In Memory of Simon Chaitowitz
The animals lost one of their strongest voices when Ms. Simon Chaitowitz, PCRM’s longtime communications director, passed away in April. She suffered from a blood disorder caused by the treatment she underwent for breast cancer.
Simon was a writer, public relations specialist, and tireless animal rights activist who made an invaluable contribution to PCRM’s work.
As communications director, Simon played a key role in bringing attention to PCRM’s campaigns and issues. She brought a powerful combination of passion and expertise to her work, and the result was high-profile media coverage of PCRM’s efforts to promote healthful vegetarian diets and alternatives to the use of animals in experiments and education.
Simon was a talented writer who often drew upon her personal experiences with cancer to illuminate the importance of healthful eating. Last year, after the American Institute for Cancer Research published a groundbreaking report on the link between cancer risk and the consumption of meat, especially processed meats, she wrote an opinion piece that was published in many newspapers.
“I wish I had known how I was risking my health by eating processed meats through so much of my life,” Simon wrote. “When I finally stopped eating meat—too late to help prevent the cancer—it was because of concern over how animals are treated on factory farms. But I quickly learned that vegetarian diets could alleviate an enormous amount of human suffering as well. Now, when I see a teenage girl smoking a cigarette or a young boy eating a hot dog, I wish I had the nerve to tell them what I've learned the hard way.”
Although Simon was born in New Jersey in 1952, she spent much of her adult life in Seattle, enjoying the gorgeous beaches, mountains, and islands in the Northwest. In addition to animal rights, Simon was also involved in various progressive causes throughout her life, including the Green Party, women's rights, and the movement to end the Vietnam War. She and her husband, John Thomas, lived in Washington, D.C.
Simon expressed a desire to be remembered with charitable gifts that mirror her life’s work. To make a charitable gift in Simon’s name, please donate to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the Dr. Hadwen Trust, or to a Humane Seal health charity, rather than to a cancer organization that funds animal tests.
Simon leaves behind her husband, John; her sister, Dina Chaitowitz, and her husband, Bob Lynn, and their son, Sam Lynn; as well as her stepfather, Aaron Schwinger; her stepmother, Cynthia Chaitowitz; her kitty, Fatty; and her many wonderful, close friends. She will be greatly missed.