To encourage empathy for animals suffering in university laboratories, peta2—part of PETA’s youth division—is visiting Brown University tomorrow and Friday with Abduction, an award-winning 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, April 4, and Friday, April 5, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Where:    Main Green, Brown University

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

At Brown, experimenters have cut into pigs’ chests and wrapped a constricting device around an artery from the heart to induce heart disease before killing them two weeks later. Other experimenters at the school surgically implanted pumps in the backs of baby rats and continuously pumped a chemical into them for nearly two weeks before putting them into restraints, exposing some to X-rays, cutting off their testicles, and killing them.

PETA uncovered federal documents that revealed more than 30 violations of minimal animal welfare standards at Brown between March 2019 and May 2022—nearly one violation per month. Among other incidents, records documented that eight mice starved to death and 12 died of dehydration, a mouse survived carbon dioxide gassing and woke up in a refrigerator intended for dead animals, two bats died from an unapproved overdose of an anesthetic agent given to them, and a mouse was found with a tumor exceeding the university’s own size limits. In one glaring instance, an experimenter left the room for 10 minutes in the middle of a surgery on an animal.

“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 won Gold and Audience honors at 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.

The post Newest Virtual Reality Experience From peta2 Promises Close Encounters at Brown appeared first on PETA.

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