Virtual Reality Outreach – April 2017

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017
9:30am - 4:30pm

Plaza in front of Coffman Union

pig in a gestation crate
The virtual reality experience focuses on the lives of pigs
Pig In Crate © Farm Sanctuary
Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Help us make a difference for animals using our new virtual reality outreach technique during Twin Cities VegWeek.

Virtual reality outreach gives people the chance to experience life on a factory farm from a pig’s point of view. Wearing the special virtual reality equipment, participants can have a 360-degree view, and there’s also sound. The immersive virtual reality experience can be intense and has the capacity to evoke strong feelings of empathy for farmed animals, which is really what we want from our outreach efforts.

As a volunteer, you’ll invite people to try virtual reality, help set them up with the equipment, and then have a supportive conversation with them afterwards. The vast majority of participants express gratitude and the desire to help make a difference in farmed animals’ lives afterward. You’ll get to help them to do that.

If you’d like to help with this event, you’ll need to get training for it at our Virtual Reality Volunteer Orientation on Saturday, April 8 at 9am. To sign up to volunteer for the event, contact Laura Matanah at

Here are some of the things that you can expect to hear from participants, along with some of the best ways you can respond.

  • I don’t think I can give up eating meat.
    • Any step you can take makes a difference. It can be a gradual process. You could start off with a Meatless Monday and just incorporate a plant-based meal into your diet once a week.
  • Why do they have to do it like that!? It doesn’t have to be done like that! (in response )
    • Due to consumer demand for inexpensive meat, eggs, and dairy, suppliers are in constant competition to market their products at the lowest price, regardless of how the animals are treated. Whenever we choose not to buy animal products, we help shift demand away from factory farms and toward vegetarian foods.
  • But I buy my meat from free range farms.
    • Any choice that you can make to reduce animal suffering is great. However, be aware that labels such as “free range” may still involve cruelty. For example, the male chicks who are not valued by the egg industry are killed at birth through a grinder or suffocation, and the female chicks are debeaked.
  • I lived on a farm, and they never did that.
    • Unfortunately, the practices depicted in these videos are standard practices on factory farms. The vast majority of animals in our food system experience this treatment.
  • Where will I get my protein?
    • It’s easy to get enough protein on a plant-based diet. Beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are all high in protein.
  • I’m never going to eat meat again!
    • Thanks for feeling so passionate about it. Please take a look at some of the tips for plant-based eating in this pamphlet.

See our Advocacy Etiquette and Frequently Asked Questions for more extensive answers to these questions, along with other tips.

VegWeek is a nationwide campaign empowering thousands of people to pledge to choose vegetarian foods for at least seven days as a way to discover the many benefits and flavors of vegetarian eating. Take the VegPledge and receive special deals, discounts, and recipes, plus tips and tricks along with a chance to win awesome prizes.

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