For Immediate Release:
February 27, 2023
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382
Birmingham, Ala. – To encourage empathy for animals who are mutilated and killed in university laboratories, PETA will visit the University of Alabama–Birmingham (UAB) on Tuesday to launch Abduction—a unique virtual reality experience 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, February 28, 1 p.m.
Where: 10th Avenue S. near the intersection with 14th Street S., Birmingham
Watch the trailer here. Broadcast-quality footage of the Abduction virtual reality experience is available upon request.
Experimenters at UAB cut the hearts out of pigs and transplanted them into baboons, causing the animals to suffer from low oxygen, difficulty breathing, lung inflammation, and rejection of the hearts. Experimenters also squirted Woolite laundry detergent on open, hemorrhaging wounds of baboons. Some baboons died within hours, while others suffered for months before dying. Other experimenters forced ferrets to inhale cigarette smoke for six months, resulting in damage to their lungs. Experimenters infected hamsters with a virus, causing the animals to experience weight loss, lethargy, hunched posture, sneezing, coughing, diarrhea, and nose and eye discharge, then collected swabs from their rectums, mouth, and nose before killing them and cutting out their tracheas and lungs.
“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.