Peace Heroes

1. Mohandas Gandhi

2. Martin Luther King, Jr.

3. Nelson Mandela

4. Mother Teresa

5. Peace Pilgrim

6. The XIV Dalai Lama

7. Cesar Chavez

8. Albert Schweitzer

9. Henry David Thoreau

10. Leo Tolstoy

Note 1: On an imbalance of the sexes. Only Mother Teresa and Peace Pilgrim are female. That is not because men are more peaceful than women, and not a reflection of sexism on the part of the compiler, but rather it is a reflection of sexism in our history. Women were not allowed to be leaders as much in societies up to and including now and were expected rather to help bolster the careers of men. Women were not always taken seriously or encouraged as leaders, and on the contrary were seen as “out of place” in politics and not encouraged to develop as thinkers until relatively recently.

Note 2: Some "food for thought." These peace heroes were chosen solely for their huge contributions to peace in this world. I did not realize at first that many are vegetarian, far out of proportion to the general population. Gandhi, Peace Pilgrim, the XIV Dalai Lama, Chavez and Tolstoy were vegetarians, and Schweitzer and Thoreau were quasi-vegetarian, or mostly vegetarian and promotive of the diet as ideal. King, Teresa and Mandela were not vegetarians. However, it is notable that King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, went vegan in 1995 claiming that animal rights is a logical extension of King’s philosophy of non-violence, and King’s son Dexter Scott King, who is President of the Atlanta-based Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, is also a vegan for animal rights reasons. Does extending peace to animals support vegetarianism? Traditional animal welfare advocates would say “No,” that we need to treat farmed animals humanely, but that is the extent of our obligations in the matter. Animal rights supporters would say “Yes.” See the document, elsewhere on this site, "Extending Peace to Animals?" for a balanced look at the animal rights versus animal welfare debate as it relates generally to the topic of peace and animals.

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