Association Animal Friends Croatia, with the help of Animal Equality and Legame Studio, invited citizens to experience the world of virtual reality for free. O On Wednesday, May 24, 2023, from 11 a.m., on Zagreb’s Zrinjevac near the Music Pavilion, a virtual walk allowed citizens to enter a dairy farm and a slaughterhouse.

Sitting in the safety of chairs with an appropriately arranged background of the information booth, viewers were able to see with their own eyes what 270 million cows a year experience on a daily basis. Virtual reality technology has found its application in animal protection, where it takes viewers to areas normally hidden from the public. Through the video called “Dairy industry in 360 degrees” they was guided virtually by actress Evanna Lynch, best known for her role as Luna Lovegood in the “Harry Potter” franchise.

“This is the first time in Croatia that viewers were able to experience the ruthless practices of the dairy industry using VR glasses: taking away newborn calves, placing distraught calves in solitary pens, turning cows into milking machines and the last day of worn-out and exhausted cows. It was also a challenge for everyone: some of them couldn’t endure watching the entire video.” said Animal Friends Croatia.

In a study on changes in attitudes and meat consumption by Aalborg University in Denmark, researchers found that immersive virtual reality videos have a bigger impact on viewers than traditional screen videos. Animal friends believe that they encouraged viewers to wonder what animals have to go through in order to have a glass of milk or cheese on the table and to think about the cause-and-effect relationship of our everyday, seemingly banal habits.

Misleading advertising of cows as happy or queens is a very common choice among dairy brands. With their campaign and action in Zrinjevac, Animal Friends want to draw attention to the fact that the reality of cows in the dairy industry is far from the misleading marketing depiction of happy cows. Messages drawing attention to the brutal fate of calves and cows, along with an invitation to choose plant-based milk, can be seen on billboards all over Croatia.