PETA Spotlight: Coretta Scott King and Other Female Icons You Never Knew Were Veg!

For Immediate Release:
March 2, 2021

Tapi Mbundure 202-483-7382

Heiberger, Ala. – In honor of Women’s History Month (March), PETA (an organization founded by a woman and led by women) has chosen Coretta Scott King as one of five female trailblazers to celebrate—and the millions who look up to these women as role models may be surprised to learn that their work for social justice includes animal protection.

King, a renowned civil rights leader who advocated for racial, environmental, and economic justice (and more), went vegan in 1995, believing that forwarding animal rights was a natural extension of her and husband Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy that “[i]njustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” As she said, “Non-violence is a permanent attitude we bring to the breakfast table and bring to bed at night.”

“Coretta Scott King understood that everyone—whatever skin they’re in and whether they have fur, fins, or feathers—deserves to live free from exploitation, suffering, and discrimination,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA encourages everyone to honor her legacy by showing solidarity across species lines and condemning the subjugation of any living being.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that sexual exploitation is rampant in the meat, egg, and dairy industries because of speciesism, the human-supremacist mentality that all other animal species are inferior to our own. Female cows are artificially inseminated (raped by inserting an arm into the rectum and a metal rod into the vagina), hens are shipped to slaughter once their bodies wear out, and mother pigs spend their entire adult lives confined to cramped metal crates.

PETA’s other honorees include educator and prison reform advocate Angela Davis, labor activist Dolores Huerta, feminist icon Gloria Steinem, and Hollywood trailblazer Cicely Tyson, who played Coretta Scott King in the television miniseries King —all vegetarians or vegans.

For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind