There’s a very good reason why a group calling itself the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) “promotes a vegan diet” and has stuck its nose into this year’s battle over American school lunches (“School lunch program pits dairy farmers against soybean growers,” March 2).

It turns out that PCRM is not a legitimate health organization at all, but rather a front group for the animal rights movement. PETA (yes, that PETA) has already funded PCRM the tune of over $850,000. The two groups share offices, staff, and financial accounting as well. The animal rights watchdog newspaper Animal People News wrote in December that PCRM and PETA should be considered “a single fundraising unit,” and accused the groups of attempting to “evade public recognition of their relationship.”

For the record, 95 percent of PCRM’s members never graduated from medical school and its president is a psychiatrist, not a nutritionist. The American Medical Association has called PCRM’s recommendations “irresponsible and potentially dangerous to the health and welfare of Americans.” PCRM has also been formally censured by the AMA (American Medical Association).

Most Americans are too smart to take dietary advice from animal-rights zealots. But when activists put on the sheep’s clothing of the medical profession, it becomes more and more difficult to tell who’s credible.