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New PETA Virtual Reality Experience Promises Close Encounters at Loyola and Tulane Universities

For Immediate Release:
March 3, 2023

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

New Orleans – To encourage empathy for animals who are mutilated and killed in university laboratories, PETA will visit Loyola and Tulane universities today 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:    Friday, March 3, 1–4 p.m.

Where:    6363 St. Charles Ave. New Orleans

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

At Tulane, experimenters removed infant monkeys from their mothers within 24 hours of birth, infected them with a virus that causes chronic and deadly disease, and repeatedly injected them with drugs. They suffered from diarrhea, weight loss, severe colon inflammation, and brain lesions before being killed. Other experimenters injected monkeys with an experimental vaccine that caused them to develop neurological dysfunction, tremors, decreased appetite, weight loss, pallor, paralysis, seizures, and distress before they were killed. In another study, experimenters created lesions in dogs’ hearts by burning or freezing the tissue repeatedly for seven weeks before killing them and removing their hearts. In one incident at Tulane University, a young monkey died after being forgotten for nearly 22 hours in a vehicle. Just last month, PETA filed a complaint with the National Institutes of Health after a monkey’s head became trapped between a metal bar and the ceiling of a cage, causing the animal to suffocate to death.

“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 across the country.

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, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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