Superheroes are known for risking their lives to save humankind, but many are also ardent defenders of animalkind. Their compassion extends to all sentient beings, especially those who suffer at the hands of cruel humans. Here are just a few of the heroes we’ve seen defending animals:
This lesser-known DC hero can mimic the abilities of animals and is an ardent advocate for animal rights. He’s vegan, and in Animal Man #15, he saves a group of dolphins from cruel fishers and drops the villains into the ocean to drown—only for them to be saved by one of the very dolphins they were trying to kill.
The King of Atlantis, Aquaman can commune with sea life, whom he considers citizens of his ocean realm, and he routinely protects them from being abused or exploited by surface-dwellers.
Everyone’s favorite Teen Titan also happens to be vegan! You would be, too, if you had the ability to turn into any animal and therefore had compassion for the ones who get eaten.
Bruce Banner (The Incredible Hulk)
The Hulk might not be vegan, but his alter ego, scientist Bruce Banner, is in Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk.
As with many other “villains” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, M’Baku’s character has a little more hero in him than how he’s portrayed in the comics. In 2018’s Black Panther film, the leader of the White Gorilla Cult claims that he and his family are vegetarians—and they save Black Panther’s life by healing his wounds with herbs. If you’re wondering what kind of dish M’Baku might enjoy, try these flavorful vegan African foods.
A Spider-Man comic titled “Liberty and Justice for All” (in Marvel Comics Presents #39)—or, as the back cover aptly phrases it, “The Amazing Spider-Man vs. Vivisectionists”—shows Spidey siding with a group of students who are liberating animals from a university where they’re slated to be tortured and killed for scientific experiments.
In a one-shot “PSA comic” titled Superman: For the Animals, Superman rescues a kitten from being thrown off a bridge by a group of kids and, in the process, teaches everyone a valuable lesson about not picking on anyone—including animals. He’s also depicted as being vegetarian in Superman: Birthright!
In the Ultimate Avengers animated movie, we find Thor out at sea with a group of activists protesting whale slaughter. Hopefully, others in the real world will take a tip from the god of thunder and make whale hunting a thing of the past!
Wolverine and Jean Grey
In X-Men Unlimited #44, Wolverine catches three neighborhood boys in the act of torturing and killing animals for kicks—and offers to return the favor on behalf of his furry friends. Using her psychic powers, Jean Grey instead makes the boys experience in their minds the pain and suffering that they caused their defenseless victims.
In Civil War: Frontline #5, part of Marvel’s epic Civil War story arc, Wonder Man is interrupted on his way to an important function by two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents looking for answers about a mysterious aquarium store bombing (read the book). The important function? A PETA banquet. ’Nuff said.
Wonder Woman writer Greg Rucka showed the Amazonian warrior shirking meat in favor of tofu, which makes sense when you realize that she can speak to animals.
You, too, can be a superhero for animals by going vegan! You’ll save the lives of countless animals each year simply by choosing vegan meals, animal-friendly clothing, and cruelty-free products. Start today by taking our 3-Week Vegan Challenge and ordering our free vegan starter kit.