Skip to Main Content

Top 10 Vegetarian-Friendly Prisons!

Written by PETA | December 10, 2007

When we announced our top 10 vegetarian-friendly ballparks, part of the idea was to encourage more people to check out a game or two at those stadiums and sample their vegetarian fare. Same sort of deal with our top 10 colleges—one effect of publicizing their veg-friendly cafeterias was that more people would want to go there. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if this latest top 10 list gets you all amped about the prospect of going to one of these prisons, you may want to set some slightly more ambitious goals for yourself … but for the people who—through bad luck or poor planning—are on their way there, this will come as some very good news.

We get calls all the time from inmates who want to make a positive change in their lives by going vegetarian, and in the course of responding to these individuals, we’ve assembled the following list of the top 10 vegetarian-friendly prisons in the United States as a tidbit for curious citizens, a resource for prisoners’ rights groups, and, well, a menu for future inmates. Whichever category you fall into, I hope you enjoy it.

Click here to read Newsweek’s coverage of the story, and check out the top 10 below:

  1. Idaho offers a lentil shepherd’s pie, vegan pizza, vegan Mexican pie, soy patties, soy sausage, veggie loaf, veggie lasagna, veggie meatballs, vegan hot cakes, vegan biscuits, cookies, cakes, pies, and puddings.
  2. Massachusetts offers meatless chicken macaroni casserole, vegetable bologna, veggie burger, veggie meatballs, meatless chicken cutlet, meatless chicken nuggets, vegetable chop suey, vegetarian chicken stew.
  3. Pennsylvania offers tofu cacciatore, soy BBQ, tofu stir fry, veggie burger, soy Salisbury steak, soy meatballs, tofu scramble, soy croquette, soy sausage patties, soy loaf, soy pasta casserole, soy stuffed cabbage and soy stew.
  4. Georgia offers vegan BBQ, meatless deli slices, veggie patty, vegan breakfast patties, vegan chili, baked macaroni crumble, stir fried vegetables and oriental sauce, tofu scramble, vegan cornbread, vegan cookies, vegan cakes, vegan pies, vegan brownies, vegan muffins, vegan peach cobbler.
  5. New Hampshire offers chili with texturized vegetable protein, chop suey with texturized vegetable protein, shepherd’s pie with texturized vegetable protein, veggie links, lentil meatballs, grilled tofu sandwich, vegetarian pot pie, veg stir fry, hummus, veg tacos, veg chow mein, veg stew, and several veg soups.
  6. Utah offers sweet and sour tofu, tofu taco rice casserole, vegetable and tofu chow mein, veggie burgers, veggie dogs, veggie meatballs, tofu ala king, lots of tofu dishes.
  7. Hawaii offers vegetarian shepherd’s pie with texturized vegetable protein, vegetarian stuffed cabbage with texturized vegetable protein, vegetarian stew with texturized vegetable protein, grilled tofu slices, vegetarian teriyaki burger, vegetarian long rice with tofu.
  8. Tennessee offers texturized vegetable protein ala king, vegetarian sweet and sour, veggie burger, veg chili, veg stir fry, texturized vegetable protein country gravy.
  9. Kansas offers a veggie burger, taco crunch, burrito, meatless pasta, meatless chili, loaded baked potato, vegetable rice soup.
  10. North Dakota offers a veggie burger, meatless sloppy joes, veg fajitas, veg noodle stew, veg potato soup.

Commenting is closed.
  • anna says:

    I think the idea is that being falsely convicted is bad luck and committing a crime is poor planning. I’ve had a hard time getting decent vegetarian food in a HOSPITAL. Even if someone committed a crime, I don’t believe that someone should suffer with regular dinners of, say, mashed potatoes without gravy, carrots, and a roll (minus the entree) like I have had to occasionally in “preplanned meal” settings, just for being compassionate. It could effect health over time. Could someone pass along those menus to that hospital?

  • Caleb says:

    I love that they have veganvegetarian options! but seriously they shouldn’t be so good. Prison is a form of punishment.. they definitely shouldn’t be serving desserts! lol

  • r says:

    These are the only states I’ll go to to steal a car…..

  • Jeremy Storly says:

    I can’t believe North Dakota is on the list! I live in South Dakota and I have a feeling I would be forced into starvation unto death if I were incarcerated. In this period of paranoia and unbridled “nationalism” any one of us could potentially end up in prison. This is the legacy that Bush left us.

  • Shelly says:

    Love…you’ve got to be kidding…right? I hope to god you your loved ones or anyone you care about for that matter never gets raped murdered or becomes a victim of one of these prisoners you want to set free. On that note…I do think we have gotten off the point. Everyone should have a choice as to what they put in their body. Period.

