New PETA Virtual Reality Experience Promises Close Encounters at Florida State University

For Immediate Release:
February 22, 2023

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Tallahassee, Fla.

In a bid to encourage empathy for animals who are mutilated and killed in university laboratories, PETA will visit Florida State University (FSU) on Thursday to launch Abduction—a unique virtual reality experience that will land on college campuses across the country. In the eerie experience, visitors will enter a mysterious truck and put on a virtual reality headset. They’ll 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’ll watch as others are subjected to experiments—inspired by real tests done on animals—knowing that they’ll be next.

When:    Thursday, February 23, 1 p.m.

Where:    Florida State University’s Landis Green, Honors Way, Tallahassee

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

At FSU, experimenters took 1- to 3-day-old prairie vole pups away from their parents and put them in cages with unfamiliar adult prairie voles for up to 60 minutes to see if the adult voles would attack the pups. The animals were then decapitated, and their brains were cut out. Other experimenters cut holes into rats’ skulls, screwed plates into their skulls, and implanted electrodes in their brains. They collected vaginal cells daily from the female rats before they killed them. Mice were deprived of water before experimenters implanted electrodes in their brains, put them through behavioral tests for a bit of water as a reward, then killed them and cut off their heads.

“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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