Talk about a killjoy – the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is trying to get one minor league baseball team to “stop glorifying bacon.”
The Lehigh Valley (Pa.) IronPigs made waves earlier this year after unveiling bacon-themed uniforms and even bacon-scented merchandise. But now the PCRM wants the team and its fans to stop pigging out – literally.
In a billboard near the Cocoa-Cola Park, home of the IronPigs, PCRM equates bacon with cigarettes. Cameron Wells, a dietitian with the committee, explain to Lehigh Valley’s newspaper, The Morning Call, that the campaign isn’t just targeting the IronPigs.
"It's really about the larger campaign and really getting the message out that bacon and processed meats really are not safe for consumption,” Wells explained.
Efforts to ban bacon from the ballpark go beyond a billboard. The group also sent a letter to team owners Joseph Finley and Craig Stein.
"When you glorify bacon, you're really glorifying cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity," Wells said in a letter sent Monday to Finley and Stein. "You wouldn't pass out free cartons of cigarettes to the children of the Lehigh Valley, so why provide them with open access to bacon crumbles?"
The move by PCRM hasn’t been well-received by IronPigs fans and even drove one local rabbi to voice his support for bacon, even though it may be “the epitome of all that is not kosher.”
“I find myself bemused by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's recent publicity stunt. I'm not sure this is the way to create change. It is not my place to judge the relative healthiness of bacon; I leave that to families and their physicians,” Rabbi Daniel Stein wrote in an op-ed piece accessible here. “I would suggest, though, that the ballpark is not the place where we seek out our healthiest choices. Instead, it is an opportunity to practice moderation and self-control. If parents are concerned about their children's bacon consumption, it is worth teaching them that, if we want to be healthy, there are foods that we only eat occasionally. To quote Cookie Monster: ‘A cookie is a sometimes food.’”
This isn’t the first time the pro-vegan nonprofit group has targeted meat products.
In 2011, the group put up billboards around Iowa just in time for the World Pork Expo. PCRM also went after President Barack Obama. The group asked Obama to cut cheeseburgers and hot dogs out of his diet and announced a plan to file a Petition of Executive Action to call “an executive order banning staged official photo ops that depict the president, the first family, the vice president and members of the president’s Cabinet with unhealthful foods, including processed meats that can cause cancer and obesity.”