Monday, August 8, 2011

How much punishment is too much?

I was reading VegNew's article, Man Denied Veg Meals in Jail today and what surprised me the most was some of the reactions of the readers.

"Stay out of prison and you'll have the freedom of eating whatever you choose."

"It matters to me what crime he's in for..."

"Maybe that will work as incentive for him (and other vegans) not to go to jail next time?"

"Jail is a punishment..."

What are your thoughts? Should this 70 year old man, who was found innocent and freed, be forced to suffer 99 days without nourishment resulting in 50 pounds of weight loss? So many people feel that jail is punishment and you shouldn't end up in it in the first place...but to what degree to we think punishment goes too far? And why is it okay for someone to declare that they need a special diet because of their religious beliefs, but not be given one because of their moral values? Share your thoughts, friends! I'm curious to know what YOU think.


  1. I'm not a religious person in the slightest. In my mind though, veganism *is* my religion; it's the only moral way I can see to follow The Golden Rule. If people are allowed freedom of religion in jail and are given special diets to accommodate their religious preference, a vegetarian/vegan is part of that, no doubt. You don't have to have a God to have a religion or a belief system.

  2. I couldn't agree more, Chelsea. What surprised me is that the reactions above are from people who subscribe to I was wondering if other vegans feel the same way and how they can be vegan, yet justify their statements.

    It seems to me that the jail system would save a shit ton of money if it STOPPED serving meat (veg diets are proven to be cheaper). If people really think those in jail need more punishment than the system alone, wouldn't denying meat punish more people since the majority of inmates are undoubtedly omnis? Just sayin'...

  3. Prisoners get books they want from the library, they get exercise, why shouldn't they get the diet they want for moral/health reasons? I understand the practical flip side, though: what if every prisoner makes demands? We already spend a boatload feeding the number of people we have locked up. But why do we break world records for how many we DO have locked up? I'd be curious as to what prisons are doing for inmates with gluten allergies etc, and also curious about whether the one in question is a state-run or privatized facility, as the privatized ones are much more into cost cutting.

  4. Me too. I think it would be an interesting study actually. Maybe it's already been done? I have no clue...but this news story has certainly started up some conversations on the topic.