Vegan Physicians Group Launches Anti-Cheese Campaign

by Sarah Activism, Healthy LivingComments: 46

A PETA affiliated vegan group calling itself The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has launched multiple anti-cheese billboards in locations including Wisconsin and New York.

The huge Wisconsin billboard was originally planned to feature the grim reaper wearing a cheesehead hat right near Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers, of all places.  In New York, the billboards featured bloated bellies and dimpled thighs as the “inevitable” result of cheese consumption.

When Foamation, the company which holds the cheesehead trademarks got wind of the plan, it threatened legal action causing the billboard vendor to refuse to put up the ad in its original cheesehead form even after the vegan physician group offered reimbursement for any legal expenses.

As it turned out, the billboard went up anyway but with a hatless grim reaper warning that “Cheese can sack your health. Fat. Cholesterol. Sodium”.

It seems that the vegan physicians didn’t get the memo from the World Health Organization (WHO) that more than half of the sixteen million deaths each year from cardiovascular disease occur in those consuming plant based diets.

I guess they also missed the research that aged cheese is one of the highest foods in Vitamin K2, a critical nutrient known to be highly protective against all degenerative illness including heart disease and cancer. Vitamin K2 is also very difficult to get enough of in the diet and plenty of cheese goes a long way toward filling that nutrient gap.

Perhaps this is why people so instinctively desire cheese given its prominent standing as the #1 most stolen item in the world!

Clearly, this round is a knock out by the cheeseheads.


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source: Heart of the Matter: Sulfur Deficits of Plant Based Diets, Dr. Kaayla Daniel

Comments (46)

  • Melanie Dodson

    @Rebecca… it is not your RIGHT or entitlement to cause suffering or death in another so that you can eat its flesh and fluids. Since it is not Necessary for humans to eat animals products (much science has even shown animal products to be the source of disease in humans), then it is unethical to do so as it causes suffering in these animals. For this reason, to equate the “right” of a vegetarian to eat vegetables with the “right” of a non-vegetarian to eat meat is a fallacy.

    March 14th, 2013 4:55 pm Reply
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    February 28th, 2013 12:42 pm Reply
  • sharon

    That billboard is in really poor taste…PETA always takes things way too far. They’re extremists if I’ve ever seen any.

    That being said, I follow a plant based diet because of milk and egg allergies, and a general aversion to meat and seafood. Legumes, nuts, seeds, cabbage, brussels sprouts, onions, leek, garlic, watercress, kelp, grape juice, coconut milk and avocado are all excellent, non animal, sources of dietary sulfur, the nutrient deficiency cited in that WHO study. That study was done on malnourished Chadians. Not really the same as someone consuming a well-rounded plant-based diet, which would include plenty of the foods I mentioned above. I eat my weight in avocados daily. Kelp, not so much.

    September 26th, 2012 6:09 pm Reply
  • Rebecca

    I’m trying to boost my immune system and the gentleman I buy my supplements from told me that the better aged the cheese is that I eat the healthier it is. Now that does not mean CHEESE FOOD… that’s no more real cheese than I am Snow White. 😀 My dear husband stored extra sharp cheddar cheese in our frig which means that the longer it stays there the SHARPER it gets. I eat some but not like he used to.

    But OMG it’s WONDERFUL and when I go home to visit my son and DIL I always take some along. My DIL is a farmer’s daughter, and her father also owns a butcher shop. She snatches the cheese and cuts a pound right away and we munch on the the entire week I’m there. She said she’s been trying to “shadow” a full wheel into a back area of the butcher shop to age, but can’t seem to get away with it. LOL She knows good food when she sees it.

    April 20th, 2012 11:08 am Reply
  • Donna

    But the who article does not say that. High fat and sugar and salt is the cause. Plant based is different than vegan or vegetarian so don’t confuse them.

    April 20th, 2012 9:59 am Reply
  • Amanda here is the link to W.H.O. that mentions the statistics on cardiovascular disease. It says the 17.3 million people die from CVD and that 80 percent of these deaths are in low-middle income countries. These countries are referred to in the W.A.P. article that Sara referenced. I can’t say for sure what the diets in these countries are, but agree that highly refined carbs and sugars as well as toxic vegetable oils are the main cause of all our health problems here in the U.S.

    April 16th, 2012 9:09 am Reply
  • Mountain

    Hey Sarah, can you link me that WHO study on cardiovascular disease and plant-based diets? I couldn’t find it via google.

    April 16th, 2012 12:51 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Full article sourced at the end of the post.

