Last week, thousands of mourners waited for hours in freezing rain at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church and the state capitol rotunda to pay their respects to the “first lady of the civil rights movement,” Coretta Scott King, who died on Jan. 30. President Bush and former President Clinton led the list of dignitaries at memorial services.
Coretta Scott King was much more than a devoted wife and partner of the celebrated civil rights leader. She traveled throughout the globe on behalf of peace and nonviolence, racial and economic justice, minority rights, religious freedom, the poor and homeless, educational opportunities, nuclear disarmament, and ecological sanity. She helped found dozens of organizations advocating social justice, received honorary doctorates from over 60 colleges and universities, and authored three books and a nationally-syndicated column.
Coretta Scott King was also a vegan who eschewed all products of animal suffering, including meat, dairy, eggs, leather and cosmetics containing animal ingredients or tested on animals. Her strong belief in peace and nonviolence extended to the violence perpetrated against billions of innocent, sentient animals in America’s factory farms and slaughterhouses. Her passion for justice extended to the most downtrodden living beings on the planet–the animals bred, abused and killed for food, fur, research and entertainment.
Coretta Scott King truly practiced what she preached. And for that, I salute her.