  • Mel Ellington says:

    In response to Firesbane “Prisoners dont deserve a choice of food.” What about the animals? Don’t they deserve freedom from being tortured and killed for food? The nobel purpose of egn is for the benefit of animals not to punish people. Firesbane “I’m a better person now. . .” Not all prisoners are recent converts to vegn. I was in jail many times and probably will be again and yet have been vegn for over 40 years. I had to occassionally eat meat and dairy every time I was in jail in order to sustain my health. I requested vegetarian meals to no avail. I sued the State and court system afterwards to no avail. “prisons should not cater to prisoners wants. They are in there for punishment” The problem with that is punishment is irreversable. Once it’s done it can’t be taken back if the prisoner is later exonerated. In addition punishment doesn’t instill corrective behavior it breeds hatred and retaliation against society. Many in jail and prison are innocent. That is a proven fact. More than 100 people have been released from death sentences in recent years because of scientific advances in reading DNA. The law libraries are rife with thousands of cases where people were wrongly convicted and imprisoned for years. I myself was jailed for months in California and Florida for fleeing with my child from abuse. I was captured and my 3 year old child put back in the hands of his abuser while I faced a 5 years prison sentence. A few years later the abusive mother put my child in the hospital with a bleeding and bruised face and a fractured leg. I now have custody and she has supervised visitation. I was innocent but the court didn’t believe me. I was tortured in jail according to International standards re torture and denied a vegetarian diet. America has more people in prison than any other nationincluding more innocent in jail. AmeriKa is free primarily only for those who can $$$ aford it. Certainly not a very free country for animals either.

  • Firesbane says:

    In my opinion prisons should not cater to prisoners wants. They are in there for punishment not for a free ride. Kinda like sending your kid to their room but then giving them candy. If they dont like what is given to them in prison then maybe they should have thought about that before they stole killed or raped. Going vegan or vegetarian does not change what they have done. It doesnt bring back the people they killed it doesnt take away the pain from the people they raped it doesnt give back what they stole. It is merely a way for them to say “Oh look at me Im going veganvegetarian Im a better person now let me out early so I can commit a crime again”. Prisoners dont deserve a choice of food.

  • cookie says:

    I was just wondering if anyone knows if all of these states actually allow the veggie options to anyone in prison. The reason I ask is because I recently took a tour of a jail in Sherburne County MN and asked about veggie options. I was told they were available but only for medical reasons. Which i figured being healthier in general would be a medical reason but it’s not. Inmates actually need to have a medical reason that they aren’t allowed to eat me.

  • Mary says:

    through bad luck or poor planning? are you suggesting we commit a serious crime? just wondering. why isnt california on this list? haha just kidding.

  • Andy says:

    Why not New Jersey in the list ! It repealed Death sentence now it is time to stop killing animals to feed inmates. Providing them VeganVeggie food only so that they remain non violent. I wonder how many VegansVeggie soldiers are fighting war ! It should be difficult for Vegetarians to fight war without consuming meat? No meat No war and peace only in the world! Any suggestionsideas to develop on this theme ?

  • Caboose says:

    janice H h? D00 j00 33d 4 +r4514+0r?!

  • Caboose says:

    Compare it to MREs its always that in EVERY Institution.

  • janice says:

    man they eat better then i do vegan food cost alot!they do crime and they eat better then we law abiding folkd do i hope the gov can help poor folks get vegan food.this is just not fair

  • Caboose says:

    John School food shouldn’t be 100 VEGAN they should have balanced CHOICES.

  • me :) says:

    lucky criminals eat better than me. I’m going to prison thats where the fun is. lol

  • tara says:

    it shouldnt be an ‘either’ ‘or’ issue whe it come s to help the ‘voiceless’ and dog fighting is no less brutal than a factory farmed animal or a neglected pet.. I do have to agree with the girl who mentioned asia because I have been living here for 6 years now..and the one thing that people would not believe is that absolute ignorance towards animal welfare…and seeing a neglected or abandoned animal is the worse because their is literally nowhere to take these animals. there is one shelter in all of Korea..but its not eevn in Korea’s largest city.. I am surprised at very little if any work by animal groups to focus on Korea. ..

  • John says:

    “Ms. Fine should instead connect to the reality that while prisoners are eating better our SCHOOLS are still stuffing kids with unhealthy meat and dairy products thanks to pressure from bigmoney lobbies that get rich off the taxpayer.” THANK YOU!!! I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT THINKS SCHOOL FOOD SHOULD BE VEGAN!

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Nadreas Better get your fish while you can and don’t worry about buying thermometers anymore.

