NotCo ages farm animals to make a point about our meat-heavy diet

Have you ever seen an old cow? And no, aged beef doesn’t count. Plant-based food company NotCo has launched a striking out-of-home campaign in Toronto that uses AI to show how cows, pigs and chicken would look if they were allowed to reach their full life expectancy.

All of the animals that make up the carnivore diet are slaughtered relatively early in their life, but according to NotCo—which uses an AI process dubbed Giuseppe to develop its productscows actually have a lifespan of up to 49 years, pigs up to 23 years, and chickens up to 13 years.

Developed by AKQA Bloom, the campaign is running in several NotCo markets including Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. In Canada, the ads are running in Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square until April 22.

It is NotCo’s first campaign since the arrival of CMO Fernando Machado, who brought with him a reputation as one of the world’s most boldest and innovative marketers—green-lighting a number of high-profile campaigns for brands including Burger King and Dove.

“At NotCo, we’re already collaborating with our patented A.I. to create remarkably delicious plant-based foods that taste identical to animal-based foods as a way to build a better future for our planet,” said Machado in a release.

“To further shine a light on what a better future could look like, we turned to A.I. again—because right now animals like cows, pigs, and chickens that are grown for food only live a fraction of their natural lifespans.”

The campaign is timed to coincide with Earth Day (April 22), with NotCo saying that animal farming for food production uses as much as one-third of the planet’s surface and emits more CO2 than all of the world’s transportation combined.

The company sells its NotBurger andNotMilk products in Canada, with NotChicken expected to be available across the country by early summer.

“At NotCo, we believe A.I. is the key to unlocking a bright new future of food because it has the ability to eliminate our reliance on animal-based food production,” said NotCo co-founder and CEO Matias Muchnick. “We asked ourselves a simple question: ‘When was the last time we saw an old cow—have we actually ever seen one?’ The answer was no, so we turned to a different type of A.I. to give us an accurate look. We were astonished with what we saw and think people will be too.”

Chris Powell