Virtual Reality Doc Exposes The Bloody Horror Of A ‘Humane’ Egg Farm

(Berkeley Animal Rights Center Newsletter)

By Michael Goldberg

Artwork by Leslie Goldberg

Artwork by Leslie Goldberg

For the first time, an animal rights investigation exposing conditions at a so-called ‘humane’ California egg farm has been released as a virtual reality film. The film allows the public to join DxE members as they enter Whole Foods egg supplier Sunrise Farms and discover bloody eggs, and birds confined in illegal cages - cages that violate a 2015 California law that mandates birds have enough room to turn around and extend their wings without touching other birds, or the sides of their living space.

The film is a collaboration between DxE and the Bay Area-based virtual reality company Condition One.

Additional video footage shot by DxE investigators at Petaluma, CA-based Sunrise Farms shows rotting bodies in both cage-free and battery cage barns at the facility, and hens struggling to walk on wire floors in the battery cages – those cages being illegal under California law for more than a year.

“Animal agriculture is a horrific industry, and this virtual reality investigation lets people see for themselves that reality truly is terrifying,” said DxE investigator Paul Picklesimer.

In late January, the investigation was screened by Condition One in a theater in Park City, Utah as part of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Audience members wore virtual reality headsets to experience what it looks like to travel inside Sunrise Farms and rescue a bird in distress at the facility. The activists say that the film can profoundly change people by bringing them inside a modern farm.

DxE plans protests at Whole Foods stores around the country in late January and in February. The activists say the protests will draw attention to what they call the “humane lie,” and to make it clear that both caged and cage-free environments are living hells for the hens.

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