Today is Coretta Scott King’s birthday. The late widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she was an indispensable and tireless leader in the Civil Rights Movement.
She also became vegan in 1995 at the urging of her son, Dexter Scott King. Both she and her son believed veganism was the logical extension of Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence and justice.
We also believe that human rights and animal rights are linked. Nonviolence and justice means nonviolence and justice TOWARDS ALL, not just towards those who are the same race, the same gender, or the same species as you.
We violate fundamental rights of animals when we exploit, harm and kill them. In all the ways that matter, they are the same – they are sentient, they can suffer, and they have an interest in their own lives.
In this respect, it is no more justifiable to violate the fundamental interests of animals simply because they are a different species than it is to violate the interests of other humans simply because they are a different ethnicity, gender, or any other morally irrelevant distinction.
Embracing nonviolence and justice means rejecting all of these forms of discrimination – including speciesism.
Coretta Scott King made this connection. Have you?