Nuggets From Bruce Friedrich's Call
Posted by Birju Pandya on Jan 25, 2020
Bruce Friedrich is co-founder of The Good Food Institute, a global nonprofit fostering a sustainable, healthy, and just agricultural system by accelerating the production of plant-based and cell-based meat, eggs, and dairy. While earlier working in a homeless shelter as part of the Catholic Worker Movement, a friend gave him a book by a Christian priest that changed his life by helping him realize that “causing pain to an animal is the moral equivalent of causing pain to a human being.” It caused him to become an animal rights activist. Having been "the guy who broke into fashion shows to splatter fake blood on the models wearing fur coats," "he realized at a certain point that his activism wasn’t achieving his goal — getting fewer people to kill, eat and wear animals" and so now is "hoping capitalism might work where activism and persuasion fell short."
Below are some of the nuggets from the call that stood out for me ...
-I am the son of a professor in Oklahoma, compassion was a key driver from day 1
-my confirmation was all about Matthew 25, which has been a guide of my entire life
-Jesus addresses salvation, serving 'the least of us' is an understanding of Christ
-what it means to believe in Me is to do the works that I do
-Pastor Bud Dixon led me to Catholic Worker Movement in soup kitchen for 6 years
-Pastor Dixon was at my college (Grinnell), invitation to go to DC came
-Converted to Catholicism in 1991
-Daily mass and meditation became a practice, along with engaging in works regularly
-Lived in an intentional community and over time shifted to honor the lives of animals, the community became plant-based
-Andrew Lindsey's Christianity and the Rights of Animals was responsible for that transition, to realize animals as truly 'the least of us'
-'The least of these' is about learning to see everyone and everything as family
-For me, it's been a path of following my heart - over time the brain came in via approaches like effective altruism
-Anything you have beyond your need, that belongs to the poor. That word belong is key. I could do much better in leading a simple life, but we try hard to be downwardly mobile. We want to be in more solidarity with those who don't have choices.
-Voluntary poverty is an inspiration, coined by Dorothy Day.
-We all seek meaning, that's what I'm trying also
-My work at GFI is about making it easier for people to make those good decisions, at least as it relates to food
-Inefficiency of cycling crops through animals is contributing to inequality and climate woes
-My learning edge is about going from golden rule to platinum rule
-sign up for biweekly newsletter at gfi.org, see if it resonates
Lots of gratitude to all the behind-the-scenes volunteers that made this call happen!