      April 16th, 2012 8:03 am Reply
  • Meagan

    I bet they secretly eat cheese in their own homes.

    April 15th, 2012 11:31 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Too funny! hahahahaahahh

      April 15th, 2012 2:56 pm Reply
      • Meagan

        They’re all closet cheesologists!! haha

        April 15th, 2012 4:17 pm Reply
  • Our Small Hours

    Unbelievable. Even when I went through my (thankfully brief) vegan stage, I admitted that I would probably slip-up and eat cheese from time to time. Of course, then I didn’t know the health benefits. I just knew that eating cheese made me happy.

    April 15th, 2012 9:43 am Reply
    • Nicole, The Non-Toxic Nurse

      Cheese makes me happy too! Cheese is actually recommended by savvy mental health counselors for folks have the blues (and are not on MAOIs). Before the “do you have a peer-reviewed citation for that statement” police jump down my throat, no, I do not have a reference handy. (That is what PubMed and Google are for). Suffice it to say that when I was earning my first degree, in psychology, from an accredited college, in the late 1990s, it was something that was taught to me by several of my PhD-level professors. Something in cheese is a pre-cursor to serotonin–I can’t remember what. Eric Braverman’s book “Younger, Thinner You Diet,” may mention this too. While I never read his book with the intent of following any diet plan he suggests, Braverman’s book is an excellent reference for ascertaining which foods elicit which neurotransmitter(s) and how to improve your mood with food.

      April 15th, 2012 2:34 pm Reply
  • Aimee

    I’m a college kid, with with a dual emphasis major in human and molecular biology, pre-med, and a culinary minor. Basically, when I don’t have time to eat anything I grab a few ounces of raw cheddar or jack and some whole-fruit juice, and go to class/work. Raw cheese is one of my favorite foods because it is so nutrient packed, and convenient. One of my favorite breakfasts when I have a little more time is a well-buttered toasted sprouted grain english muffin, 2 eggs, fried, soft-boiled, scrambled, an apple and an ounce or two of cheese, and (guilty pleasure) a cappucino with espresso and raw goat’s milk. Keeps me going all day!

    April 15th, 2012 9:36 am Reply
    • Ariel

      OMG, another college girl, too, and your favorite breakfast is litterally identical to my favorite breakfast (minus the cappucino, caffine gives me a headache). Real Food = Brain power!

      April 15th, 2012 10:16 am Reply
  • Ariel

    Now I want some cheese… I think I’ll go grab a couple of slices of grass-fed gouda, and a bit of raw grass-fed cheddar. Pair this with an apple and a cup of warm raw milk with cinnamon, and we have a breakfast of kings! 😀

    April 15th, 2012 9:15 am Reply
    • Rebecca

      Yummmm Unfortunately I live in a state that has outlawed RAW MILK for human consumption. :( How crazy is that ? I’m seriously thinking about using my 7 acres for at least a cow ! Just so I can get milk.

      April 15th, 2012 9:26 am Reply
      • Aimee

        You should do it! Or try dairy goats! That is what my family has to do, and I am at a college 2 hours away from my farm, so my family runs me raw milk (moo-shine) every two weeks.

        April 15th, 2012 9:38 am Reply
        • Rebecca

          Love it Aimee… :) moo-shine hehehe The cows across the lane are loose right now.. maybe I can rustle up the holstein and milk her out and then send her back home. 😀 Ya think they would miss a few gallons of milk?

          April 20th, 2012 11:02 am Reply
  • Ashleyroz

    They should tell that to Dave Nunley. While I wouldn’t say he radiates glowing health, the man has been living on nothing but mild cheddar for 30 years and doesn’t seem to be overweight.

    April 14th, 2012 11:34 pm Reply
  • Beth

    Me, too. I have a sudden hankering for a chunk of gouda. Thanks for posting about this preposterous stunt.

    April 14th, 2012 10:54 pm Reply
  • AmandaLP

    Max McCalman, one of the more famous cheese people. Wrote an excellent rebuttal to this.

    Choice quote: “Cheese is such a near-complete food (especially the high-fat cheeses) that we can reach satiety long before we have consumed excess calories, calories which in turn lead to weight gain if not expended.”

    I also just found a source of grass fed, never heated past 102 degrees local raw Gouda!

    April 14th, 2012 8:59 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Gouda is so GOOD-A

      I think I may go have a slice of raw gouda myself right now …. great late evening snack. Sleep like a baby.

