Another Example of Bruce Friedrich Acting Badly

While doing a Lexis-Nexis search for another article, I came across a report from the Daily Telegraph earlier in the year about a minor event which nonetheless speaks volumes about animal rights’ groups preferred method of discourse. The Daily Telegraph reported in January that Bruce Friedrich became upset with London mayor Ken Livingstone and threw a glass of water into Livingstone’s face after the mayor mocked Friedrich’s concerns.

Friedrich, a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals‘ activist, was attending a press conference being held in Washington, D.C., by the visiting mayor. Friedrich attempted to question Livingstone about a new policy which banned the selling of pigeon-feed in London’s Trafalgar Square.

Apparently having had enough of Friedrich’s animal rights pitch, Livingstone replied that he expected “to be up before a war crimes tribunal for his treatment of the pigeons” any day. At that point, according to the Daily Telegraph, “Mr Friedrich rose from his chair and threw a glass of water into Mr Livingstone’s face.”


Pigeon food protester tips water over Livingstone. Ben Fenton, The Daily Telegraph (London), January 19, 2001.

Friedrich Praises Tim McVeigh

The other day I pointed out how Josh Harper was using the very same reasoning in his efforts to demolish industrial civilization as Timothy McVeigh used to justify the destruction of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. But leave it to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to openly praise McVeigh.

In its June 20, 2001, electronic newsletter, Americans for Medical Progress writes,

Noting that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh chose two pints of mint chip ice cream as his final meal before his execution, PETA’s vegan campaign coordinator Bruce Friedrich, who corresponded with the killer, is reported in The Express to have said, “In the end, Mr. McVeigh’s decision to go vegetarian groups him with some of the world’s greatest visionaries, including Albert Schweitzer, Gandhi, Leo Tolstoy and Albert Einstein.”


The Final Word: PETA & McVeigh. Americans for Medical Progress, Newsletter, June 20, 2001.

PETA Making Waves About Foot-And-Mouth Disease Again

Once again People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is making news by again hoping that |foot and mouth| disease finds its way to the United States. This time around its Bruce Friedrich who sent a letter to officials planning the World Dairy Expo to ask them to cancel the event. In the letter, Friedrich reaffirms PETA’s belief that the disease would be a godsend for the animal rights movement in the U.S. As is typical with PETA, Friedrich’s claims are based on lousy logic and misinformation.

According to Friedrich, if animals in the United States came down with foot-and-mouth disease this would spare them from a trip to the slaughter house. In fact U.S. agricultural officials have planned a scorched earth policy for containing a possible outbreak of the disease that would likely make the British reaction seem mild in comparison. Such planning has been kept relatively low key, but a confirmed case of the disease would result in a very thorough and systematic slaughtering of animals in the area of the outbreak to contain the disease.

Friedrich and PETA also seem to be under the impression that a foot-and-mouth outbreak might turn more people into vegetarians. “I suppose if it happens [an outbreak of foot-and-mouth in the United States], we’ll write a massive thank you note because it’ll turn a massive amount of people into vegetarians.”

The immediate result of a serious outbreak would be a rapid increase in the cost of some meat, especially beef. But past disease outbreaks contradict the view that people would then turn to vegetarianism. Even in the UK, where mad cow disease and foot-and-mouth have garnered plenty of negative attention, people seem to prefer switching to meat they perceive as safe and/or cheap rather than become vegetarians.

Tom Thieding, communications director for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, came closer to the truth when he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “We’re not worried. We know there are nuts out there and PETA confirms that. We don’t get too hung up on anything that PETA says anymore.”


PETA welcomes foot-and-mouth disease. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 24, 2001.

Newsweek Donated Ad Space to PETA; PETA Reaffirms Its Foot and Mouth Stance

Apparently not troubled at all by Ingrid Newkirk’s recent declaration that she hoped foot-and-mouth disease comes to the United States, Newsweek recently donated ad space to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

According to The New York Post, copies of the March 26 edition distributed in the New York area — including New Jersey and parts of Connecticut — featured a one-column, black-and-white ad featuring Bill Maher. Newsweek told The Post that the advertisement was a pro bono ad inserted to fill unsold ad space (a common practice with newspapers and magazines).

Bud Pidgeon, president of the Wildlife Legislative Fund of America, gave a great quote to The Post,

Newsweek provided an ad to a group [PETA] who has paid the legal fees of convicted terrorist Rodney Coronado. This same group’s chairman has stated her hope that the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Europe will strike the U.S. meat industry. I really think Newsweek needs to re-evaluate who they provide free space to.

Speaking of Newkirk’s statements on foot and mouth disease, PETA recently reaffirmed her statements. In an interview with the Associated Press on April 27, she restated her hopes that the disease comes to the United States. “It’s a peculiar and disturbing thing to say,” Newkirk told the Associated Press, “but it would be less than truthful if I pretended otherwise.”

PETA’s Bruce Friedrich also got in on the act telling the Associated Press,

These animals suffer unmitigated misery throughout their lives, during transport to slaughter and in slaughterhouses where they’re routinely skinned and dismembered while conscious. Anything that accelerates the demise of the meat industry … is a very good thing.

Friedrich added that he fully supported Newkirk’s views on foot and mouth disease saying, “I can’t imagine anybody who cares about animals arguing with that statement.”


State veterinarian, PETA Head Differ On Outbreak. Steven Barrett, The Associated Press, April 27, 2001.

Dog-Gone Legislation May Target Hunters. Ken Moran, The New York Post, April 25, 2001.

Are They Really Just Spokespersons?

Are the people who act as “spokespersons” for animal rights terrorists really just innocent bystanders who happen to act as conduits for information after a crime has been committed? Or do they get advance warning of criminal actions and/or engage in the planning and execution of terrorist acts themselves?

