New PETA Virtual Reality Experience Promises Close Encounters at Texas Tech

For Immediate Release:
April 3, 2023

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Lubbock, Texas

To encourage empathy for animals who are mutilated and killed in university laboratories, PETA will visit Texas Tech University on Tuesday to launch Abduction, a unique virtual reality experience landing 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:    Tuesday, April 4, 1 p.m.

Where:    Memorial Circle, Lubbock (See the Google Maps link here.)

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

Earlier this year, PETA filed a complaint with the National Institutes of Health after the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited Texas Tech for a critical violation of federal animal welfare regulations. According to the report, the hose supplying water to a pen confining four piglets became disconnected for an “unknown period of time.” Laboratory staff only noticed the issue after the piglets “appeared thin” and three were observed to be “less active.” One piglet suffered from salt toxicity and seizures before eventually being killed. In another study at Texas Tech, experimenters transplanted cells from humans into mice, cut off and chopped up the testes of the male mice, and repeatedly took their blood.

“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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