New PETA Virtual Reality Experience Promises Close Encounters at ASU

For Immediate Release:
April 12, 2023

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Tempe, Ariz.

To encourage empathy for animals who are mutilated and killed in university laboratories, PETA will visit Arizona State University (ASU) on Thursday to launch Abduction, a unique virtual reality experience landing on college campuses across the country. In this eerie experience, visitors enter a mysterious truck and put on a virtual reality headset. They seemingly find themselves stranded in the desert with a couple of fellow humans, abducted by aliens, taken aboard a spaceship, and subjected to a terrifying experience similar to what animals endure in laboratories. They watch as others are subjected to experiments—inspired by real tests done on animals—knowing that they’ll be next.

When:    Thursday, April 13, 1 p.m.

Where:    Barrett Fountain at ASU, Tempe (See Google Maps link here.)

Watch the trailer here. Broadcast-quality footage of the Abduction virtual reality experience is available upon request.

At ASU, experimenters bound tiny marmoset monkeys into restraint chairs, leaving only their heads free; implanted metal posts into their skulls; and subjected them to behavioral testing for up to 46 days. Other experimenters inflicted injuries on monkeys’ spinal cords, deprived the animals of sustenance, forced them to walk on a treadmill in exchange for a bit of food or water, and then killed them. ASU experimenters also implanted catheters along rats’ necks, administered cocaine repeatedly to the animals through IVs, forced them to endure behavioral testing, and withheld food from them, providing only cocaine or sugar as a reward for pressing a lever.

“Many students don’t know that on their own college campuses, frightened and confused animals are being tormented, mutilated, and killed in cold, barren laboratories, with no way to escape or even understand what’s happening to them,” says PETA Senior Director Rachelle Owen. “PETA is on a mission to open young people’s eyes to this cruelty, help them understand what it feels like, and motivate them to join our call for a switch to superior, non-animal research.”

Studies show that 90% of all basic research—most of which involves animals—fails to lead to treatments for humans, which is why PETA is pushing universities to pivot to sophisticated, human-relevant research methods.

Abduction—which was filmed in VR180 with assistance from the virtual reality creation studio Prosper XR—has stopped at several other college campuses from coast to coast.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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