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15 Animals That Represent Peace (Pictures)

You might not realize it, but you’ve probably already seen the animals that represent peace at some point in your life. Some of these animals are used to symbolize peace because they’re naturally calm and tranquil creatures, whereas others are chosen because they have characteristics that reflect the concept of this moral value.

The following list includes some of the most common animals that belong to this group and this article will explain why.

15 Animals that represent peace

1. White doves

White barbary dove
White barbary dove | image by dany13 via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Streptopelia risoria
  • Tattoo meaning: victory, God’s will, love, peace

The white dove is a bird that many cultures associate with peace and innocence. You can find these domesticated birds all over the world. They’re most commonly seen near birdfeeders in the wild and are frequently used for weddings and funerals.

They’re well-known for being extremely social animals that often mate for life. Due to its frequent occurrence in ancient texts, particularly for Christians, the dove is one of the most recognized symbols of peace.

They also appear on banners used by peace activists. In some cultures, it also represents wisdom and purity.

2. Elephant

African elephant walking
African elephant walking

Scientific Name: Loxodonta africana

Elephants are the world’s largest land animals. They’re also some of the most intelligent and are known for having tusks that are used for digging and long trunks used to grab food, drink water and suck up water to spray on their bodies when they need to cool off.

Elephants have long been regarded as gentle creatures due to their peaceful demeanor and friendliness toward other animals, including humans. Elephants are revered as sacred animals in Hindu culture, representing peace, and have been worshiped and included in religious rituals for many years.

3. White owls

Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

Scientific Name: Bubo scandiacus

Owls are among the most well-known birds on the planet. They’re distinguished by their distinctive body shape and the ability to turn their heads 360 degrees without moving them forward or backward. These birds are known for being intelligent animals that fly quietly.

This allows them to hunt effectively without being noticed by their prey. Unlike other owls, which are often associated with bad luck, white owls are the total opposite. A white owl tattoo typically represents purity, peace, wisdom, and innocence.

4. Ladybugs

Sevenspotted lady beetle
Sevenspotted lady beetle | image by Christina Butler via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Coccinella septempunctata

Ladybugs are among the most well-known insects in the world. They’re distinguished by their bright red or orange color and black spots that resemble polka dots. You can find ladybugs almost anywhere in the world that has a temperate climate.

Because they eat so many pests in gardens and fields, these beetles are symbols of good luck and protection, but they’re also known to represent peace. Many cultures even believe that finding a ladybug on your doorstep means that good luck, prosperity, and peaceful life are on their way.

5. Humpback whales

Humpback Whale breaching
Humpback Whale breaching | image by National Marine Sanctuaries via Flickr
  • Scientific Name: Megaptera novaeangliae
  • Tattoo meaning: peace, love, harmony

The Humpback whale is a baleen whale species with a stocky body, flippers and tail, and two blowholes. They’re well-known for their distinctive songs, which can be heard from long distances. These majestic whales live in polar and tropical waters and are usually solitary, though they may be seen traveling in groups of two or three.

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The humpback whale’s diet is primarily composed of krill and small fish. They feed by swimming with their mouths open and filtering water with their baleen plates. Because of its calm and serene demeanor, this gentle giant represents peace.

6. Sloth

Brown-throated three-toed sloth
Brown-throated three-toed sloth | image by Charlie Jackson via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Bradypus variegatus

A sloth is a mammal found in the jungles of Central and South America. They’re slow-moving animals that live in trees, which gives them their name. Since sloths are nocturnal and spend the majority of their time sleeping, humans rarely see them.

These slow-moving animals have large claws that they use to grip branches while sleeping. They also have thick fur that blends into the trees where they live, making predators difficult to spot even when they move around during the day.

Due to their pride in not having an army, sloths became a national symbol of Costa Rica, implying that the country is peaceful and worry-free, just like sloths.

7. Kingfisher

Common Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher

Scientific Name: Alcedo atthis

The kingfisher is a lovely bird with a long beak and a bright crest. They’re also very clever, and you’ll often see them fishing with their beaks. These birds are most commonly found in areas with rivers and slow-moving streams, where they spend most of their time.

Kingfishers have a wide range that includes parts of Asia, Australia, Africa, and North America. This bird species has been associated with tranquility and peace and is among the birds mentioned in sacred texts.