  • Ana says:

    Love So what do you propose society do with the convicted rapists murderers pedophiles et al??? Prisons are for those that have committed crimes and been found guilty in a court of law. Judith Yes I agree!!!!

  • Caboose says:

    Nadreas Dont forget power plants. As long as the bullet isnt lead.

  • Nadreas says:

    The only sensible reason for not eating meat is that it is not very ecofriendly. I recommend changing your diet from red meat to white meat and fish. The Carbon equivalent emissions is considerably lower for white meat and fish. The best thing is as always bring your gun and kill your own meat. Very eco friendly

  • Caboose says:

    Judith Ditto. I want to pull a “Dick Cheyney” on them

  • Michele says:

    “A kid” tell us exactly who gets to decide which animals are okay to eat? Some cultures think it’s okay to eat horses dogs or cats is that okay for you? Also PETA does not put paint on fur coats that is an urban myth. If you want to show how smart you really are read “Animal Liberation” by Peter Singer.

  • A kid says:

    Please Read every thing before deleting it thank you. Hello i am only 15 and i want to say something to PETA. I think what you try to do is good which is helping animals but animals are here to serve humans. They are here for us to eat but of course not all animals are for eating. Also do you think that its smart to put the friendlist prisons for vegians is. That tells every one that your going to be arrest for supporting us thats a little stupid. Also how does it help animals to go into stores and paint the fur coats the animal is most likly dead. hello. Also it doesn’t help because you didn’t stop the animals from dieing anyways. smartones. THe animals they use for coats usually are already dead. So if you want to talk to me go right ahead but i will win ever fight.

  • Love says:

    You have to be joking. If we work so hard to care for animals wellbeing the thought of the prison system in this country should be abhorrent and not tolerated certainly not the matter of a light fluff piece on the top 10 vegetarian “friendly” prisons. If we work for the rights of the lives on nonhuman beings how can we not do the same for human beings. Freedom from incarceration pain violence poverty and suffering should be for all. I’m disappointed in this callous stance. You could have taken the time to write a strong article on the issues of the Prison Industry and how we should be working to help our fellow human beings who suffer inside and out. Please read Angela Davis’ book Are Prisons Obsolete and think long and hard about freedom for all.

  • Hilary says:

    Yay! Thank you Kansas!

  • Eric Miree says:

    I didn’t like what Vick did but what about a black bear? Boycott ESPN CNN YAHOO and every other media outlet that glorified this story!! 5yearold descendant of Davy Crockett kills bear Tre Merrit bags 445pound black bear while hunting with grandfather By Heather Crawford Courtesy of KATVLittle Rock Archive Updated December 11 2007 543 PM ET Comment Email Print 5yearold kills 445pound bear. Courtesy of KATV Little RockDEWITT Ark. A 5yearold Arkansas County boy killed a black bear Sunday weighing more than 400 pounds. Tre Merritt a descendant of Davy Crockett was hunting with his grandfather Mike Merritt when a black bear happened upon their stand. “His 10th greatgrandfather was Davy Crockett” Mike Merritt said. “And Davy supposedly killed him a bear when he was three. And Tre is five and really killed a bear. I really doubt if Davy killed one when he was three.” Mike Merritt was in the stand at the time but said Tre did it all by himself. “He came in about 40 to 50 yards” Mike Merritt said of the black bear “and when he got in the open I whistled at him and he stopped and I said ‘Shoot Tre.'” Tre confirmed his grandfather’s account. “I was up in the stand and I seen the bear” Tre Merritt said. “It came from the thicket and it was beside the road and I shot it.” At first Mike Merritt didn’t think Tre had hit the bear with his youth rifle. “I said ‘Tre you missed the bear’ ” Mike Merritt said. “He said ‘Pawpaw I squeezed the trigger and I didn’t close my eyes. I killed him.”‘ The bear turned out to be 445 pounds 12 times the weight of Tre. Mike Merritt said tears rolled down his cheeks when he found out his grandson killed the enormous bear. Tre Merritt’s father Wheatley said he began teaching his son to shoot when he was just 2 years old and said Tre killed three deer last year. Wheatley Merritt said the family plans to get a lifesized mount of the bear but where they will put has yet to be determined. DeWitt is in rural eastern Arkansas close to the Mississippi River bottoms and near Stuttgart the Duck Hunting Capitol of the World. Frontier hero Davy Crockett was a celebrated 19thcentury American folk hero frontiersman soldier and politician usually referred to as “King of the Wild Frontier”. He represented Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives served in the Texas Revolution and died at the age of 49 at the Battle of the Alamo. Crockett passed through Arkansas on his way from Tennessee to Texas in 1835. While at a Little Rock Pulaski County banquet given in his honor he reportedly stated “If I could rest anywhere it would be in Arkansas where the men are of the real halfhorse halfalligator breed such as grow nowhere else on the face of the universal earth but just around the backbone of North America.” Robert Crockett one of Davy Crockett’s grandsons became the first mayor of Stuttgart Arkansas County after the town incorporated in 1889. The village of Crockett’s Bluff Arkansas County was named in honor of Robert Crockett.

