For Immediate Release:
October 26, 2023
Kendall Davis 202-483-7382
Boulder, Colo. – To encourage empathy for animals suffering in university laboratories, PETA is visiting the University of Colorado–Boulder (CU Boulder) today with Abduction, a unique virtual reality experience landing on college campuses across the country. In this eerie experience, visitors will enter a mysterious truck containing a mobile virtual reality studio. The students will seemingly find themselves stranded in the desert with a couple of fellow humans, abducted by aliens, taken aboard a spaceship, and subjected to a shocking experience, similar to what animals endure in laboratories. They’ll watch as their friends are subjected to painful tests—knowing that they’ll be next.
When: Today, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Where: University Memorial Center plaza, UC Boulder
Watch the trailer here. Broadcast-quality footage of the Abduction virtual reality experience is available upon request.
“Many students don’t know that on their own college campuses, frightened and confused animals are being psychologically tormented, mutilated, and killed in laboratories, with no way to escape or even understand what’s happening to them,” says Senior Director of peta2 Rachelle Owen. “PETA is on a mission to open young people’s eyes to this cruelty, help students understand what it feels like, and motivate them to join our call for a switch to superior, non-animal research.”
Among other cruel procedures, experimenters at CU Boulder have locked rats in boxes with shock grid floors, subjected them to 100 tail shocks a minute, and surgically inflicted spinal cord injuries in mice, leading to extreme weight loss, self-amputation of limbs that they could no longer feel, and death.
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 immersive content creation studio Prosper XR—has stopped at nearly three dozen other college campuses over the last year, including Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California–Los Angeles, and the University of Texas at Austin.
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 X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.