The Associated Press ran a story in February about People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ support for animal rights terrorism. The story centered around the Center for Consumer Freedom’s excellent work documenting PETA’s financial support for terrorist groups, including its donation to the Earth Liberation Front.
It is interesting to look at how PETA presents itself to the public when talking to reporters for articles like this compared to what it says when the audience is mainly other animal rights activists.
The AP reports, for example, that Bruce Friedrich told its reporter that PETA always carries out its activities legally and says of PETA’s critics,
They’re good at coming up with the best smear tactics that (public relations) firms can devise. At the end of the day, what PETA is fighting for is kindness.
But it was Bruce Friedrich who said at Animal Rights 2001 that while he personally doesn’t “blow up stuff,”
. . . I do advocate it, and I think it’s a great way to bring about animal liberation.
It was Friedrich, not the CCF, who revealed his thuggish nature when telling a reporter that PETA would protest at a church pig roast and added that,
I wouldn’t rule out turning over tables.
And, of course, it was Friedrich who wrote an essay several years ago defending the importance of “direct action” activities such as those carried about by the Animal Liberation Front saying,
I have found that Animal Liberation Front activities speak to people, regardless of their belief in animal rights. They “get it.”
. . .
Considering the power of our opposition, can you imagine where we would be without surprise direct actions and the secrecy required for so much of what we do?
Of course if I had repeatedly defended and advocated violence and thuggery, I’d probably not want to mention that to a reporter either and pretend that all PETA does is “fight for kindness” (gee, why didn’t he just throw in a line about defending Mom and apple pie while he was at it?)
Food industry questions PETA’s backing of violent activists. Associated Press, February 16, 2003.
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