  • Andrew says:

    Good place to start teaching compassion.

  • stasya says:

    i second that lack of food in kansas this place is corn and beef fed not the greatest place for vegans even the stores dont have vegan options

  • Marleah says:

    Wow my home state of Kansas is actually on a vegetarian top 10 list? Too bad it is for vegfriendly prisons.

  • Jay says:

    I would have guessed that California New York or Washington State would have made the list but instead Utah Idaho and Georgia made the list. Good for them. I don’t know why prisons and jails tend to serve such unhealthy food. Food plays a key role in brain chemistry which affects attitudes and behavior. Anyone ever see the movie “Supersize Me” about McDonalds. They discussed one study where a Jr. High for kids with behavior radically changed their menue to be more healthy at lunch time and the behavior problems were dramatically lowered. One thing they did was remove beef from the menu. Besides alcohol and drugs foods high in caffeine sugar fats etc negative affect people’s behavior.

  • fyahu says:

    Hopefully he’ll do half or maybe even a quarter of the time he was sentenced to with good behavior probation.. this is ridiculous. If you guys are really worried about animal rights you should look into the way many asian countries treat their dogs cats and live stock in general. I’m an animal lover myself but I don’t see why so much attention is given by supporters of this organization to this case when there are far greater offenses happening else where. Where’s the common sense and you’re shame in trying to destroy a mans career and kick dirt in his face for a crime he’s already being punished for

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    There are also good and decent folks doing time because of the BUSH CRIME FAMILY put them there. The Bush Crime family calls them the ecoterrorists to me they stand for beautiful and love for the Animals and earth. The real terrorists are the Bush and Cheney crime families. There are many people who whould love to receive letters books vegan goodies etc. I would love to give that site but I will wait until Jack says it’s ok. Judith

  • kelly says:

    Ms. Fine should instead connect to the reality that while prisoners are eating better our SCHOOLS are still stuffing kids with unhealthy meat and dairy products thanks to pressure from bigmoney lobbies that get rich off the taxpayer.

  • kelly says:

    “We get calls all the time from inmates who want to make a positive change in their lives by going vegetarian” Geez there is hope for the planet. This took me by surprise. But I got ticked off at the idiotic quote in the article “The general population isn’t privy to nutritious affordable food while incarcerated persons are?” asks Janet Fine director of the Office of Victim Assistance in Massachusetts” That is NOT TRUE. Healthy choices are readily available to everyone in this country and are very affordable. But most people choose to eat the same old more expensive junk.

  • steve says:

    it always bring a hypocritical smile to my face when hearing about vegfriendly stadiums when there is so many animal products being used by the players in these stadiums….. by peta rights…. there shouldn’t be a single living vegan any where near these stadiums but of course… what fun would that be

  • liliana says:

    Before I had a friend in prison and he told me “they don’t give us to much meat but when I get out I’m going to eat a cow” it’s so good news! they are really changing! I wish for the day when everybody go veg.

  • Kelley says:

    It is amazing the things you can learn by wasting time on the computer. Who knew??

  • Kat says:

    This is a wonderful idea! What better way to promote nonviolent civilized lifestyles among criminals than by offering them meals for which nothing was killed?

  • Bill says:

    California isn’t measuring up?? Damn!

  • Elaine Vigneault says:

    “weve assembled the following list of the top 10 vegetarianfriendly prisons in the United States as a tidbit for curious citizens a resource for prisoners rights groups and well a menu for future inmates.” hahaha! On a serious note I’m surprised by Utah. I thought California would be in there somewhere.

  • Caboose says:

    Wonder if its any good and tastes like u guys say so.

  • Carla says:

    This is GREAT!! Shouldn’t all prisons be “meat free”! Just think of all the healthy people coming out of there when their time is up. This could be part of their rehabilitation! And to the ones who think they need meat in all their meals they eat well this can kind of be a not soo good thing for them at first. You either eat it or starv to death!

  • Michele says:

    Wow!!! I would have never ever ever guessed that!! I have a friend on death row in California and I have always wondered about prison food but never asked.

  • Tamara says:

    I had to smile when I saw this. Pretty timely in my opinion…maybe Michael Vick can go veggie now huh?

  • dw says:

    Hahaha! This is awesome! I added this to digg httpdigg.compoliticsTop10VegetarianFriendlyPrisons