Animal Models OK for Vegan Propaganda, not Children’s Research Hospital

The bacon- and cheese-hating vegan scolds at the misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (only ten percent of its members are M.D.s) are back to their old billboard-erecting tricks. According to the Chicago Tribune, drivers on the Windy City’s Eisenhower Expressway will now be treated to a billboard announcing that “Hot Dogs Cause Butt Cancer,” courtesy of the thinly veiled animal rights group with ties to PETA.

It’s not surprising that PCRM would put up silly anti-meat advertisements. What’s more interesting is the source of their allegation. Despite the fact that PCRM advocates against giving money to the American Cancer Society, the Jimmy V Foundation, and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital over these institutions’ use of animal models, PCRM happily reports animal-derived results when they fit its vegan agenda.

Sure enough, the Tribune reports that some preservatives were linked to cancer by “animal studies.” (Other research has found “no strong evidence,” “little evidence of association,” and that “prospective data do not support a positive association” between red meat and cancer, but we digress.) PCRM itself has declared, “It is essential that the ‘War on Cancer’ shift toward prevention and to new non-animal research methods. The old ones simply have not done the job.” Apparently, PCRM thinks animal models can do the job when test results confirm its ideology.

This isn’t the only anti-meat stunt that PCRM bases on animal-derived results: PCRM has sued McDonalds and other restaurant chains over the presence of chemicals called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) in grilled chicken. Sure enough, the National Cancer Institute reports, “Studies have shown that exposure to HCAs … can cause cancer in animal models.” (The NCI also helpfully notes, “Population studies have not established a definitive link between HCA … exposure from cooked meats and cancer in humans.”)

Of course, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. It’s not like PCRM’s fellow travelers in the animal rights movement have any aversion to hypocrisy.

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