Perhaps most disturbing is this brief audio excerpt of PETA's Bruce Friedrich condoning vandalism against medical research labs, slaughterhouses and fast food restaurants.
I e-mailed Mr. Friedrich and asked him the following questions:
1. Does this still represent your opinion?
2. Were you an employee of PETA when you made those remarks?
3. Do those remarks reflect PETA's position?
4. Has PETA ever come out against violence and vandalism against slaughterhouses?
5. Has PETA ever come out against violence and vandalism against medical research labs?
6. Has PETA ever come out against violence and vandalism against fast food restaurants?
7. When and where were these remarks made?
Mr. Friedrich answered as follows:
- "No. That was more than three years ago and I was a bit shaken up by a truly shocking video documenting a tragic situation for egg laying hens (probably the most intensively farmed and horribly abused of all farmed animals):"
Link #1 Link #2
- "It's not really our place to come out for or against such things; we operate in exclusively legal means, focusing on public education, and we encourage others to do the same. We focus 100% of our efforts on promoting compassion for animals, and we do not criticize other animal rights groups. We offer about a million and one things for people to do, all completely legal."
- [Please see #4.]
- [Please see #4.]
- "An animal rights conference in D.C., July 2001."
Mr. Friedrich pointed out that these remarks were made almost 3 1/2 years ago. He also directed me to this website dedicated to combatting the Center For Consumer Freedom. Not surprisingly, the Center's director, Rick Berman is a well-known food, beverage and tobbacco industry lobbyist.
I must add that, I found Mr. Friedrich's answers to the questions satisfactory except for his contention that, "It's not really [PETA's] place to come out for or against" vandalism by animal rights activists and that PETA "do[es] not criticize other animal rights groups."
I would think that, now more than ever PETA needs to take a firm stand against this type of violence. It would be a shame if the much-needed reforms and obtainable goals PETA seeks to achieve would be lost because of a reluctance to condemn violence that is both illegal and unproductive.