Maxwell Should Receive Non-Violent, Flesh-Free Meals—and so Should All Other Inmates
For Immediate Release:
October 27, 2020
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
New York – Following reports that the prison isn’t feeding vegan Ghislaine Maxwell plant-based foods, PETA sent a letter this morning to Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) Brooklyn Warden Derek Edge offering its help and experience in working with other prisons to serve meat- and dairy-free meals, which would not only be the humane thing to do but also save the prison costs, reduce violence, and benefit all inmates.
“Regardless of how anyone feels about Ms. Maxwell, no one should be forced to eat the corpse of an animal who felt pain and fear and didn’t want to die,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA will gladly help the MDC make the switch to greens and beans—a healthy, humane, and cost-effective option that holds 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 PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Edge follows.
October 27, 2020
Metropolitan Detention Center
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Dear Mr. Edge,
I’m writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands across New York, regarding reports that you have not accommodated Ghislaine Maxwell’s vegan diet. Regardless of the accusations against her, we ask that you promote nonviolence at the prison by offering cruelty-free food. We have served vegan meals at prisons in the U.S. and Canada and are willing to help with simple ways to accommodate this request. Vegan meals are healthier than others, are easy to prepare, can be less expensive than meat-based dishes, and supply all the nutrients that any inmate needs.
Various prisons—including William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Alabama—have found that giving inmates plant-based meals can be a successful part of a violence-reduction program. Maricopa County Jail in Arizona reported a cost reduction of $273,000 when it switched to all-vegetarian food for its 8,000 inmates, who were impressed by the freshness and quality of the food. Beans, rice, lentils, pasta, potatoes, vegetables, and fruits have all the nutrients that a person needs but at a fraction of the cost of meats and cheeses. Taking meat off the menu would dramatically reduce the amount of water used to produce prisoners’ meals, as it takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce just 1 pound of meat. In addition, a vegan diet would improve inmates’ health, thereby saving taxpayers money by decreasing health-care costs, since vegans have a lower risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes than meat- and dairy-eaters do.
Every vegan meal served at your facility would help prevent animals from coming to a gruesome end. The throats of pigs used for bacon, cows used for burgers, and chickens used for nuggets are all slit, often while they’re still conscious, and their bodies are then cut into pieces. Although none of us can stop all violence, by providing everyone with vegan meals, you have the power to prevent Ms. Maxwell and other inmates from contributing to suffering.
PETA would be happy to help you design a vegan meal plan for the Metropolitan Detention Center. Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.
Very truly yours,
Ingrid E. Newkirk