Simpsons Co-Creator's Project Lets Union College Students Feel Like a Chicken About to Be Slaughtered
For Immediate Release:
October 6, 2014
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382
Schenectady, N.Y. – If Union College 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: Tuesday, October 7, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Where: Reamer Campus Center Pit, Union College
Union College 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.” And another student said, “[Chickens are] like humans. They feel pain.”
“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.