Selected Publications

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Selected Editorials, Articles, and Essays

As an organization that encourages civil discourse and inclusive collaboration, we support open access publication. We are proud to be a member of the Harvard FXB Health and Human Rights Consortium, in a shared commitment to freedom of information. The selected editorials, articles, chapters, and essays included below, authored by our senior leadership team, address critical issues within the fields of human rights and animal rights. Contact us to learn more, or for further comment from the authors.


“Challenging the Way We Produce and Consume Food”

By Hope Ferdowsian, American College of Preventive Medicine, May 18, 2020.

The American College of Preventive Medicine responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an opinion piece on opportunities to shift from meat laden diets to a just, regenerative, plant-based economy that values the rights, health, and wellbeing of its citizens. Read more.

“Movement—Animal and Human—Key to Pandemics”

By Hope Ferdowsian, Albuquerque Journal, March 27, 2020.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the coming weeks will test how Americans respond to restrictions of their civil liberties. Especially for those of us with homes and jobs, it isn’t our own freedom of movement that we should be most concerned about. Read more.

“Animals Deserve Research Protections People Get”

By Hope Ferdowsian, Albuquerque Journal, November 3, 2019.

Americans have a deep, but often ambivalent, relationship with animals. About half believe that medical testing on animals is morally unacceptable, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center Poll, and a growing number are turning to lifestyles that reflect greater consideration for animals. These societal changes beg the question of how our institutions might better respond to monumental shifts in our understanding of and concern for animals. Read more.

“Process Matters to Sexual Violence Survivors”

By Hope Ferdowsian, The Chicago Blog, September 25, 2018.

To victims, restoration of a sense of autonomy—control over one’s life and body—is a central factor in determining their mental and physical well-being. Infringements on choice, such as experiencing sexual violence, cause neurobehavioral changes that often take the form of learned helplessness, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and other mental disorders. Further encroachments on choice, including being bullied by interrogators, can cause re-traumatization. Read more.

“When It Comes to Rape Myths, the US Is No Better Than Conflict Zones”

By Hope Ferdowsian and Ranit Mishori, The Huffington Post, March 28, 2016.

Myths about sexual violence interfere with protecting and supporting survivors. It may be tempting to think that the situation in the US is ages ahead of other nations, particularly those that are experiencing conflict. But that is not necessarily the case. Read more.

“Why Justice for Animals Is the Social Movement of Our Time: Reflections from a Human Rights Doctor”

By Hope Ferdowsian, Psychology Today, March 19, 2016.

Increasingly, people believe that animals fit within a framework of social justice. A growing concern for animals is reflected in the publication of a large number of books, magazine articles, and films about the plight of animals. While we need to make further progress on behalf of vulnerable human populations, the rights of people and animals are not mutually exclusive. Read more.

“Prosecuting Sexual Violence in Conflict: A Medical Approach”

By Hope Ferdowsian, Ranit Mishori, and Karen Naimer, Angle Journal, January 20, 2016.

The number of sexual violence crimes in times of conflict is high. In order to tackle this rise, clinicians and healthcare workers need to take on a new role in providing forensic medical evidence, and in working with legal advisors and law enforcement to end a culture of impunity. Read more.


“A Belmont Report for Animals?”

By Hope Ferdowsian and colleagues, Cambridge Quarterly for Healthcare Ethics, October 4, 2019.

Responding to historical abuses in the conduct of human research, in 1979, the Belmont Report published key ethical principles to which human research should adhere: respect for autonomy, avoidance of harms, and special protections for vulnerable individuals and populations. Despite ongoing moral problems, no similar, comprehensive, and principled effort has addressed the use of animals in research. We are working to change that. Read more.

“Sanctuary-Making as Rural Political Action”

By Elan Abrell, Journal for the Anthropology of North America, November 20, 2019.

Providing or creating sanctuary as a form of political action is becoming increasingly relevant to social movements in a wide array of political and economic contexts. Read more.

“Asylum Medicine: Standard and Best Practices”

By Hope Ferdowsian, Katherine McKenzie, and Amy Zeidan, Health and Human Rights Journal, May 6, 2019.

Physicians and other healthcare professionals can play an important role in the forensic medical and psychiatric evaluation of individuals seeking asylum, since appropriately documented objective clinical evidence of torture and other forms of persecution can increase the likelihood that survivors of human rights abuses obtain asylum. Read how.

“The Ethical Challenges of Animal Research: Honoring Henry Beecher’s Approach to Moral Problems”

By Hope Ferdowsian and John Gluck, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, September 14, 2015.

In 1966, Henry K. Beecher published the article “Ethics and Clinical Research” in the New England Journal of Medicine, drawing attention to common moral problems in human research. Beecher’s paper provoked significant advancements in human research policies and practices. An approach modeled after Beecher’s 1966 paper shows that moral problems with animal research are similar to the problems Beecher described for human research. Read more.

“Rethinking the Ethics of Research Involving Animals”

By Tom Beauchamp, Hope Ferdowsian, and John Gluck, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, April 3, 2014.

This special journal issue explores the ethics of research involving animals and creative ways to reimagine our treatment of our fellow vulnerable beings. Read more.

“Time Series Analysis of Sexual Assault Case Characteristics and the 2007–2008 Period of Post-Election Violence in Kenya”

By Mike Anastario and colleagues, PLOS ONE, August 29, 2014.

The declaration that President Mwai Kibaki won the Kenyan presidential election held on December 27, 2007, precipitated a period of post-election violence. Unfortunately, the escalation of violence also included sexual violence against particularly vulnerable populations. Read more.

“Signs of Mood and Anxiety Disorders in Chimpanzees”

By Hope Ferdowsian and colleagues, PLOS ONE, June 16, 2011.

Chimpanzees used in research and other exploitative settings can develop mood and post-traumatic disorders, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Read more.

“Making Enemies: The Reification of Essentialized Cultural Difference through ‘Legalized’ Torture”

By Elan Abrell, Socialism and Democracy, September 20, 2010.

A series of executive orders and legal memos, most notably the infamous “torture memo,” resulted in the de facto legalization of the torture of people designated as “enemies” by the US government in its “War on Terror.” Read more.

Chapters and Essays

“The Phoenix Effect: Turning Vulnerability into Resilience”

By Hope Ferdowsian, Literary AMWA, December 30, 2018.

The Phoenix Effect reveals how individuals who have endured trauma—war, abuse, and displacement—can rise from the proverbial ashes and thrive. Learn how compelling stories of survivors mixed with the latest science on resilience can help us understand the biological foundations for recovery, peace, and hope. Read more.

“Africa’s Meat and Dairy Industry: A Threat to the Continent’s Future?”

By Hope Ferdowsian, In Africa and Her Animals, Edited by Rainer Ebert and Anteneh Roba, Foreward by JM Coetzee, June 2018.

World meat production has increased at more than ten times the population growth rate in the last three decades, fueled partially by industry marketing efforts, the policies of wealthy nations, and the support of international financial institutions. Increases in meat consumption have occurred across industrialized and developing nations, including across the African continent, and these trends have consequences for human, animal, and environmental health. Read more.