8. Manatee

Amazonian manatee on blue water
Amazonian manatee on blue water | image by Gerson Barreiros via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific Name: Trichechus inunguis

Manatees are large aquatic mammals that are related to elephants. It can reach a length of 10 feet and a weight of 1,000 pounds. The body of this large aquatic mammal is bulbous, with small flippers and a large paddle-shaped tail used for swimming.

They’re herbivores that primarily consume seagrass, which is why they’re also known as sea cows. Manatees are calm creatures that get along well with other animals, much like elephants do.

They’re very gentle creatures, but if they sense danger, these animals will swim away. This is why manatees represent peace because they’re known to be peaceful toward other animals in their habitat.

9. Panda

Giant panda in the zoo
Giant panda in the zoo

Scientific Name: Ailuropoda melanoleuca

Pandas are one of the most well-known animals on the planet. They live in bamboo forests in Western China’s mountains. These animals are slow-moving and spend the majority of their time eating.

On average, they consume 26 to 84 pounds of bamboo per day and also sleep for up to 12 hours per day. Since ancient times, armies have used flags with panda images to indicate their desire to put an end to wars and establish peace. These bears are considered gentle and will avoid contact with humans as much as possible.

10. Koi

Koi carp on pond
A koi carp on pond | Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay
  • Scientific Name: Cyprinus rubrofuscus
  • Tattoo meaning: successfully overcoming obstacles, peace, love, friendship

Koi are a type of fish that has been bred for their beautiful coloration, and are commonly kept as pets. They can be found in Japanese ponds, where they were first bred, and come in a variety of colors and patterns, including red, orange, yellow, white/silver, blue/black, and golden scales.

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These fish can grow to be three feet long and weigh more than 90 pounds. Because of the therapeutic effect of watching these creatures, the Japanese culture has established koi as a symbol of peace, love, and friendship.

11. Mantis

Praying mantis on ground
Praying mantis on ground | Image by Siala from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Mantis religiosa

The praying mantis is an intriguing creature with an unusual name derived from the fact that it appears to be praying. Mantises can be found worldwide, but are most common in tropical areas. They’re distinguished by their triangular heads, long antennae, legs used to catch prey, and coloration used to blend in with their surroundings.

The praying mantis represents peace in some cultures because it’s often associated with meditation and contemplation. These creatures are thought to represent patience, calm, and stillness.

12. White buffalo

White buffalo at the ranch
White buffalo at the ranch | image by Jan Mosimann via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

Scientific Name: Mantis religiosa

White buffaloes are a rare and sacred breed of American bison with a distinctive white coat. They have a large, muscular body with a hump on their shoulders and curved horns that extend outward from their skull.

White buffaloes are considered a symbol of hope and renewal in many Native American cultures and are believed to possess spiritual powers. They’re considered animals that represent freedom due to their ability to roam freely across the vast American plains and their association with the natural world.

13. Peacock

peacock on land
Peacock on land

Scientific Name: Pavo cristatus

Peacocks are large, colorful birds with distinctive fan-shaped tails and iridescent feathers that shimmer in the sunlight. They have a long neck and a small head with a sharp beak that they use to forage for food.

Peacocks are native to India and Sri Lanka and are known for their beauty and grace. They’re considered animals that represent freedom due to their ability to fly and their association with the natural world. Peacocks are also associated with the concept of freedom due to their role in many cultures as a symbol of beauty, power, and spiritual awakening.

14. Lamb

White lamb
White lamb | image by Noel Reynolds via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Ovis aries

Lambs are young sheep that are known for their soft, fluffy wool and gentle demeanor. They have a small, delicate body with a short tail and a small head with large, expressive eyes.

Lambs are herbivores and feed on grass and other vegetation. They’re considered animals that represent freedom due to their association with the natural world and their ability to roam freely across pastures and fields. 

15. Swan

Swan on lake
Swan on lake

Scientific Name: Cygnus

Swans are large, graceful water birds with striking physical features, including long, slender necks and almost entirely white plumage. Their intense orange beaks and black spots surrounding their eyes and tops of their beaks are also notable.

Swans are often associated with peace and tranquility and are considered sacred in many cultures. They are commonly used as symbols of love, devotion, beauty, and elegance.