New PETA Virtual Reality Experience Promises Close Encounters at UNM

For Immediate Release:
April 5, 2023

Contact:
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Albuquerque, N.M. – To encourage empathy for animals who are mutilated and killed in university laboratories, PETA will visit the University of New Mexico (UNM) on Thursday to launch Abduction, a unique virtual reality experience landing on college campuses across the country. In this eerie experience, visitors enter a mysterious truck and put on a virtual reality headset. They 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 watch as others are subjected to experiments—inspired by real tests done on animals—knowing that they’ll be next.

When:    Thursday, April 6, 1 p.m.

Where:    Student Union Building Mall 1, UNM, Albuquerque (See Google Maps link here.)

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

At UNM, experimenters fed alcohol to pregnant mice before killing them, cutting off their heads, and cutting out their brains and the brains of their embryos. Other UNM experimenters repeatedly injected mice with a substance and collected blood from the animals by puncturing the sinuses behind their eyes. Experimenters then allowed the mice to breed and collected blood samples from their babies.

“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.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind