PETA’s Innovative ‘I, Chicken’ Virtual Reality Experience to Cause a Stir at Kolkata Bacardi NH7 Weekender

For Immediate Release:
30 October 2015

Neha Singh; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

New High-Tech Project Lets Young People See, Hear and Feel What It’s Like to Be a Small Bird Facing Trouble

Kolkata – Butter chicken is one of the most popular dishes in India – but have India’s young people ever considered what it feels like to be a chicken? Well, they will soon have opportunity to find out firsthand, as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India’s youth division – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” – takes its innovative “I, Chicken” virtual reality (VR) experience, which uses Google Cardboard inspired viewers*, to the Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Kolkata from 31 October to 1 November. The first-of-its-kind empathy-building project is expected to cause a stir.

“I, Chicken”, which will be travelling to college campuses and music festivals throughout India, uses cutting-edge VR hardware to immerse participants in a world where they can flap their wings, communicate with other chickens and engage in other natural chicken behaviour. But as participants soon learn, life for the billions of chickens slaughtered every day isn’t a walk in the park.

As shown in PETA’s video of the “I, Chicken” experience, students who have tried it have been captivated, and many have pledged to stop eating animals. “I never thought a chicken’s life would be like that!”, said one. Another added, “Next time when I order [food], I will think twice”. A third student agreed, saying, “Now, I feel like a chicken.”

“PETA’s ‘I, Chicken’ shows people firsthand that each chicken is an individual who feels pain and fear and doesn’t want to die”, says PETA Youth Outreach Advisor Neha Singh. “Once people really understand who chickens are, they will be more likely to choose healthy, humane vegan meals instead.”

Chickens on factory farms are crowded by the thousands into dark sheds that reek of ammonia from the accumulated waste in which the animals are forced to stand. These birds never see the light of day and are denied everything that is natural and important to them. They are crammed into vehicles for slaughter in such rough ways that many sustain broken bones or die en route. At slaughterhouses, workers often hack at their throats with dull blades while they are still conscious.

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*Inspired by Google Cardboard: Google Cardboard is a trademark of Google Inc.