Vegetarian eating is a fine choice for the tiny fraction of Americans who practice it. But there’s no evidence that it’s a sure ticket to weight loss or a valid treatment for cancer or diabetes. (“Hold the meat, please,” March 23)

The principal promoter of this myth is an animal rights group called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Despite its noble-sounding name, less than 4 percent of PCRM’s members are actually physicians. And more than two-thirds of its $9 million budget comes directly from Nanci Alexander, the wealthy founder of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. She’s also PETA’s biggest donor.

It’s doubly ironic that “The Cancer Project” is weighing in with its own brand of tofu promotion. Its parent group (Guess who? The same “Physicians Committee”) advises Americans not to donate to more than 75 cancer charities, because they fund life-saving research using lab rats and other animals.