PCRM is an animal rights group. Less than 4 percent of its members are actual physicians. The group's goals are to stop medical research that requires the use of animals, and to remove meat and dairy foods from our diet by demonizing them as "unhealthy." People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has already steered more than $1.3 million to PCRM. Animal People News notes that PETA and PCRM are so closely connected that they should be considered "a single fundraising unit."
When longtime PCRM spokesperson Dr. Jerry Vlasak addressed the "Animal Rights 2003" convention, he openly endorsed the murder of doctors who use animals in their research. "I don't think you'd have to kill---assassinate---too many," Vlasak told the assembled activists. "I think for 5 lives, 10 lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, 2 million, 10 million non-human lives."
PCRM president Neal Barnard is not a nutritionist, a dietician, or a biochemist. He's a non-practicing psychiatrist who claims that cheese is "dairy crack" and "morphine on a cracker." Barnard has also been PETA's "medical advisor" and president of The PETA Foundation.
In the past, the American Medical Association (AMA) has called PCRM a "fringe organization" that uses "unethical tactics" and is "interested in perverting medical science." When he was the AMA's Vice President for Scientific Affairs, Dr. Jerod M. Loeb wrote that PCRM was "officially censured" by the AMA. That AMA statement also condemned PCRM for supporting "a campaign of misinformation against important animal research of AIDS."
PCRM gained a high public profile in 2004 by sponsoring a lawsuit against the late Dr. Robert Atkins (whose low-carbohydrate diet typically includes meat and dairy foods, two big animal-rights no-nos). PCRM has run newspaper ads looking for disgruntled low-carb dieters willing to sue their own physicians for prescribing the Atkins plan. PCRM also unethically leaked Dr. Atkins's private coroner's report to The Wall Street Journal .
PCRM discourages Americans from making donations to health charities like the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes, the American Red Cross, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, and the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation---solely because they support disease research that requires the use of animals.