The UK-based charity, Animal Equality was on campus from Monday 20th to Wednesday 22nd, showcasing a virtual reality headset transporting students into slaughterhouses and factory farms.
The ‘iAnimal’ project is the first to use virtual technology in this way and are visiting 20 UK universities this term, including UEA.
Several UEA students joined the project and helped set up a stall in the Hive to educate students and staff on the issues surrounding the meat industry and treatment of animals reared for slaughter.
Second year International Relations student, Tom Collier, said: “We want to create a dialogue between different people on what the issues are concerning the environment, health, climate change, human poverty and of course the ethical relations it has for animals themselves”.
The film comprises of footage gained by 13 investigators in six countries, including from a chicken farm in Devon.
Animal Equality are working through universities to promote a more receptive approach to veganism among students.
Second year Natural Science student Kirsty Niece and International Relations student Sam Killing said they understood some students’ aversion to veganism because of cost.
They said that they felt however that, “although some alternative products are more expensive, maybe £1 or £2 more, most meat products are actually far more expensive.”
They said: “Buying a burger in McDonald’s for example, would could £1.50, but that means £12 in reality. As educated individuals we need to recognise our tax money is going into our meals. And that is why UEA should promote this cause.”
The actress Amanda Abbington, who stars in Sherlock and Mr Selfridge, narrates the film. She said that she had been brought to tears by watching the animals in the film be killed.
Commenting on the film’s messages she said: “How can you treat any living thing with such a lack of respect and disregard? People need to be aware, and they’re not.”