Vegan Prison Food – A good start, but what about schools?

Beginning October 2, 2016, The Federal Penitentiary System will introduce vegan prison food to all 102 of its facilities. Unfortunately, this won’t include state prisons, which are far more numerous, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Prison food is usually pretty bleak by any standard, but it’s especially difficult for those who eat special diets, including vegans. Or it was, but that’s about to change.

Why vegan prison food?

You might wonder why prisons are investing in plant-based meals. One of my in-laws served as a chef for a state penitentiary in Oregon, and he said that it was actually a great job. In prison, food is the highlight of your day. If food is awful, it increases the chance of violent conflict. Having decent meals available to inmates comes at a financial cost, but it’s more than compensated by reduced violent incidences and a happier prison population. The penitentiaries know good food makes satisfied prisoners. And that’s a good thing.

Special treatment for the worst of society?

Many will wonder why tax dollars would go to support prisoners on vegan diets. It’s seems absurd when you consider that school children, hospital patients and soldiers have an extremely difficult time accessing suitable vegan foods.

The Federal Penitentiary system is offering vegan food because prisoners want it. In their justification for the new program, they offered survey results as justification for their decision to provide vegan prison meals. It’s clear the Federal Government feels happy prisoners are worth the extra cost.

Prisoners have made their dietary needs heard, we need to work to ensure vegan meals are available in all taxpayer institutions

Prisoners will be receiving meals because they ask for them. They made themselves heard, and Federal Penitentiaries listened.

They say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. This seems particularly true of taxpayer institutions. Prisons are receiving better meal options because frankly, we’re more scared of prison riots than hospital riots! The only way to reform school food is for parents and students to make it a priority.

Are you about the food in your local hospitals and schools? I’d love to hear from you about the food in institutions in your countries. And if you care about this issue, don’t forget to speak up and write your local representative, MP, and school board. Things won’t change unless we make ourselves heard!

What do you think? Join the conversation!

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