No one in his right mind would deny the importance of cancer prevention, but I thought Simon Chaitowitz’s cynical use of Tony Snow’s tragic death to promote vegetarianism was unusually offensive. (“Tony Snow’s cancer: Is there a lesson for us?,” July 16)

I also wonder just how Ms. Chaitowitz knows whether the late White House Press Secretary was a regular meat-eater, or if he was fond of processed meats like bacon and hot dogs. If not, why was her anti-meat rant relevant to his untimely death? I found it more meaningful that Chaitowitz herself is “a two-time cancer survivor,” despite the strict vegetarian diet she promotes so forcefully.

The reason she attacks meat is that her employer, the misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (less than 4 percent of whose members are actual physicians) is a PETA-style animal “rights” group. Its positions are bought and paid for by the wealthy founder of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, who provides more than two-thirds of the group’s $9 million budget.

Nutritionists often remind us that it’s irresponsible to arbitrarily focus on just one food or another in our public health discussions. They’re right. Eating tofu, for instance, has recently been found to increase the risk of developing dementia. Somehow, I doubt Chaitowitz would consider that a compelling reason to avoid going vegetarian.

DAVID MARTOSKO
Research Director, Center for Consumer Freedom
Washington, DC