PETA Uses Military Technology to Bring Advanced Virtual Reality Experience to Students

Simpsons Co-Creator's Project Lets Students at University of Central Arkansas Feel Like a Chicken About to Be Slaughtered

For Immediate Release:
November 17, 2014

Contact:
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Conway, Ark. – If University of Central Arkansas students knew what it felt like to be a chicken in a slaughterhouse, would they still choose a chicken sandwich at the dining hall? That’s what peta2, PETA’s youth division, aims to find out with the sophisticated “I, Chicken” virtual reality (VR) experience, which immerses participants in a world where they can flap their wings and make friends with other inquisitive, communicative chickens—that is, until they’re grabbed and sent to slaughter.

When:   Monday, November 17, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Where:  Student Center, University of Central Arkansas

The University of Central Arkansas is the next stop on the “I, Chicken” tour. Previous stops include the University of California–Berkeley—where one student described the experience of being in a slaughterhouse this way: “[Y]ou see all the dead bodies passing you by, it makes you feel uncomfortable.” A Princeton student also shared a powerful response to the experience. “It’s so hard to empathize with animals when we interact so little with our food,” she said. “This is probably one of the more effective ways of getting information out to people who … would be likely to want to be vegetarian if they had just one experience where they were interacting in an empathetic way with animals.” Smith College students agreed. “It impacted me a lot to see the world from the perspective of a chicken,” one said. “This made me feel kind of sad .… Life is just not very good for the chickens.” Another said, “It was really shocking and kind of horrifying.”

“I, Chicken” uses cutting-edge wireless VR goggles, motion capture cameras, and a powerful computer—the same tools that the military uses to train pilots, treat post-traumatic stress disorder, and equip medical staff with lifesaving skills—and was made possible by a grant from Simpsons co-creator and noted philanthropist Sam Simon. Simon and peta2—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—aim to instill empathy for the 26 million chickens who are slaughtered for food every day in the U.S. alone. These birds’ throats are cut, and millions of still-conscious birds are scalded to death in defeathering tanks.

For more information, please visit peta2.com or click here.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

Contact

Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our collection, storage, use, and disclosure of your personal info in accordance with our privacy policy as well as to receiving e-mails from us.

“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