We admire superheroes for their unwavering belief in the power of compassion and the inherent goodness of humanity. We look up to them, idolize them, and champion them as role models for youth to emulate and aspire to. In the face of adversity, superheroes never give up, they never give in, and they never compromise their ideals. Superheroes have taught us that “with great power comes great responsibility” among many other valuable lessons for treating each other with kindness. But have we actually learned anything from them?
We need to see the connection between villains using their power to harm humans, and humans using our power to harm animals. The following are eight similarities between animal rights activists and superheroes and how you can help save the world by adopting a vegan lifestyle and becoming an animal rights activist.
1. Superheroes use their power for good
“With great power comes great responsibility.” ~ Voltaire (and later, Uncle Ben from Spiderman)
Animal Man (aka Buddy Baker) is a vegan animal rights activist superhero of the DC Universe. He has the power to assume the abilities of animals, such as the flight of a bird, the wall-climbing of a spider, the color changing of a chameleon, and the regenerating of a worm, among many others. Although he has been a long-time minor character in the DC universe, Animal Man’s story has recently been relaunched to much critical acclaim. Other vegan and vegetarian superheroes include Beast Boy, Aquaman, and in some depictions, Superman.
The most basic difference between superheroes and villains is that superheroes use their power for good, while villains use their power for evil. Superheroes believe in truth, justice and compassion while villains believe in chaos, violence and greed. Though certain villains may believe they are fighting for truth and justice, their version of justice and their means of obtaining it are twisted and immoral.
Superheroes believe in standing up for the underdog and use their power to speak on behalf of those without power. Unlike villains, they don’t view those without power as inferior beings and they don’t use their power as a reason to inflict pain to others just because they can’t fight back.
While a villain sees people without powers as a massive herd to dominate and rule over, a superhero sees people without powers as individuals to protect and care for.
Animal rights activists remove themselves from all avoidable acts of cruelty done to other sentient creatures on their behalf. When they learn of injustices to animals, they empathize, inform others and fight for justice. Animal rights activists are compassionate to all sentient life forms because they believe that treating others with respect is simply the right thing to do.
“I decided early that I would never take a life. Right around the time I decided that I wanted to live. It wasn’t an arbitrary decision and it was more than moral. It’s about identity. As long as you can choose that, choose who you are in the world… you can choose to call yourself sane.” ~ Batman
2. Superheroes dare to dream
“I wouldn’t have it any other way. Dreams save us. Dreams lift us up and transform us. And on my soul I swear… until my dream of a world where dignity, honor and justice becomes the reality we all share… I’ll never stop fighting. Ever.” ~ Superman
Superheroes aren’t afraid to dream of a better world. While others are content to accept things as they are, superheroes dream of something better. Villains dream as well, but they don’t dream of a better world the way superheroes do. Villains’ twisted dreams of a better world are ones in which they are the ruler of a slave race (the human race) or even suicidal dreams of total annihilation of the universe and apocalyptic destruction causing the death of all life, including even themselves.
Superheroes are idealists and dreamers, but they are not delusional. They understand perfectly well the hard work, the sleepless nights, and the shed tears it will take to make their dream a reality. But they understand that some of the biggest ethical leaps forward society has taken throughout history at first didn’t seem possible. They all started with that one person who thought “but what if it is?” Read more of this post