Animal-rights activists cloaked as doctors were among the prominent speakers at the “2004 Healthy Lifestyle Expo” put on by VegSource, an on-line repository of animal-rights mythology closely connected with the radical group EarthSave International. But there was a notable addition to the speakers list, which has included Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) president Neal Barnard (who claims cheese is “morphine on a cracker”), PCRM advisory board member John McDougall (who hawks his over-priced vegetarian food on the Internet), and Susan “Stop The Insanity” Powter. This year, the man with a plan to abolish all tasty treats, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) executive director Michael Jacobson, stepped up to the podium and moved his group one step further into the anti-meat world. He’s pictured below with a few of his fellow speakers.

Jacobson’s long-term plan to make your meal meatless is nothing new. He’s argued for “a more plant-based diet … It means getting your fats from plants (vegetable oils and nuts) and fish, not animals (meats, milk, cheese, and ice cream).” And his name has been listed for years on letterhead for the annual “Great American Meatout” stunt put on by the Farm Animal Reform Movement (FARM), which also hosts the “Animal Rights” conferences each year.

Along with violence-preaching activists, a CSPI representative attended the “Animal Rights 2004” conference, where she discussed the group’s shift toward politically-greener pastures:

My name is Robin Marks, and I’m with a nutrition organization called the Center for Science in the Public Interest, one of the leading nutrition organizations. And mostly I just wanted to announce that we’re starting a new project — it’s called “Eating Green” — which is about a more plant-based diet. And I think what makes this project unique is we’re trying to bring together the animal-welfare, the environmental, and the nutrition issues; but we’re also looking at what are the driving policies that might change — the agricultural policies, the environmental policies, the animal-welfare policies? So I’d welcome anyone coming up and talking to me after. And we’re also thinking about a conference next spring.

In response, fellow panel member Paul Shapiro, the director of the animal-rights group Compassion Over Killing, disclosed his own association with America’s leading dietary scolds: “And Robin, I just want to say that ten years ago I was a CSPI intern. So I’m proud that I’m an alum.”

Speakers (from left to right): Susan Powter, John McDougall MD, Sabrina Nelson, Caldwell Esselstyn MD, Rev. Heng Sure, Frances Kuffel, Vesanto Melina RD, Jeff Nelson, Michael Jacobson PhD, T. Colin Campbell PhD.