Hypocrisy in the animal rights movement seemingly knows no bounds. Avid watchers of Penn & Teller’s program on the Showtime cable network will recall the comic duo’s skewering of a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) vice-president whose daily insulin injections make her dependent on the very animal-based medical research she opposes. And we’ve told you about the do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do position of Hepatitis-C survivor and PETA spokes-blonde Pamela Anderson. Now add to the mix a communications staffer with the PETA-affiliated Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) who is an animal rights activist and a breast cancer survivor.
Here’s how this long-time PCRM fixture introduced herself last week in a Salt Lake Tribune op-ed:
Like many breast cancer survivors who have suffered through chemotherapy, radiation and multiple surgeries, I wake up most mornings happy to be alive … I’m currently recovering from a stem-cell transplant to cure a blood disorder caused by my cancer treatment …
Here’s a news flash for PCRM, which opposes the use of animals in medical research: The Biomedical Research Education Trust notes that “chickens, rats, mice and rabbits have been used” to develop chemotherapy and cancer radiation treatments. And Great Britain’s Research Defence Society helpfully explains that “[f]ollowing successful animal research, stem cell transplants are now routine in the treatment of several types of cancer” [emphasis added].
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For most health-related charities, this translates into a push to raise research funds to, well, cure breast cancer. (For examples, click here, here, here, and here.)
But for PCRM, the month-long observance is an excuse to line up against cancer research. The group’s deceptively named “Cancer Project” is more animal-rights art than science. And PCRM encourages boycotts of a long list of cancer charities that recognize the important role animal-based research will ultimately play in finding a cure. Included on PCRM’s don’t-donate list are the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research, the National Women’s Cancer Research Alliance, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Worse still, PCRM is leading the charge to prevent a respected medical-research lab from building a facility in a suburb of Phoenix. (Click here, here, and here to get up to speed.) This despite the company’s reported involvement with testing “some of the leading breast cancer drugs on the market.”
It’s hard to take the animal rights movement seriously. It’s twice as hard when its leaders won’t practice what they preach.