Martin Luther King Day: on the side of the little ones, like animals

He was born on 15.1.1929 Martin Luther King. When he died, assassinated in 1968, he forever changed the perception of what today, with the nature of those who take them almost for granted, are civil rights. Equality and nonviolence were central to his thinking, and in honor of his legacy, every year since 1983, on the third Monday in January, the United States of America has honored the memory of the Reverend Martin Luther King with a celebration of Martin Luther King Day.

Animal rights equal to human rights

Unlike any form of racial discrimination based on skin color or geographic origin, MLK never openly spoke out for animal rights. However, the fight against sexist and racist stereotypes is also fundamentalantispeciesism which characterizes much of the global animal rights movement. Refusing to see the human race as superior to the animal race actually characterizes many colors that approach the animal world with love and passion. And one of Martin Luther King’s most famous lines: “We have learned to fly like birds, to swim like fish, but we have not learned the art of living like brothers,” reveals a praise or at least an appreciation for natural ability. animals, instinctive abilities that sometimes seem to elude humans. The defense of the weakest and most defenseless, and animals rightly fall into this category, they are definitely one of them battles which Martin Luther King, professing non-violence to defend the rights of all, adopted and honored until the end of his days.

Anti-discrimination: no species is more important than another

A stamp dedicated to the ENpa depicting its founder Garibaldi

In this sense,animality fits into Global Civil Rights Movement: fighting discrimination based on species, not considering the human species as superior to the animal species and, above all, accepting other beings on the planet as sentient beings to whom we can guarantee rights, respect and protection because they are defenseless and voiceless. For this reason, Martin Luther King also has his place in the realm of those who contributed to the birth of a common awareness of the animal world.

Albert Schweitzer and the pelican

Together with “the fathers of animalism“, Saint Francis with his Canticle of Creatures, which connects humans and animals, Albert Schweitzer who in Africa gave her care without gender discrimination, Leonardo da Vinci who imagines a time when killing an animal will be considered a serious crime, Garibaldiwho founded Enpa in 1871 to defend animals against ill-treatment, Tom ReaganAmerican philosopher with his battles for animal rights theorized in The Case for Animal Rights, a key text of the animal liberation movement, Martin Luther King joins the “great”non-violence” and fighting for the rights of the weakest, the smallest of the smallest.


With him Mahatma Gandhi able to summarize the need better than anyone else ccooperation between man and animal which is not based on the superiority of the former over the latter in the famous saying “The greatness and moral progress of a nation can be judged by its treatment of animals”.

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