Maybe you saw disturbing video footage captured on a dairy farm. Maybe you watched a documentary about animals suffering at marine parks. Maybe you were asked to dissect an animal in class and it felt wrong. Maybe you met a pig and realized that he or she had a lot in common with your dog. Whatever your experience was, it made you want to help animals—and here you are now. But if you’re not sure what you can do to really make a difference, read on.
Students Opposing Speciesism (SOS) mobilizes you to use your passion and platform to speak out against human supremacy and dismantle the status quo that normalizes exploitation of and violence toward animals. You know that animals are not ours to use, and SOS exists to help you harness your power and influence to end speciesism and change the world.
So, how does it work? When you join SOS, you’ll get to do all this:
1. Connect With Like-Minded People to Build a Strong Community
Joining SOS puts you in touch with a network of other young activists, not only in your local community but also from all over the U.S. and Canada. You’ll work together, amplify each other’s voices, and watch your collective campaigns hit milestones and score victories.
2. Access Resources That Help You Take Action
When you join SOS, you’ll be able to order various protest kits that include projectors, props, leaflets, posters, and masks so that you can hold effective demonstrations. You’ll also be able to order stickers, outreach materials, tabling gear, and so much more. You’ll get exclusive access to powerful videos and images to share on social media, and you’ll have the freedom and support to come up with new ideas for requests that will help you take your activism further.
3. Get PAID to Help Animals!
SOS provides students with opportunities for paid internships, grant funding, and a chance to represent the movement on your college campus as an SOS campus rep. We’ll support you in any way we can as you lead the fight to end speciesism and make the world a kinder place for all.
4. Attend Virtual Training Sessions and Summits
SOS hosts training sessions to help you get up to speed on animal rights issues and run successful campaigns. You’ll learn what speciesism really is at its core, about its intersectionality with other systems of social injustice, and about PETA’s campaigns. You’ll be taught how to call decisionmakers and what to say to them, how to lead protests in your community, and how to get media outlets to cover them and do an interview. We’ll train you on reading labels on clothes to make sure they’re animal-free, growing your hub, taking high-quality photos, writing compelling Instagram captions and op-eds for your school newspaper, and so much more. SOS exists for you to grow as an activist, so if there’s a training session you want that we don’t already offer, you can request it.
You’ll also get to attend virtual summits, where you’ll hear from expert panels, get inspired by other youth animal rights influencers, watch cooking demos, interact with other SOS members and leaders from around the U.S. and Canada in breakout sessions, and brainstorm and share your ideas for current and future campaigns!
5. Take Action With Campaigns to Save Animals
Our campaigns include ending animal dissection in schools, demanding that the National Institutes of Health stop funding monkey terror experiments, telling Urban Outfitters brands to stop exploiting animals for fashion, calling out Starbucks for charging extra for vegan milk, and fighting speciesism in other ways. Your campaigns will demand change from decisionmakers while informing your social circles and the general public about urgent social justice issues. You’ll empower others and help them understand that their choices make a difference—and you’ll change their minds. Your campaigns will ultimately help end speciesism wherever it exists.
6. Save Money on PETA Merch!
SOS members get 10% off at the PETA Shop using the exclusive discount code “SOS.” Find everything from T-shirts and hoodies to bumper stickers and hats to help kick–start important conversations about speciesism.
7. Be Part of Something Bigger Than Yourself
Speciesism is a social justice issue that intersects with virtually every other form of oppression: sexism, racial inequality, classism, workers’ rights, immigrant rights, food insecurity, environmental destruction, etc. By working to dismantle speciesism and human supremacy, you’ll open people’s eyes to other issues that plague society and pave the way to true equality.
8. Build Your Résumé
Not every student can say that they’re leading a grassroots effort to fight for social justice. Holding protests, contacting decisionmakers, volunteering, giving interviews with the media, and maybe even winning a PETA Libby Award can help your college applications and résumé stand out and give you a major leg up when applying for other social memberships, leadership positions (like in student government), and so on.
9. Change the World
Young people are the driving force of this movement, and SOS is centered around you. Joining SOS means you’ll use your voice to inform people and work to change policies, entire industries, and even laws. You’ll open people’s eyes to the intersectionality of speciesism and other forms of oppression, and ultimately, you’ll help save humans’ and other animals’ lives.
Young people are the face of progress, and SOS is made up of those who want to tackle human supremacy and dismantle the many systems of oppression. You’ll get as much out of SOS as you put into it—and it’s clear from the overwhelming amount of time and passion that our members and organizers pour into this movement that they are dedicated to ending speciesism. SOS also provides opportunities for paid internships, grant funding, free materials, leadership training, and more!