      April 14th, 2012 9:56 pm Reply
  • Sue

    Vegan physician = oxymoron

    April 14th, 2012 8:26 pm Reply
    • Rebecca


      April 15th, 2012 6:45 am Reply
    • Ariel


      April 15th, 2012 10:17 am Reply
  • Nancy

    Hi Sarah! Could you post a link to where WHO states that “more than half of the 16 million deaths each year from cardiovascular disease occur in those eating plant based diets.”. I looked on their website and can’t find it. The only thing I could find was their recommendation to eat MORE vegetables and fruits.

    April 14th, 2012 5:58 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      See source article at the bottom of the post.

      April 14th, 2012 6:03 pm Reply
  • megan

    I lose weight when I have no dairy. Every time! It was made by God to make cows big fast. That is what they are. Lost 106 lbs in 2 years and that is what I cut. I’m preg and everyone says I’ve lost weight. Still not eating dairy. It makes me hurt all over and have breathing issues. Stop knocking vegetarians and they may just stop knocking meat eaters.

    April 14th, 2012 5:09 pm Reply
    • Nicole, The Non-Toxic Nurse

      If you are allergic to dairy and/or feel better off of it, then don’t consume it. No one is telling you to do otherwise. It is simply not ethical to put a photo of an overweight individual on a billboard and blame it on animal food (a single animal food no less) when the main reason that many Americans are overweight is overconsumption of high-calorie, low-nutrition, sugar-laden foods and foods made with vegetable Franken-fats. Ironically, the gut dysbiosis and inflammation, caused in part by overconsumption of sugar and carbohydrates in most Americans, is probably what lead to your dairy intolerance in the first place. Your having a dairy intolerance does not give an unethical group of vegan doctors the right to make up their own science, nor does what any meat eater says about any vegetarian.

      April 14th, 2012 5:46 pm Reply
      • Nicole, The Non-Toxic Nurse

        P.S., What is actually given to cows to fatten them up is carbs: grain or corn. Hence the term “grain finish” equating with meat that is more marbled with fat. Ask any farmer or butcher.

        April 14th, 2012 5:59 pm Reply
    • Helen T.

      Shouldn’t we be talking about WHICH dairy? Velveta vs. raw milk cheeses, especially raw goat’s milk cheeses: industrial cheese vs. natural, enzyme rich cheeses. We’re not talking about the same thing AT ALL! Everyone is aware that many lactose intolerant people don’t have the symptoms anymore once they switch to raw dairy.

      April 15th, 2012 2:46 am Reply
    • Rebecca

      Sorry but the Vegans have upped the anti by sending their lobbyists in to make laws to damage farming and pet ownership. They will NEVER stop knocking meat eaters and are intent on destroying our lifestyle. If they would just realize that we have the RIGHT TO EAT MEAT the same as they have the right to eat vegetables there wouldn’t be a problem but they don’t. There are more and more laws being made to eliminate animals… so there is no stopping them WITHOUT KNOCKING THEM DOWN.

      It used to be funny and a nice debate between vegetarians and non vegetarians… but they can’t be happy that we all have rights. They have taken it to an all out war. I WILL fight for my right and FREEDOM to EAT what I want and my darling late husband defended that right as a MSGT in the military for 43 years. So…. Don’t Tread On Me.


      April 15th, 2012 6:45 am Reply
  • Linda

    Peta has their own agenda. It’s not about health. And it’s definitely not about what is good for animals.

    April 14th, 2012 3:54 pm Reply
  • Erika

    I’m somewhat new to traditional eating, but I’ve lost 2 pants sizes in a short few months while transitioning from 18 years of vegetarianism to a traditional diet, that includes more (raw) cheese than I ever thought I would eat. Amazingly enough, I don’t get the “lactose intolerance” symptoms with raw dairy, fancy that! Like Nicole said, I was hungry all the time as a vegetarian, but now, I eat when I’m hungry, stop just before full, and struggle to be hungry for 3 meals a day.

    Somehow it doesn’t surprise me that PETA is behind some anti-animal food campaign. Since when do people take nutrition advice from animal rights lobbyists? Oh, wait, they take nutrition advice from professionals with very little background in nutrition, but lots of background in pharmacology and anatomy…

    So thankful for blogs like Sarah’s to keep me up to date on the happenings in the “nutrition world,” as well as all the amazing info provided to learn this new-old way of eating!


