Welcome to NormPhelps.org.
This site will feature short blog posts and longer articles on topics related to animal liberation, social and economic justice, and ecology, as well as book reviews and links to other sites.
This is a brand-new blog; it’s a bit lean right now, but content will be added frequently in the future.
The principles that this site will advocate are:
- All sentient beings are entitled to have their fundamental life-needs satisfied to the greatest degree possible. Fulfilling this right is the responsibility of individuals, private organizations, and governments.
- The weak have a right to be protected against exploitation and abuse by the powerful. This includes the right of animals to be protected from enslavement and slaughter by human beings, and the right of the Earth to be protected from excessive human encroachment.
- There is a unity of suffering. The suffering of every sentient being is as urgent and noxious to that being as my suffering is to me or your suffering is to you. Therefore, all suffering is of equal moral value.
- There is a unity of life. Life is the most precious gift each of us is given because life is the foundation for all other gifts. Every sentient being’s life is as precious to that being as my life is to me and your life is to you. Therefore, we must respect and protect the lives of all sentient beings.
- There is also a unity of oppression. All exploitation and oppression stem from the same mindset: selfishness, greed, and a belief that the powerful are more deserving than the weak. Humans, for example, believe that they are morally superior to animals simply by virtue of being human, while the rich believe that wealth is proof of worth.
- The unity of suffering, the unity of death and the unity of oppression call for a unity of compassion. We must summon into being a universal rights movement that will encompass animal liberation, social and economic justice, and the restoration of the Earth. As Henry Salt observed over a century ago, human rights and animal rights “are inseparable and neither can be fully realised without the other.” And neither can be realized unless we restore the planet that gives life to us all.
- The best hope for a universal rights movement lies with the political left. Social progress has always been pioneered by the left and resisted by the right. It is time for progressives to put aside the human exceptionalism to which many are still wedded and recognize that animal rights and the restoration of our common home are the natural next steps in the ongoing expansion of rights that has been the progressive agenda since the Enlightenment.
- Our vision must always be of a world in which all human people are safe, free, equal and prosperous, all nonhuman people are secure in their lives, liberty and the integrity of their bodies, and the Earth is restored to balance and health.
- The world is not perfectible, but it is infinitely improvable. Therefore, guided by compassion for all sentient beings, our activities should be calculated to the do the most good and the least harm possible.
Thank you for visiting NormPhelps.org. I hope you find the site helpful in your own campaign for compassion and justice.