Its that sort of line of questioning that Craig Rosebraugh is desperately trying to avoid answering. Rosebraugh is a spokesperson for the ALF/ELF has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury regarding what he knows about a number of prominent terrorist attacks in the United States (Rosebraugh himself has been arrested a number of times at animal rights protests, and by his own account left an animal rights group he founded because of a disagreement over terrorist tactics).

Rosebraugh has been the source of communiques from animal rights and environmental terrorists involved in a number of high profiled crimes. Rosebraugh, for example, was the activists chosen by terrorists to take credit for the December 25, 1999 arson attack against a Boise Cascade regional office that did more than $1 million in damage.

In February of this year, federal agents obtained a search warrant for Rosebraugh’s apartment and apparently seized several computers and a large number of documents (including, according to an Americans for Medical Progress brief on the raid, photographs of a primate facility along with documents that appeared to come from the facility).

The grand jury has subpoenaed three times this year but refuses to testify. If he refuses to testify at a May 24, 2000 session of the grand jury, Rosebraugh could be jailed on contempt charges.

In a unintentionally hilarious press release on his behalf, the North American Earth Liberation Front Press Office pretty much made the grand jury’s case as far as why it might want to question someone who is supposedly only a “spokesperson” for the terrorists. The Liberation Front Press Office claims only to be a conduit for information, but in its press release first informs the readers that,

…you are needed to use any means necessary to send a message to the US government that destruction and exploitation of life for capitalist benefit will not be tolerated.

And then in the next paragraph, in case that message wasn’t explicit enough, the press release urges activists to protest the treatment of Rosebraugh even if that means …

…taking cover action against corporations and entities profiting off the destruction of the environment and exploitation of life, your energy is needed and necessary.

No wonder the grand jury wants to investigate these folks.

There were two other items of interest that are worth mentioning about the Liberation Front Press Office release.

First, the group actually tries to portray itself as concerned about “…the oppressive grand jury system.” Now there may indeed be genuine reasons to reform the grand jury process in the United States, but this is the first time I’ve ever heard the animal rights activists bring it up. In fact, as far as I can remember they have cheered whenever someone was indicted by this “oppressive grand jury system” for violating animal cruelty laws. Does the word “unprincipled” mean anything to these folks?

Second, they cast the attempts by the grand jury to question Rosebraugh as an attack on “freedom of speech.” This is bizarre coming from the “spokespersons” to terrorists who seem more interested in burning buildings to the ground rather than engaging in speech to attempt to persuade others to their views. To the contrary, the animal rights terrorists are interested in anything but free speech.

As PETA activist Bruce Friedrich noted many months ago, the animal rights movement has already all but lost the larger rhetorical battle in the United States. The vast majority of people in the United States today are clearly in the animal welfare camp, favoring eliminating outright cruelty to animals and favoring regulations to reduce animal suffering where it is still necessary, but still embracing the role of animal industries in their lives.

When the animal rights debate is kept on the free speech level, the activists lose, which is why they feel the need to commit acts of destruction. If they can’t actually persuade the American people of the rightness of their cause, maybe they can frighten those in animal industries to leave the business or raise the costs of staying in business to unacceptably high levels.

In this they are no different than the racists of the 1950s and 1960s who tried to use violence to forestall the change in attitudes about racial matters, or the extremists in the contemporary anti-abortion movement who also favor taking “any means necessary” to drive abortion providers out of business since they seem to have lost the larger battle to render abortion illegal (this analogy breaks down only in that respectable mainstream leaders of the anti-abortion cause are quick to denounce the terrorist element in their ranks, while the mainstream leaders in the animal rights movement see to actively court the terrorists and those who support them).

These folks aren’t interested in free speech, but rather in using classic strong arm tactics to silence anyone who dares disagree with them. If Rosebraugh indeed had advanced warning of planned criminal acts or actively participated in such planning, one can only hope a grand jury will get to the bottom of his involvement and return any appropriate indictments.


“Day of Action Against State Repression III Called for May 24.” North American Earth Liberation Front Press Office, press release, May 16, 2000.

On The Importance of Not Throwing Away Your Credibility

Can the cattle industry ever live
down the Oprah Winfrey lawsuit? An Associated Press story recently noted
that the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association has set up
a hotline for people in the beef industry to call if they hear people
disparaging beef. As the organization’s spokesman Rob Hosford put it,

If we hear XYZ radio station carrying something about the
beef industry, procedures and products that is derogatory, unfounded
and untrue, with this task force we will send someone over there to
re-educate, so the next time they talk they’ll be talking form the right
side of the ballpark.

The hotline was apparently
inspired by the ongoing controversy in Texas over a billboard People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals put
up to promote its “Jesus was a vegetarian campaign.” Bruce Friedrich,
who coordinates that campaign, said the hotline was a sign of desperation.
“Clearly, they are running scared,” Friederich told the Associated
Press. “All the propaganda in the world can’t sanitize their product.”

The Associated Press report noted that the
hotline was set up a year after the infamous Amarillo trial of Oprah Winfrey
for allegedly defaming the beef industry after she proclaimed she would
no longer eat beef because of the risk of Mad Cow Disease.

Although I rarely agree with
Friedrich about anything, he is correct that many people might see the
setting up of the hotline as the cattle industry running scared. The ill-advised
(to be blunt it was idiotic) prosecution of Winfrey dealt a serious blow
to the credibility of the beef industry. All it accomplished was giving
the animal rights activists ammunition to use in their campaign against
the industry. As Friedrich himself wrote in a recent essay, those who
agree with the animal rights position are a very tiny minority. They will
almost certainly remain so unless animal industries make them into sympathetic
victims, which is precisely what the Winfrey trial did.