Monday, January 16, 2012

The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for animal advocates

By Phil Stanziola, NYWT&S staff photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Today, the country honors the memory of a great leader in the fight for civil rights in America, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While King’s focus was on human rights rather than animal rights, his passionate belief in non-violence and the value of all living beings has led many to believe that veganism is the natural extension of the philosophy he espoused. Those who believe this included his late wife, activist Coretta Scott King, who was vegan for a decade prior to her death, as well as his son, Dexter Scott King, who has been vegan and an animal advocate for over 20 years.

Here are some inspiring words from Dr. King for animal advocates:

“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.”

“The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be... The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.”

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”

“All I'm saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we're caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”

“At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.”


  1. Thanks for this post. As an animal advocate, I consider MLK, Jr. to be one of my heroes and somebody whose life and words I look to for inspiration and to keep me going.

    Another of his favorite quotes for me is:
    "Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way."

    Thanks again for the post! It's nice to know other animal advocates look to MLK, Jr. for inspiration, as well.

  2. Thank you for the feedback, and for sharing that amazing quote. How true that is! How very true!