Shocking ‘virtual reality’ animal rights campaign visits Sheffield Students’ Union

By Josh Lindsay

@JoshuaLindsay97

Images of pigs being slaughtered and castrated are being shown to members of the public at The University of Sheffield Students’ Union today, as part of a virtual reality campaign by international animal rights organisation Animal Equality.

The project will be on at the union between 10am and 6pm today. The virtual reality based project, in which the user puts on a technological pair of goggles and headphones, transports them into a factory where the process of preparing pigs for consumption is explained.

A spokesperson for Animal Equity said: “Most people are shocked. A few people have cried and we’ve had to give people hugs just to calm them down. A lot of people ask us questions afterwards; they ask how they can help. They agree with what we’re trying to do and they have their own concerns about how they can reduce their meat intake.”

The footage was filmed over an 18-month period and aims to explicitly show the treatment of pigs at farms and in slaughterhouses.

Graphic images are portrayed to the users and the inhumane process of breeding and castrating pigs is explained in full detail.

Many people appeared to be visibly moved by the images they were seeing at the campaign, including one girl who broke down into tears after what she had witnessed.

The virtual experience is narrated by Downton Abbey actor Peter Egan, and the inclusion of celebrity figures is considered vital to the cause.

The spokesperson continued: “Celebrities hold a very strong opinion across the world, so of course it’s important to get as many public figures supporting us as possible.”

Members of the public found the project to be a real eye opener.

Local student Ben Peters, 19, said: “To see it first-hand as you did, from the perspective of the animals involved, it’s definitely a unique and influential experience.”

Click here to see a video of people’s reactions to the virtual reality experience

The Animal Equality film can be viewed here: www.iAnimal.uk

 

 

Kimberley John

2nd year journalism student at the University of Sheffield. Copy editor for Forge Press and writer for Liberty Belle magazine.

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