Remembering Coretta Scott King, the Nonviolent Vegan

Remembering Coretta Scott King, the Nonviolent Vegan

by admin on January 19, 2009

On this day, the annual holiday honoring the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr., I also honor Coretta Scott King, who extended her life’s work of promoting nonviolence to include becoming a vegan during the later part of her life.  She was inspired by the veganism of her son, Dexter, who was introduced to veganism by human rights activist and humorist Dick Gregory (who was also my inspiration). 

In his memoir, Callus on My Soul, Dick Gregory wrote:  

     “I had been a participant in all of the ‘major’ and most of the ‘minor’ civil rights demonstrations of the early sixties.  Under the leadership of Dr. King, I became totally committed to nonviolence, and I was convinced that nonviolence meant opposition to killing in any form.  I felt the commandment ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ applied to human beings not only in their dealings with each other—war, lynching, assassination, murder and the like—but in their practice of killing animals for food and sport.  Animals and humans suffer and die alike.  Violence causes the same pain, the same spilling of blood, the same stench of death, the same arrogant, cruel and brutal taking of life.”


So, on this day that we honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., consider extending his call for peace to your plate.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristine 01.21.09 at 7:16 pm

Thank you for this great post! Didn’t know that Coretta Scott King became a vegan. I know that becoming a vegan is in my future, but just not ready to go down that road just yet. I refuse to read anything by Dick Gregory because I know to many people who became vegetarians after reading his work. :)

Terri Holley 01.22.09 at 1:12 pm

What an interesting story. I never knew that Coretta and Dexter were vegans. Thanks for the great post, Tracye. I really enjoy your blog.

Brien Comerford 10.24.09 at 7:59 pm

Coretta Scott King’s vegetarianism put her on a par with Gandhi and Cesar Chavez in reference to having reverence for all life.

You might like a book called “The Little Book of Vegan Poems “by by Black british writer Benjamin Zephaniah.

Wayne Lee 01.16.11 at 10:25 pm

Hey, Kristine. Thanks for your honest post. Please do read Dick Gregory. First, he is passionate and smart. Second, he can be incredibly funny–if pungently so. Third, though most of all, he’s a moral beacon. Worth the risk of becoming vegan! (Which, by the way, you’ll find invigorating in all planes.)

Vegan Traveler 01.18.11 at 12:24 am

I agree with the others. Thank you for sharing this information about Coretta Scott King. I’m posting this on FB.

Chris Orbach 01.21.14 at 7:57 pm

What a great post. Been vegan almost two years now. I went from 211 lbs to 155, and, at age 45, have the body I used to have at 19! Also have run 6 (six) marathons in 2013. Cholesterol down from 215 to 150, skin clear, sleeping better, no acid reflux anymore, etc. But that is all gravy compared to how my heart and mind have opened and how I feel more compassion towards all living beings — not just animals, but all people too. I believe going vegan makes your soul “lighter” — you’re not taking in the fruits of pain and suffering any longer. I’m convinced it makes you a better, more open person all around. So more power to you! xoxo Chris O., NY

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