New Book Calls for Animal Liberation Activists to Change the
Changing the Game: Why the Battle for Animal Liberation Is So Hard, and
How We Can Win It, by Norm Phelps, to be published as a Flashpoint ebook by
Lantern Books, April, 2013.
Trying to win animal liberation by persuading
the whole world to turn vegan one carnivore at a time is a task for eternity. If
we insist on staying with this approach, Sisyphus will have his obstinate rock
planted securely atop the mountain long before we have convinced the humans on
our planet to give up their addiction to dead animal parts.
unflinching assessment--supported by polling data showing that the number of
vegetarians and vegans in the United States has not increased in over a
decade--sets the stage for the most in-depth and candid strategic analysis of
the animal rights movement that has yet appeared.
Changing the Game
begins by examining the five reasons why “the struggle for animal liberation is
the greatest challenge any social justice movement has ever faced.” Next, it
explores the social and political environment in which the movement has had to
work since its inception in 1975 and concludes that, “Timing is everything, and
the animals’ movement had the great misfortune of coming into being just as the
liberal era was passing into history.”
Turning to the all-important issue
of strategy, Changing the Game employs a matrix created by sociologist Max Weber
and feminist historian Aileen Kraditor to develop a penetrating analysis of the
dispute that has been roiling--and threatening to tear apart--the animal rights
movement for more than a decade: the debate between “abolitionists” and “new
While honestly acknowledging the challenges faced by the
animal rights movement, Changing the Game is unabashedly optimistic. With no
ifs, ands, or buts, Phelps declares that, “The battle for animal liberation can
be won and will be won.” In a style accessible to the general reader, Changing
the Game makes a compelling case that the animal liberation movement must:
1) pursue a two-track strategy that embraces both abolitionist and more
2) prepare for the coming era of global pre-eminence
by China, India, Brazil and other nations of the East and South, as well as a
new America in which women and people of color predominate economically,
politically and socially;
3) join with other movements for social,
economic and environmental justice to create a genuine universal rights
4) practice nonviolence by refraining from militant direct
actions apart from rescues that save lives.
Changing the Game is a must
read across the animal protection movement and among members of the academic
community whose fields of interest include animal rights and social justice.
Learn more at the Lantern Books website,
Norm Phelps is recognized as an authority on the history
of animal advocacy. Author of the The Longest Struggle: Animal Advocacy from
Pythagoras to PETA (Lantern, 2007), he was chosen to deliver the annual
plenary address on the history of the American animal rights movement at the
Animal Rights 2012 conference in Alexandria, Virginia.