Regarding “Activist provides political voice for animals” (feature, Nov. 29):
Calling Bruce Friedrich “influential” is an understatement, but this is not a good thing. Friedrich’s goal is to establish what People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals co-founder Ingrid Newkirk recently called “total animal liberation.” This means no meat or dairy, no circuses or rodeo, no hunting or fishing, no fur or wool and no medical research using animals to cure human diseases.
And while Friedrich frequently complains about “cruel” methods of raising animals for food, he’s remarkably silent about the violent themes in his own activism. In 2001 he told a rapt animal- rights convention audience that “blowing stuff up and smashing windows” is “a great way to bring animal liberation.” He continued, “I think it would be great if all of the fast-food outlets, slaughterhouses, these laboratories and banks that fund them exploded tomorrow.”
This is not just any activist. Friedrich advocates violence. And PETA puts its money where Friedrich’s mouth is: The group has spent more than $165,000 in tax-exempt money trying to help animal-rights activists beat arson and attempted murder raps. Donations to the group are more likely to wind up in the pockets of criminals than in programs that actually care for animals.
How can this ugly truth be reconciled with Friedrich’s vaunted “compassion” for all living things?