Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., has a word of advice for aggressive activists.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jan 20, 2014
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A friend whom I admire greatly posted that the Dolphins are getting massacred again today in The Cove. Then this happened.

Hundreds of aggressive, hating comments poured forth in support of our friend, the post-er of the sad news, and against the “evil” Japanese fishermen.

Sitting in a cozy cafe in Boulder, Colorado, I felt sadness for the dolphins. But I did not feel hatred for the murderers—after all, we here in the West pay to kill and consume cows, pigs (who are super intelligent) and many other animals, and torture them for years before we kill them. For that is what factory farming is: torture. So how can we hate those who are ignorant, just as we are ignorant?

But the hateful comments poured forth:

Shame on you Japan for allowing this! Mother nature will destroy you since you will not learn to respect it. Tsunami, earthquake and your own stupid radioactive waste will kill you in the end! Don’t you get it????

Hey, you need help with your nuclear disaster? Nope.

EVIl no souls what so ever, they have to make it look like it’s tradititon now by killing them in front of the world!!

And many others, most of which were more sad, broken-hearted, than angry. So I commented:

“Louie [my Boulder-based friend, an expert on the dolphins, who directed the Oscar-winning The Cove], I’m sure you’ve answered 1000 times, so what do you say to those who say this is cultural imperialism–ie Americans kill pigs (who are intelligent), cows etc by the millions, what’s the difference? I’d love to be able to answer more intelligently.”

But the hateful comments continued:

I pay someone to kill this fishermen!

sniper from long distance

Why don’t we send snipers in really ?!

May they all rot in hell.

Hate is the problem we’re fighting, and we can’t defeat hate with hate, nor fire with fire. So I commented, again:


@waylonlewis mlk



One reasonable comment (there were several, actually, but I appreciated this one particularly). From Fernando:

“Horrible, I hope everyone who is upset about this is vegan or is about to go vegan as we can’t be upset about them killing dolphins if we eat cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys etc. We need to protect all of the animals.”

But the well-intentioned angry comments continued…

Evil scum of the earth thats what they are.

So I left one last comment (today is Martin Luther King Day):

A lot of us in this thread need to remember MLK’s words, today of all days:

“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”

Aggression, even righteous, feeds aggression.

“Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ MLK, Jr.

As Fernando said, let us fight this cruelty in our own lives; begin by going veggie a day a week, or veggie 7 days a week, or vegan.

“One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them.” ~ MLK, Jr.

Lest we forget—the aggression in activism, road rage and internet comments is self defeating. Take it from MLK., Jr. He knows. He dealt with far greater hate than you or I, and never was defeated by it for long, even in death.

Want to change the world? Learn to love even hate.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


3 Responses to “Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., has a word of advice for aggressive activists.”

  1. natasha says:

    The quote about the slavery of animals was actually never said by MLK. I think it was a myth that was created by animal rights activists. It is a great quote, but no one has been able to find the source of it-and MLK scholars say he actually never said it.

  2. elephantjournal says:

    whoops–thank you. I'll search snopes and delete if it comes up empty.

  3. Terri says:

    We may be eating meat but are they replenishing the lost dolphins…with dolphin farms?