New PETA Virtual Reality Experience Promises Close Encounters at The George Washington University

For Immediate Release:
October 17, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-48-37382


In a bid to encourage empathy for animals who are mutilated and killed in university laboratories, PETA is launching Abduction, a unique virtual reality experience that will land on college campuses across the country—and The George Washington University (GW) is the first stop on the tour. 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 put through 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.

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

When:    October 17 and 18, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Where:    The George Washington University, outside Kogan Plaza, 2121 H St. N.W., Washington, D.C.

At GW, experimenters drilled holes in the skulls of baby mice in order to inject tumor-causing cells into their brains. Other experimenters induced heart failure in rats by cutting their chests open, tying a suture around their aortas to constrict the blood vessels, and running the animals on a treadmill to exhaustion. At the experiments’ end, the animals were killed and dissected.

“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 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—will stop at several other college campuses from coast to coast, including Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

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 or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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