Cannibal Needs Vegan Meals, Says PETA

After Joseph Oberhansley’s Conviction, PETA Pushes Jail to Serve Violence-Diffusing, Flesh-Free Food

For Immediate Release:
October 26, 2020

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

New Castle, Ind.

Days after Joseph Oberhansley was convicted of murdering and cannibalizing his girlfriend, PETA dispatched a letter to New Castle Correctional Facility Warden Mark Sevier advising him to try to keep Oberhansley’s bloodthirstiness at bay—and promote overall nonviolence at the prison—by providing inmates with strictly all-vegan, flesh-free, bloodless meals.

“Just like humans, other animals feel pain and fear, value their lives, and don’t want to end up having their throats cut for anyone’s plate,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Greens and beans are a healthy, cost-effective option that hold the key to reducing violence in the prison population and throughout any community.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Sevier follows.

October 26, 2020

Mark Sevier


New Castle Correctional Facility

Dear Mr. Sevier,

On behalf of PETA and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands across Indiana, I’m writing to suggest that you prevent new inmate Joseph Oberhansley from being involved in any more instances of flesh-eating while in your custody by providing him with exclusively vegan meals.

In light of his murder conviction for killing his girlfriend and eating her flesh, it seems only fitting to deny him the taste of flesh while he’s in prison. We all learned in basic biology that—just like humans—cows, chickens, and other animals are made of flesh, blood, and bone and that they share our capacity to experience suffering and fear. We also know that—as many documentaries and exposés have shown—animals killed for food are shackled upside down, their throats are cut, and they are sometimes scalded or even dismembered while alive for nothing more than a fleeting taste.

Some prisons—including Alabama’s highest-security prison, William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility—have found that giving inmates vegetarian or vegan meals can be a successful part of a violence-reduction program. Vegan meals are easy to prepare and cost-efficient, and they can help save taxpayers’ money by decreasing prisoners’ health-care costs: Vegans have a lower risk of suffering from heart disease, obesity, cancer, and diabetes than meat-eaters do. In addition, with the world still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, serving vegan meals is a responsible, prosocial move: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 75% of emerging diseases originate in animals and slaughterhouses are hotbeds of COVID-19 infections.

In fact, a vegan meal plan would benefit all your inmates, and we’d be happy to help you in any way we can, including by supplying recipes. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.


Tracy Reiman

Executive Vice President

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