Written by Jeff Mackey
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to
justice everywhere." —Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ppmsc-01269
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s
nonviolent message is as relevant today as it was during his lifetime. Although
this is the day officially set aside each year to pay tribute to his legacy, we
can pay tribute to Dr. King every day by opposing discrimination against
anyone, including animals. Whenever we speak up against the oppression of
animals who are suffering in circuses, in backyards, in laboratories, and on factory
farms, we honor his commitment to social justice.
animal rights movement draws inspiration from—and is an obvious successor
to—the civil rights movement. In fact, Dr. King's inspiration for nonviolent
action was Mohandas Gandhi, who was an animal advocate and ethical vegetarian, and animal rights issues
have been important to Dr. King's family members, including his widow, the late
Coretta Scott King, who adopted a vegan diet, as has their son, Dexter Scott King.
Today, and every day, countless opportunities exist to bring
about a more just world, whether by volunteering at a local animal shelter or
helping underprivileged or elderly neighbors care for their animal companions.
But the underlying principle behind Dr. King's teachings about the proper
response to injustice is never
to be silent.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.