It's Hard To Be Vegan. But What About Being Vegan In Prison?

Sep 30, 2013 12:00 pm

Examining one man's veggie-filled trip to jail

Photo: Sam Horine
Photo: Sam Horine
You'd be hard-pressed to find a prison serving yakko tofu bites for dinner.
 

Vegans are no strangers to getting a raw deal. Menu options at restaurants are limited, to say the least, and many vegans find themselves on the defensive, trying to explain their moral values and principles to close-minded meat eaters. Yes, life can be trying for our herbivorous friends. But just how difficult could it be for them while behind bars?

Vice has published an article by a lifelong activist who spent two years in prison for, among other infractions, releasing thousands of minks from fur farms. Peter Young writes about the overnight transformation of his meals from sesame ginger-marinated seitan and malted carob balls to shreds of iceberg lettuce. He details his struggle to obtain some – any – source of nutrition without consuming meat, dairy or eggs.

As someone whose sole knowledge of our country’s judicial system stems from binge-watching Orange is the New Black, it was fascinating for me to read the ways in which King began to wage a one-man battle to preserve his personal beliefs. His story demonstrates a strong level of courageous dedication – in the form of phone calls, hunger strikes, bartering and black market purchases – and his eventual successes are refreshing encouragement, for vegans and carnivores alike.

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