What is SOS?
SOS is a student-led movement for total animal liberation. Through outreach to our peers and protests in our community, we expose what animals endure because of human supremacy. We say it loudly and proudly: Animals are not ours to use. We let others know that animals are unique, sentient individuals who deserve our respect and consideration at all times and with every choice we make.
Who is SOS?
SOS is made up of students and young activists ages 13 to 24 who collectively take action for animals. All are welcome. SOS is an abolitionist group—we aim for total animal liberation and will accept nothing less. To achieve this, we must be welcoming and accepting of all people. Racism, sexism, ableism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and other forms of prejudice are all connected and almost always overlap with each other and with speciesism—none of which is tolerated by SOS.
We choose information over violence. At the very heart of SOS actions is the idea that all sentient beings have the right to be free from harm. We aren’t afraid to make unpleasant comparisons, say unpopular things, or point out uncomfortable truths if doing so means that animals will benefit.
What do you mean by ‘speciesism’?
Speciesism is the belief that all other animal species are inferior to humans—even though, in the ways that matter the most, we are all the same. We all feel love, pain, joy, and fear—so all animals deserve equal consideration and deserve to be free from human exploitation. Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way. Rejecting speciesism means taking an objective look at our personal choices and eliminating the ones that hurt animals.
What does SOS want?
Our goal is ending speciesism. Bullying and violence don’t affect only humans any more than they affect only certain races or gender identities. If we want a more just world, we must work to end all forms of prejudice, not just the ones that affect us personally. When we see individuals or industries exhibiting speciesism, we must rise up and speak out.
What is an SOS hub?
An SOS hub is a group of individuals who take action against speciesism at their school or in their community by holding protests and demonstrations, organizing sit-ins, coordinating campaigns, and more. You can join an existing hub or apply to organize a hub if there isn’t already one in your area.
How do I join?
Sign up here to join our movement and receive e-mails and texts from us letting you know about campaigns and actions to help animals, take part in activism training courses and workshops with other student activists, get free stickers to spread the word, and more. Want to find other student activists near you? Check out the SOS hub map to join activists in your area. Each hub on the map has an Instagram account listed or another way to get in touch with an organizer!
What are some actions my hub can take?
You can create change for animals in your community with provocative campaigns and actions—like compelling protests, street art and theater, light brigades, vigils, and more. If you’re interested in taking action at school, whether you’re in high school or college, we can help you with campaigns, movie screenings, talks, or eye-catching protests. Check out our guide to starting your own campaign here.
How can SOS help me get started?
First, check out our welcome guide! When you join SOS, you’ll get a starter kit in the mail full of FREE materials—and hub organizers get that plus more (including a FREE SOS T-shirt!). Organizers and active members get one-on-one guidance from SOS staff with years of experience organizing, protesting, and making change—and we’ll help you every step of the way. All SOS members also get access to FREE activist training sessions and events.
How do I contact someone if I have questions about the program?
If you have a question about your specific area, contact your hub organizer. If you have questions about starting a hub or other general questions, e-mail us at [email protected].
Is there a way to connect with other student activists?
Yes! Click here to see the map of hubs and events around the country. Each hub on the map has an Instagram account listed, so you can DM to get started. If there isn’t one in your area, we can help you start one or help you get active in other ways.
Can I add SOS to my résumé or get service hours for helping animals?
Absolutely! Adding your experience as an SOS hub organizer to your résumé demonstrates your dedication and passion for what you believe in, and it lets future employers know that you’re a hard worker (even in your free time). We can also sign off on service hours when you work with us to organize events. Just get in touch by e-mailing us at [email protected].
Animal rights vs. animal welfare: What’s the difference?
Here’s the bottom line: Animal welfare theory doesn’t take a position on the ethics of using animals, but animal rights theory does. Animal welfare proponents accept that animals have interests but allow those interests to be disregarded as long as there are some benefits to humans that supposedly justify that sacrifice. By contrast, supporters of animal rights know that animals have an inherent worth—a value completely separate from their usefulness to humans.