding associations debuted trouverlebontaureau.com, or "find the right bull" in English. The homepage's fairly clean (er, primitive) layout greets you with thumbnails of muscular, studly bulls with names like Hilius, Erobos, and Fenrir, all standing stolidly in French fields of varying degrees of verdancy and hilliness. Just like on OKCupid, click on a fella and you'll get a rundown of his stats, but they're a bit different than education, drug use, and religious beliefs: instead, you'll see measurements of his muscular and skeletal developments, as well as tongue-in-cheek descriptions of any of special breeding characteristics. Esa, from the region of Limousin, is ideal for "les amoreaux des grosses vaches"—farmers who are "lovers of fat cows"; apparently, Isa's man-juice, when united with a cow's ova, has the potential to produce chubby little calves. Babel, in Charolais, produces cows with the excellent maternal qualities of calving, feeding and fertility; his existing daughters are "well balanced with volume, good hindquarters, and very good lines," according to his profile.

Trouverlebontaureau aids French farmers by enabling them to log on, check out the bulls on offer (there are currently 299), and determine, based on these characteristics as well as additional information about the bulls' age, weight, and lineage, which one of of them would be the best possible mate for breeding with their cows. People are flakey, and on human dating sites it's often hard enough to arrange an in-person meeting, let alone a guarantee of some, um, "alone time," but on trouverlebontaureau actual sex between the arranged bulls and cows is impossible: given the reduction of bovine farms in France, and thus the increased distance between them, the selected bull's sperm is harvested and then shipped to cow farmer, to be used to artificially inseminate the lucky lady.

And it's not just geographical distance that's making it harder on cow farmers these days: it's also the changing nature of modern farming.

Pascal Soulas works for Charolais Univers, the artificial insemination company affiliated with trouverlebontaureau. He told Discovery News that French farms are now twice the size they used to be, but staffed with fewer helping hands as the younger generation opts out of the tough work of commercial farming. So, Soulas said, the average cow farmer wants to take extra steps to breed an animal that make less work for him.

"He needs docile cows who can give birth without his intervention or that of a veterinarian," Soulas said.

So take note, ladies: when you're next tweaking your online dating profile, you might want to emphasize your gentle ways and child-birthing hips.