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K12 students visit the VR farm

VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP—Students at urban schools can tour The Farm Sanctuary in upstate New York courtesy of an interactive VR program that includes 360-degree video.
VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP—Students at urban schools can tour The Farm Sanctuary in upstate New York courtesy of an interactive VR program that includes 360-degree video.

City students from both coasts have donned headsets to take virtual field trips wherein they learn about the humane treatment of farm animals on a rural sanctuary in upstate New York.

Farm Sanctuary provides schools in in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and California with 20 VR headsets.


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Students use the headsets so they can immerse themselves in 360-degree videos of cows, pigs, sheep, goats, turkeys and chickens in “Meet the Animals: A Virtual Tour of Farm Sanctuary.”


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The tour, which was partially shot by drones, focuses on cultivating compassion, says Ben Araya, the East Coast humane educator for the 271-acre Farm Sanctuary in Watkin’s Glen.

The experience also touches upon factory farming’s effects on the environment, issues with the modern food system and meat production process, and steps that can be taken to be more plant-based.