    April 14th, 2012 3:30 pm Reply
  • Nicole, The Non-Toxic Nurse

    I was heavy once in my life–it was when I was a vegetarian. To lose the weight I followed Atkins for a year. To keep the weight off, I never went vegetarian again. Add me to the club of women who have had a child and yet can fit back into their “skinny jeans” while eating meat and cheese. Furthermore, I also have hypothyroidism and PCOS, which make it even more likely that I would have a problem losing the pregnancy weight. I now wear between a size 0 and a size 4 jeans, depending on the brand. When I was a vegetarian I wore a size 12 or 14 jeans, despite the fact that I was 15 years younger back then. When I was a vegetarian I was never satisfied and ate constantly. It is likely that my body was crying out for fatty acids, despite the fact that I took vegetarian oils and plenty of vitamin/mineral supplements. I also suspect that it was my reliance on soy as a vegetarian source of protein, from the time that I was 14 to the time that I was 22, that actually led to my developing PCOS. My body was so full of plant estrogens that it just stopped making its own estrogen. Plant estrogens fill up the receptor sites, so your body’s estrogen never gets used. The body takes this to mean that it can go ahead and downregulate its estrogen production. Unfortunately, it was only in recent years that I learned I must avoid soy and such damage is not easily undone. Maybe we should put up a billboard of me with my hair falling out from low estradiol (think balding at the temples), horrible acne, an ultrasound of my ovaries chock full of cysts, and a baby carriage with a line through it, with the message, “This is your hairline, your skin, your ovaries, and your fertility on soy! Eat up!” If folks choose to be vegetarian that is fine with me, but the physicians suggesting that heavy folks are heavy simply because they eat animal products is inappropriate and not in line with scientific fact. The vegan physicians should be ashamed of themselves! I have heard outrage over these billboards from friends who are vegans and from vegans on the Web.

    April 14th, 2012 3:11 pm Reply
  • Monica

    I can’t only occasionally get raw milk cheese from the farm that I buy my milk from, otherwise we use the regular store cheese. Is that cheese alright to consume? We are hispanic so we eat a lot of cheese! I’ve just started on the road to traditional foods.. would I need to give up the regular store cheeses?

    April 14th, 2012 2:28 pm Reply
    • Vicky

      Hi Monica… Not sure where you live, but I found raw-milk cheese at Sprouts today {I live in Texas}. I think the brand was Organic Valley. I bought the mild cheddar, and I think they had a couple of other types that were made from raw milk. If you don’t have a Sprouts near you, you might check similar stores to see if they carry it. Good luck!

      April 14th, 2012 11:38 pm Reply
  • Ariana

    Even people who don’t know much about proper nutrition should know that cheese doesn’t make you fat. Atkins laid that myth to rest years ago. Also, doesn’t everybody know that its refined carbos that gives you a spare tire? So, hopefully this billboard will not affect most people. It’s pretty disgusting either way.

    April 14th, 2012 2:12 pm Reply
  • Judith

    Yep, that’s a beer belly, grain belly, or processed carbs belly. Not from cheese! Everything they say is so wrong.

    April 14th, 2012 1:19 pm Reply
  • Rebecca

    Excuse me BUT… that belly is not a cheese belly. That is a BEER belly. I lived with an alcoholic with a belly such as that and even though he ate a lot of cheese, when he cut back on beer, the belly disappeared. Yes over eating can cause problems but cheese alone is NOT going to do it. PETA needs to pay attention to solving their own problems like their 95% KILL RATE for adoptable pets. HSUS gives less than 1% of their buckets of money to help animals. It all goes into their pension funds and lobbyists and the same with the ASPCA. They lie and make people thing they have shelters … they DON’T. Neither does the HSUS.

    Hypocrisy at it’s finest.

    April 14th, 2012 12:00 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist


      April 14th, 2012 12:55 pm Reply
  • Leslie

    It’s ridiculous– they have targeted Albany (close to where I live). I don’t think they’re gaining a whole lot of support!

    April 14th, 2012 11:30 am Reply
  • Kelli

    Cheese is one of the most nutrient dense foods. Its stupid how this simple fact is missed in the anti-fat propaganda.

    April 14th, 2012 10:37 am Reply
  • Sarah @ Real Food Outlaws

    So insane! I love cheese and am not fat even after having 4 babies! Such propaganda!

    April 14th, 2012 10:32 am Reply
  • Anastasia @ eco-babyz

    Yeah, I eat cheese every day! Perhaps that’s why I am a whopping 100 lbs even after having two babies, lol. :) Love my full fat raw milk cheese and Gouda, thank you. No advertisement would keep me away from my slice!

    April 14th, 2012 10:28 am Reply

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