Animals are assigned all kinds of symbolism. Sometimes it's according to their behavior or appearance, but in other cases it's not easy to establish the connection, especially if these are ethereal concepts such as peace or hope. In this article, we will look at 5 animals that symbolize peace and/or hope, and the reasons why they have this symbolism.
The dove is the symbol of peace par excellence. A white dove, with an olive branch on its beak. Recognized as a symbol of peace after the wars of the 20th century. This dove has a biblical origin. It appears for the first time in the story of Noah's Ark, in charge of seeing what the state of the world was in after the great flood.
The relationship of the crane with peace and hope comes from a legend that said that if a person was able to make 1000 origami paper cranes, he or she would manage to live a long life or recover from a serious illness. During World War II, a girl affected by the aftermath of the atomic bomb in Japan heard this legend and tried to make the 1000 cranes, although she died without completing more than 644. Since then, the symbol of the crane has had a strong connection with hope, and a monument was erected in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in honor of this girl, Sadako Sasaki.
The cow is a docile, peaceful animal, which is why it's associated with peace. Given that cows' meat and milk have been the traditional sustenance of families, it's understandable that an association with hope would come about, since having cattle meant that needs were met, and the future looked promising.
Centuries ago, when long voyages at sea sometimes lasted for months, the first thing that the crew of a ship would see when they approached land were seagulls flying near the coast. This bird's association with hope can be seen clearly. Arriving on dry land meant the end of hardship, being able to eat fresh food and drink fresh water - in short, the hope of a better situation.
The ox's relationship with humans has traditionally been as a burden animal for its strength, but also for its docility. It is this kind, calm character that makes the ox a symbol of peace, because no matter how harsh its living conditions may be, it never has an angry reaction.