Actress and animal rights activist Pamela Anderson has partnered with PETA to change what prisoners in Louisiana are being fed.
Regardless of your thoughts on plant-based eating, you cannot deny that a diet rich in carbohydrate staples (such as beans, lentils, grains, potatoes, pasta, and oranges) is less expensive than one featuring meat.
In addition to being cheaper, plant-based diets have also been proven to benefit health and the environment. For these reasons, animal rights activist and model Pamela Anderson is pushing for the Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, to modify prisoners’ diets.
According to The Vegan Herald, Anderson is working in conjunction with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to ‘veganize’ the state’s prison food. Reportedly, the move would save the state hundreds of thousands of much-needed dollars in a time when the state is in the middle of a $940 million deficit.
The activist has even offered to cook and serve a vegan lunch to inmates herself if the Governor agrees to her plan. She says that opting for plant-based, meatless fare would save the state over $620,000 annually.
Anderson wrote in a letter to Edwards:
“Beans, rice, lentils, pasta, potatoes and other vegetables, and oranges and other fruits have all the nutrients a person needs but at a fraction of the price of meats and cheeses. There would also be enormous savings on freezer costs and spoilage since most vegan foods and ingredients can be shipped and stored without refrigeration.”
Certain studies have concluded plant-based diets (low in animal products, such as meat, butter, and eggs) to reduce one’s risk of developing diseases of affluence – such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Based on findings by doctors Joel Furhman and Colin T. Campbell, then, it would be reasonable to assume that not only would cutting meat from prison meals benefit the state’s budget, it would reduce health care costs long-term.
It is also pertinent to note that when prisons offered vegetarian meals in the past, aggressive behavior among inmates decreased significantly. Care2 reports that Victor Valley medium Community Correction Facility in Adelanto, California was allowing inmates the opportunity to choose vegan meals under a program called NewStart. In addition to the plant-based cuisine, the program also offered Bible study, job training, and anger management.
Reportedly, aggressive behavior among the convicted individuals decreased substantially, and recidivism rate (rate of re-arrest) also dropped to 2%. The state average in California is over 90%.
A study conducted by the Dutch Ministry of Justice in Holland affirms this. When prisoners were given nutritional supplements, they showed a 34% reduction in violent behavior. One of the theories is that high copper contributes to aggressive behavior and that zinc (received through a more mineral-rich diet or a supplement) helps balance this.
By no means is a nutritional supplement a replacement for healthy, plant-based cuisine, which is why PETA and Pamela are striving to change what prisoners are fed in Louisiana.
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