The Measure of Progress: Twenty Years of Responsible Medicine
Dear Friends of PCRM,
It has truly been an amazing experience to work on our 20th anniversary celebration and fundraiser for the last several months. Best of all, it has given us the opportunity to connect with so many of our members from around the world!
We realize that fund-raising events of this type can be cost prohibitive for some members, but we greatly appreciate the financial and moral support of all of you who are able to join us in D.C. and those who are celebrating with us in spirit.
When one cares about animals, some days can be difficult, given all the horrible news of animal suffering. Even as I write this, a very distraught coworker just told me of seeing someone get on a bus with a live chicken stuffed in a plastic bag. Humanity’s treatment of animals can make us feel hopeless and overwhelmed.
But, when we look back at PCRM’s accomplishments over the last 20 years, we see that we have made an enormous difference. Instead of 126 medical schools routinely using dogs and other animals in medical training, there are now only 21. Think of how many animals our work has saved over the years: the number is in the thousands. And think, also, of how many medical students have learned about compassion and ethics by not having to take the life of another living being unnecessarily.
And that’s just one of PCRM’s successful campaigns. We save countless animals when we no longer think of them as food. Human health improves as well when we learn that meat-based diets are one of the leading causes of heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers. The work we have done to educate people about the benefits of a vegan diet, through classes, media, and clinical research, has resulted in millions of saved lives—chickens, cows, pigs, turkeys, sheep, fish, and people.
There is a common mantra woven through human dependence on animals. We hear excuses such as “There is no better way,” or “It’s how we’ve always done things,” or “Our use of animals is steeped in tradition.” PCRM is successful because we force people to rethink these dogmas, to look at more advanced and more humane methods of teaching, testing, and living.
The 20th anniversary celebration gives us an opportunity to look at some of the positive changes that have come out of our work. We spend one night coming together to commemorate some of the victories that are only possible with the support of members like you. We hope this event will help increase public attention to our work because cruelty is only able to thrive in the darkness of ignorance. We thank Alec Baldwin, Alicia Silverstone, Daryl Hannah, Morgan Spurlock, Henry Heimlich, Emmylou Harris, and the many other generous celebrities for helping us make the light a little brighter!
Every one of our members has made a difference in our work. Please know that we thank you all.