Virtual reality headsets are to be used to help save one animal lover from the (metaphorical) slaughter.
Anita Krajnc, 49, is an animal rights activist living in Toronto, Canada. During a ‘hot and humid‘ 22nd June last year, the first day of summer, she was arrested for meddling with a tractor-trailer that was transporting pigs to the Fearmans Prok processing site in Ontario. Krajnc was attempting to give water to the animals at a traffic light by shoving a bottle of water through gaps. Hog farmer Eric Van Boekel made a complaint to the police the following day. He told The Guardian that we was worried about the safety of both the pigs and Krajnc as well as a fellow activist.
Krajnc is now facing a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $5,000 fine, though she could also be given either separately. With the help of VR, however, her lawyer is hoping to get an even better result.
James Silver, Krajnc’s defense, is set to bring VR headsets into the courtroom to help demonstrate that, instead of harming anyone, she was in fact helping the animals. To do this, the headsets will show footage from inside a factory farm and slaughterhouse, giving a jury some idea of the conditions that pigs and other animals face by putting them in the experience. Expert witnesses will also speak to the benefits of veganism. Speaking to The Guardian, Silver explained that what Krajunc was doing “involves taking the moral high ground. Nutritionally, it’s the moral high ground. Cognitively, it’s the moral high ground.”
Krajnc’s second day in court gets underway today and more dates have been set for November.
It’s not the first time we’ve heard about VR being used in the courtroom. Back in May we reported that the UK is using the HTC Vive to recreate crime scenes in VR and then allow juries to visit them. It could help to preserve crime scenes in an entirely new way and also let people explore a scene without the worry of disturbing any evidence.
VR is becoming an increasingly important tool in the justice system, and it’s happening much faster than we thought it would.