Newest Virtual Reality Experience From peta2 Promises Close Encounters at UGA

For Immediate Release:
February 15, 2024

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Athens, Ga.

To encourage empathy for animals suffering in university laboratories, peta2—part of PETA’s youth division—is visiting the University of Georgia (UGA) tomorrow 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:    Thursday, February 15, and Friday, February 16, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Where:    Reed Plaza, University of Georgia

Text reads: Imagine having your body left to science-while you're still in it. Abduction arriving at a campus near you this spring

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

At UGA, experimenters have subjected healthy dogs to bleach bathspurportedly to study the effects of atopic dermatitis, a skin disease that the dogs didn’t have. Experimenters also gave pigs copious amounts of alcohol to assess whether their increased blood alcohol levels resulted in motor deficits—which they acknowledged was already common in intoxicated humans.

The school has been cited for numerous violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. Staffers botched the insertion of a tube into the veins of seven rabbits, killing two of them. Staffers have also allowed a monkey to sustain a cheek puncture from a metal clip and a dog to sustain third-degree burns because an experimenter—apparently ignorant about how an electric current machine works—assumed that the continuous stream of electricity pumping into the canine had somehow shut itself off.

“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 peta2 Senior Director Rachelle Owen. “peta2 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.”

Studies show that 90% of all basic research—most of which involves animals—fails to lead to treatments for humans, which is why peta2 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 50 other college campuses over the past year, including Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California–Los Angeles, and the University of Texas at Austin. Abduction has won Gold and Audience honors from the 2023 Shorty Impact Awards.

peta2—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—helps young people make meaningful changes for animals in their everyday lives. For more information, please visit or follow the group on TikTok or Instagram.

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