Building Sanctuary for People and Animals

Building Sanctuary for People and Animals

By Hope Ferdowsian, MD, MPH As a physician, I have spent years traveling the world to work with people and animals who have endured trauma—war, abuse, and displacement often driven by division and gaps in empathy. Over my career, I have also had the privilege of caring for patients and leading key research, educational, and policy initiatives. Many of these efforts have focused on the connection between the rights, health, and wellbeing of people and animals, as described in Phoenix Zones: Where Strength Is Born and Resilience Lives. Along the way, and as described in Phoenix Zones, I have had the honor of working in and visiting real and virtual sanctuaries where the injured can heal and thrive—from Congolese women thriving in a war zone to combat veterans and wolves recovering in…
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The Case for Advancing Human & Animal Rights

The Case for Advancing Human & Animal Rights

In a July 2019 article in the Washington Post, Yon Soo Park and Benjamin Valentino described findings from their study in which they explored both individual attitudes and state policies regarding human and animal rights. Park and Valentino noted that support for animal rights is expanding, often in conjunction with support for human rights. As they pointed out in their article, people who support an expansive view of human rights are often more likely to support animal rights: The abolition of slavery, decolonization, women’s suffrage, and the civil rights, disability rights, and the LGBTQ rights movements were not efforts to generate entirely new sets of rights. Rather, they sought to secure for previously marginalized and excluded groups the same rights that others were already enjoying. Animals may one day join that…
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Radical Hope Can Change the World

Radical Hope Can Change the World

There is so much about the way the world is organized that we take for granted or think will never change. Often, as a result, far too many people and animals suffer around the globe. They are deprived of living freely and thriving. And though there are many efforts to address these injustices, they commonly occur in silos and provide only partial solutions—limiting their reach and impact. As law professor and anthropologist Taimie Bryant once wrote, “When activists, in any social justice movement, must be wholly dedicated to speaking truths that others will not or cannot hear, it is a gargantuan task for them to take on all of the forms of oppression intertwined with the truths they speak. . . . Each social justice movement participant is fighting just…
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