As our new ActivistCash profile reveals, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. PCRM is a fanatical animal rights group that seeks to remove eggs, milk, and meat from the American diet. Despite its close ties to violent animal-rights zealots and “above ground” animal activist groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), PCRM has successfully duped the media and much of the general public into believing that it represents the medical community. Here are a few highlights from our profile:
One of the most farcical aspects of American culture in the last few years has been the advent of lawsuits blaming restaurants and food companies for individuals’ obesity. Even before such cases became the stuff of late-night television comedy, PCRM was demanding tobacco-style federal lawsuits against meat producers and fast-food restaurants. Claiming that “meat consumption is just as dangerous to public health as tobacco use,” PCRM recommended back in 1999 that the Justice Department “begin preparing a case against major meat producers and retailers.”
A heart surgeon with connections to [the violent animal rights group] SHAC and a deep association with PCRM, Jerry Vlasak told the crowd at the “Animal Rights 2002” convention: “I think we do need to embrace direct action and violent tactics as part of our movement … I don’t think we ought to be criticizing someone, whether we’re criticizing [them] because they’re writing letters, or whether we criticize them because they’re burning down fur stores or vivisection labs.”
[PCRM president Neal] Barnard is PETA’s “medical advisor” and regularly writes for PETA’s publications. He admitted in a sworn deposition (International Primate Protection League v. Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund, 1992) that PCRM has been housed at PETA headquarters in the past. He also acknowledged requesting and receiving money from PETA, and using a PETA-owned car to drive back and forth from work. According to Barnard’s deposition, PETA even paid the salaries of some of PCRM’s staffers.