Last fall, in a public plea for the U.S. government to sue meat retailers, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) president Dr. Neal Barnard said: “While many legislators are rightly concerned about lives and money lost to tobacco consumption, they’re ignoring the devastating effects of meat consumption.”

His colleague James Corcoran added: “What makes animal food companies think they can get away with causing heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes and… other diseases? The answer is obvious. They can’t get away with it. It’s just a matter of time before justice finds them too.”

Just a few months earlier, PCRM launched a star-studded advertising campaign in print, radio and television — tagged “Tonight, make it vegetarian.” The ads featured “Baywatch” beauty Alexandra Paul, actor Keenan Ivory Wayans and St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa (among others) preaching meat-free living. The last time the PCRM launched this type of advocacy campaign to change behavior was when they introduced the Heimlich maneuver to the public. It was widely viewed as a huge success.