Please enjoy this article from the spring issue of our magazine, PETA Global. To begin your subscription, become a PETA member today!

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Sending Out an SOS

What? Newborn monkeys infected with a deadly virus on my campus?! That was the reaction of University of California–Davis student Kara Long when she learned that right there, in the California National Primate Research Center, thousands of monkeys – including infants – were being infected with pathogens, psychologically traumatized, and killed. Experimenters were also strapping masks onto their faces to force them to inhale smoke and pesticides and deliberately keeping them dehydrated in order to coerce them into performing tasks in exchange for a few drops of water. Kara turned her outrage into action, rallying her classmates to demand that the facility close. So far, more than 57,000 people have contacted the UC-Davis chancellor. You can, too, at The momentum is building!

Young People Side With Animals

Kara is one of hundreds of students demanding empathy for everyone – regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or species. They belong to PETA’s Students Opposing Speciesism (SOS), a youth-led revolt against human supremacy, comprising more than 90 student hubs across North America. They mobilize their peers through debates and social media to take on animal-abusing industries.

Putting Monkey Terrorizers on Notice

A primary target of SOS is one of the world’s biggest bullies: the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), which funds abysmally cruel animal experiments, including Elisabeth Murray’s monkey terror experiments. She gets paid to inflict brain damage on monkeys, lock them in cages, and scare them with fake spiders and snakes. Afterward, she kills them. (Learn more at Students take to the streets in monkey masks (or lock themselves in cages) to get people to think about all that’s going on in laboratories and what the animals experience.

They’re calling on NIH (at 301-496-4000) to demand an end to Murray’s experiments and flooding its inboxes and social media accounts with the heartbreaking stories of the dozens of monkeys imprisoned in her laboratory, including Wilfork, who has lost nearly all his hair from stress and is so psychologically damaged that he just stares at the floor. He’s been caged all alone for most of his life.

“Can you imagine yourself in the place of the macaques in laboratories?” Kara asks. “Their suffering is almost unimaginable. But we can end it.”

‘Army of the Kind’

SOS members spread the animal rights message online via memes and art. They organize pandemic-safe protests against killing pigs for meat and encourage people to post messages on social media opposing dolphin captivity. As part of PETA’s “The Face of Fashion Is Fear” campaign, they demand that Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People stop selling leather, alpaca fleece, wool, mohair, and anything else that belongs on animals’ backs – those particular brands were implicated in a PETA investigation that showed workers abusing alpacas during shearing.

PETA provides training and mentoring, while the students provide the creativity and determination to keep pushing until every animal is free. Wish them well!