Pamela Anderson joined Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio this week in helping inmates prepare and serve lunch in the country’s first all-vegetarian jail.
Anderson and PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews cited Phoenix as a model as they urged jail and prison administrators across the country to drop meat in exchange for healthy, cost-effective meals that save money and teach inmates empathy.
“I believe people can be rehabilitated from the inside out,” says Anderson, a long-time vegan. “Jails are full of people wanting to change, and learning healthier daily habits and embracing compassion are a great way to do that.”
Eliminating meat from jails saves Maricopa County taxpayers over $200,000 each year, vastly reduces refrigeration costs, and results in healthier meals that don’t spoil as quickly as those made from animal products. Last week, the federal panel charged with making official dietary suggestions recommended a vegan diet for the first time.
Sheriff Arpaio, whose jail holds 8,300 inmates, says, “When other jails and prisons see how dropping meat boosts the health of inmates while saving taxpayers money, I think they’ll consider adopting the policy.”
PETA has helped “veganize” menus at universities, corporations, and sports arenas and, using Maricopa County as a model, will formally approach other jails and prisons across the country.