Ryan Courtade Takes Issue With My Comments About Him

A few months ago I wrote a short piece on animal rights/welfare activist Ryan Courtade (see Young Animal Rights Activist Has Second Thoughts). At the end of July, Courtade posted a letter to an e-mail list expressing concerns over animal rights violence.

Given that Courtade is only 15 years old, I thought his letter was a pretty eloquent appeal to nonviolence, especially given that so many of the adults in the animal rights movement openly advocate and/or approve of violence. I added that since Bruce Friedrich went ballistic when Elliott Katz dared criticize the more violent elements of the animal rights movement, I wondered if Friedrich would not turn his brilliant intellect to slamming Courtade’s argument that harassing Huntingdon Life Sciences employees at their homes “does not promote compassion and it changes the focus from animals to violence.”

Courtade apparently did not appreciate my article and on September 25, 2001 posted a letter on an e-mail list claiming I had “twisted my meanings,” even though I was very careful to quote him verbatim at length specifically so no one would accuse me of twisting his words.

The real problem is not any twisted words or meanings, but rather the twisted world view shared by Friedrich, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty and others who openly claim that terrorism is a legitimate act of political dissent.

Anyway, here’s the full text of Courtade’s latest letter,

Dear Compassionate Person,

During the past couple of weeks the United States has been hit with some hardcore attacks. Innocent people were killed, the United States was shocked and brought to its knees, not from being destroyed, but we were brought to our knees in prayer and praise. We prayed to our creator as to how something like this could happen, and what the purpose of these attacks were.

Today I read a disturbing article about myself. I’m sure most of you are familiar with Brian Carnell, and/or http://www.animalrights.net. On July 27, 2001 Brian wrote about my criticisms to the animal rights movements. He took my words and quoted me, and twisted my meanings, he also made a attempt to get Bruce Friedrich and myself in an arguement, by asking if “Friedrich will be up to the intellectual challenge of taking on a teenager’s rather eloquent arguement against violence.”

Many of you don’t know me, and most of you do not know how I operate. Some of you question my leadership abilities, and maturity for being a 15 year old boy, but no matter what what you think about me, I hope that you have the maturity to talk to me about my issues, and not to post things on the interenet that I will not read for 2 months.

I may disagree with many things that the animal rights movement does, and how they do it, but I have no problem with its message, and I have no problem with its goals.

With that being said, I hope that in this time of prayer for the community and United States, I also hope that you pray for people. That somehow they can be shown compassion they deserve, and that some how with the grace of God, they will show that compassion towards others. It has gotten to that point where Compassion needs to be todays motive, and not violence.

For we shall get further with compassion and understanding, than we have
any come in any war.

Pray for America,

Your Brother in Freedom,

Ryan Courtade

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