For Immediate Release:
February 16, 2023
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382
Atlanta – In a bid to encourage empathy for animals who are mutilated and killed in university laboratories, this week PETA will visit Georgia Tech and Georgia State University 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: Friday, February 17, 1 p.m.
Where: Georgia Tech’s Tech Green, Table Space 1, North Avenue N.W., Atlanta
Watch the trailer here. Broadcast-quality footage of the Abduction virtual reality experience is available upon request.
At Georgia State University, experimenters infected ferrets and dwarf hamsters with a virus, administered a drug twice daily by thrusting a tube down their mouth and into their esophagus, repeatedly took their blood, then killed them and cut out their organs. Experimenters at Georgia Tech caused traumatic brain damage in rats, using a device that repeatedly slammed into their skulls, before eventually killing them. Other Georgia Tech experimenters cut holes into the skulls of mice, affixed steel head plates to their skulls, and implanted electrodes in their brains, eyes, cheeks, and tails. The experimenters deprived the mice of water, trapped them in plastic tubes with their heads in a fixed position, and subjected them to behavioral tests in which they received water as a reward.
“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 PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.