Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

August 28, 2013

King milestone good time to think of violence against animals

This week’s 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington is being observed with marches, speeches, and speculation on what causes Dr. King would embrace today. He would certainly continue to work for racial equality. But he would also likely advocate for a rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan, workers’ rights, gay rights, and animal rights.

Yes, animal rights. Although he is best known for advocacy of racial equality, Dr. King opposed all violence, like the Vietnam war. And there is no greater violence than that perpetrated each day against billions of cows, pigs, and other sentient animals in America’s factory farms and slaughterhouses.

The day before his assassination in 1968, Dr. King came to Memphis to champion the most oppressed human beings in America — African-American sanitation workers. Today, it would also be about the most oppressed living beings in America — animals raised for food, experiments, and entertainment.

Although Dr. King never lived long enough to extend his circle of compassion, justice, and nonviolence to non-human animals, his wife Coretta Scott King, and his son Dexter Scott King did, by embracing the vegan lifestyle. A great way for us to honor the King legacy is to follow their lead.

Calvin Cowan

Cumberland

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