PETA’s Suggestion to Sheriff: Serve Vegan Meals to McDonald’s Shooter

Studies Show That Plant-Based Foods Can Help Control Violence

For Immediate Release:
April 24, 2015

Alexis Sadoti 202-483-7382

Grand Rapids, Mich.

Having the bacon left off her burger was enough to prompt Grand Rapids resident Shaneka Torres to fire a handgun at a McDonald’s drive-through, an act that has landed Torres three to seven years in prison—and now, PETA is recommending that remedial eating be included in her sentence. This morning, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—sent a letter to Kent County Correctional Facility Sheriff Lawrence Stelma suggesting that he consider providing Torres with exclusively vegan meals during her stay.

PETA points out that, in addition to being healthy, cost-efficient, and easy to prepare, vegan meals have been shown to promote nonviolence, something that every jailer would like to see. Several correctional facilities have seen vegetarian diets help improve inmate behavior when used as part of a violence-reduction program. Vegan meals also spare smart pigs, sensitive cows, curious chickens, and other animals what are often miserable lives and terrifying deaths on factory farms, during transit in all weather conditions, and at slaughter.

“Switching to vegan meals might just help this hot-tempered prisoner curtail some of the rage that led to her incarceration in the first place,” says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. “PETA would gladly help the Kent County Correctional Facility develop a menu that’s healthy, humane, cost-effective—and, of course, 100 percent bacon-free.”

PETA’s letter to Kent County Sheriff Lawrence Stelma follows.

April 24, 2015

Lawrence A. Stelma
Kent County Correctional Facility

Dear Sheriff Stelma,

On behalf of PETA and our more than 3 million members and supporters, including thousands across Michigan, I am writing to suggest, with all due respect, that you impose a meat-free meals policy for Shaneka Torres, the woman recently sentenced to prison for firing a handgun at a McDonald’s drive-through after her cheeseburger was delivered without bacon. Vegan meals are healthy and easy to prepare, can be less expensive than meat-based dishes, and would supply all the nutrients that Ms. Torres needs.

Some prison operators—including those at Alabama’s highest-security prison, William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility—have found that giving inmates vegetarian meals can be a successful part of a violence-reduction program. If Torres did, in fact, discharge her weapon at the drive-through window out of rage over her missing bacon, vegan foods could diminish that bloodthirst and might even help protect staff and neighboring inmates. In fact, a meat-free meal plan could benefit all your inmates, and we hope you’ll explore this idea.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, estimates that he’ll save his county $200,000 by eliminating meat from inmates’ meals and providing inmates with healthier and cheaper plant-protein, all-vegetarian meals instead. PETA would be happy to help you design the perfect cruelty-free meal plan for the Kent County Correctional Facility.

You might consider making the whole facility meat-free. Every vegan meal served at your facility would also save animals from coming to a gruesome end. Pigs used for bacon, cows used for burgers, and chickens used for their flesh all have their throats slit, often while they’re still conscious, and their bodies are then dismembered and cut into pieces.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.


Ingrid E. Newkirk

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