In an unprecedented victory, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)—a nonprofit that advocates for disease prevention through diet—successfully ended the animal testing requirement in the American medical school curriculum. With Neal Barnard, MD (whose 18th book, The Cheese Trap, was released this year) at its helm, the organization is changing an industry that, when it comes to the links between animal products and the diseases responsible for the majority of deaths in this country, is filled with ignorance. Comprised of medical professionals, PCRM’s recent successes are proof that the archaic practice of animal testing is nearly over, and institutional awareness of the lifesaving power of a well-planned vegan diet is on its way in. From closing animal labs to opening plant-based medical facilities, one thing is for sure: with PCRM on the movement’s side, the future looks bright for animals and humans. Here are 10 ways this revolutionary organization—named the Editor’s Pick in the 2017 VegNews Veggie Awards—are changing the healthcare industrial complex for good.
1. The Physicians Committee successfully ended the animal testing requirement in the American medical school curriculum. This meant victory for a 31-year campaign! They closed animal labs at two prestigious universities.
2. The University of North Carolina ended the use of animals for medical training after PCRM launched a public campaign. The university also stopped the use of animals for advanced medical training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the use of piglets in a paramedic training course in Houston.
3. PCRM’s groundbreaking Barnard Medical Center—an entirely plant-based model for healthcare located in Washington, DC—has recently seen a massive expansion to meet the growing demand for vegan wellness.
4. Barnard spoke at the recent American Medical Association House of Delegates meeting, which resulted in them issuing a statement encouraging United States hospitals to remove disease-causing foods from their menus, and asking them to include plant-based meals.
5. PCRM filed a lawsuit with a few southern Californian residents to ban processed meats in school lunches, citing that school districts were violating the National School Lunch Act.
7. PCRM campaigned successfully to pull a California bill aimed at increasing revenues for the beef subsidy program.
8. The Physicians Committee, along with several partners, sued the government to force restoration of the US Department of Agriculture welfare database, which was shut down last February.
9. The Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital ended its mandatory medical training that was conducted on live dogs at its Northeast Ohio Medical University. This was due to PCRM informing the university it would file a federal complaint, and would put up billboards pointing to the use of live animals in their program.
10. And, finally, there is nothing more mainstream than The New York Times, and no one says it better than the way they reported it in the monumental article, “The Era of Lab Testing on Chimpanzees is Officially Over”—a groundbreaking story about the chimpanzees who are now headed for sanctuaries after the NIH ceased experimentation, thanks in large to PCRM.