For example, if someone fed a cow its own milk what would that be? Maybe the term is related to the cow being content with this set up, almost thankful, even though they're the ones being exploited and don't actually need the other person, the person needs the cow.

  • 1
    Doomed by entropy. Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 8:40
  • Perpetual motion for the situation where it's exclusively fed its own output. Really unclear what the second part of your question is about - do you think a cow would be happy being fed only its own milk? Adult cows are lactose-intolerant, like the adults of most mammals. There's a big difference between one time giving a cow its milk (and it being sick) and a situation where an animal can survive eating only its own outputs. It's common for e.g. a power station to use some of its own output to power some systems, is that the sort of thing?
    – Stuart F
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 10:12
  • Nuclear chain reactions are self-sustaining.
    – DjinTonic
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 21:34
  • I don't think there's a general term for this relationship.
    – Barmar
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 23:38
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    "Doomed" is, I think, the proper term. A cow cannot survive on its own milk. A hydro power plant cannot run forever by using the power to pump more water uphill. As @JackO'Flaherty says, entropy will get you, one way or another.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Aug 4, 2022 at 22:22

1 Answer 1


Self-sufficient / self-sufficiency would seem to fit the scenario described in the question. Also consider self-sustaining.

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