For Immediate Release:
March 6, 2023
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382
Baton Rouge, La. – To encourage empathy for animals who are mutilated and killed in university laboratories, PETA will visit Louisiana State University (LSU) tomorrow to launch Abduction—a unique virtual reality experience that’s landing on college campuses across the country. In the eerie experience, visitors will enter a mysterious truck and put on a virtual reality headset. They’ll 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’ll watch as others are subjected to experiments—inspired by real tests done on animals—knowing that they’ll be next.
When: Tuesday, March 7, 1–4 p.m.
Where: Near David F. Boyd Hall on Tower Drive, Baton Rouge
Watch the trailer here. Broadcast-quality footage of the Abduction virtual reality experience is available upon request.
In recent experiments, LSU experimenter Christine Lattin captured dozens of house sparrows, affixed transmitters to them, injected them with sex steroids for a week, and tormented them with the sounds of predators before recapturing them and their babies, killing them all, and cutting their heads off. Lattin has also tested birds’ fear of unfamiliar objects by depriving them of food for 15 hours and then putting random items near their food dishes to see how readily the birds would approach, before killing them. Other LSU experimenters have injected bacterial products into baby mice bred to display schizophrenia-like behavior, hung mice by their tails for an extended period while they struggled to right themselves, and forced mice to complete memory tests in mazes before removing their brains while they were under anesthesia and still alive. LSU experimenters have infected young gerbils with worms and killed the animals after allowing the worms to grow and multiply in their hearts, lungs, and lymph nodes.
“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.