The vegan activists masquerading as a respectable doctors group at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) are going full bore with a campaign to expel meat and dairy foods from schools. But in recruiting Olympic athletes to support its fringe diet advice, PCRM isn’t winning any medals. In a new press release, PCRM reprints letters it likely coached several Olympic gold medalists to write to Congress. The excerpts include the following:
“I always try to set a positive example for young people,” writes Hope Solo, who led the U.S. women’s soccer team to a gold medal victory in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. “I’ve noticed a major factor affecting children’s health is the food they’re putting into their bodies. We need to make sure children grow up with eating habits and lifestyles to keep them healthy.”
“I started competing in gymnastics when I was only 6, so I know how important healthful food is to children’s energy levels and development,” writes Nastia Liukin, the 2008 all-around Olympic champion and winner of five Olympic medals. “If we don’t give students the opportunity to try delicious, healthy foods now, the obesity epidemic is not likely to subside anytime soon.”
Who could disagree? But these athletes may not understand that PCRM’s interpretation of the word “healthy” means nothing but tofu, veggies, and soy milk.
Hope Solo’s profile on USSoccer.com reveals that her “favorite food is Mexican, especially her mom’s tacos.” And Nastia Liukin’s own website proclaims: “Nastia does not follow any specific diet. She eats whatever she likes but by choice she generally prefers to eat healthy foods. Her favorite food is Sushi.”
Is it hypocritical for these two to aid an effort to vegan-ize school lunches? Their own training tables prominently feature plenty of food that PCRM considers strictly off-limits. It may just be that their publicists have been fooled.
Olympic athletes could do far more good (and make a lot more sense) by supporting initiatives to promote physical education in schools. That’s the real culprit behind childhood obesity, not whether kids drink faux milk or the real thing. And as for PCRM? It’s high time the animal rights group stopped peddling its (literal) phony baloney.