In the recent news, former “Baywatch” beauty and an avid animal rights advocate, Pamela Anderson, urged New York Governor to serve only vegan meals in his prison.

In her letter to Gov. Cuomo she wrote:

“I’m frequently in New York, and I’ve been following your admirable efforts to rehabilitate the state’s inmates through education. I have a suggestion that dovetails nicely with your prison reform plans while also helping to resolve the state’s budget crisis. Since New York has over 52,000 inmates, you could save almost $2 million a year and improve the health of the prisoners by switching to nutritious vegan meals in correctional facilities.

If you left meat off menus in the 54 state-run prisons, New York taxpayers would save more than $1.7 million a year. Beans, rice, lentils, pasta, potatoes and other vegetables, and oranges and other fruits have all the nutrients a person needs but at a fraction of the cost of meats and cheeses. There would also be enormous savings on freezer costs and spoilage, since most vegan foods and ingredients can be shipped and stored without refrigeration.

These huge tax savings are based on the $273,000 in reduced costs reported by the Maricopa County Jail in Arizona, when it switched to all-vegetarian food for its 8,000 inmates. Last year, I went there with representatives of PETA to serve lunch to the prisoners and can report that they were impressed by the freshness and quality of the food. If New York follows Arizona’s lead in switching to meat-free meals in jail, I’d be happy to inaugurate the program by helping cook lunch and serve it to the inmates.

Numerous top studies have shown that a plant-based diet significantly reduces the risk of obesity and cancer and can even reverse heart disease and diabetes. Vegan meals would decrease prisoner health-care costs long-term, which would have a significant beneficial impact on New York families, given the increased likelihood of obesity and other chronic diseases contracted while in prison.

It’s heartening to know that you plan to reform New York’s correctional system. I hope you use this suggestion as one way of achieving that end, while also addressing the state’s budget crisis. PETA and I would be happy to work with your team, as we did in Arizona, to create a low-cost meal plan for your correctional facilities. I hope to have the opportunity to help you launch it.”

Unfortunately her suggestions were not taken seriously and even called “absurd.”

“We greatly respect the work that PETA does, but there’s probably a better chance of me being in the Baywatch reboot,” said Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi.

Assembly Correction Committee Chairman, Daniel O’Donnell, added,  “The per-meal inmate cost to feed an inmate is so low there is no humanly way to make it lower.”

However anyone who understands nutrition can see that in the long run vegan diet is less costly due to amazing health benefits. It’s not a radical idea that food and health are interlinked.  Besides mentioned obvious advantages, there’s also mental aspect.

Take cashews for an example. Two handfuls of these delicious nuts will give you a therapeutic equivalent of prescription doze of Prozac. Avocados also contain high levels of Vitamin B6 and Folic Acid, which stimulate the production of Serotonin.

The standard American diet and specially that is served in our prisons lacks nutrition and vitamins that are easily found in plant based diet.

For an example Vitamin C not only a mood elevator, but also an anti-viral, anti-histamine and a blood sugar regulator.  The deficiency of one vitamin in your body can cause many illnesses; thus, one can be a cure for so many.

                            “When in doubt, use nutrition first.”                                                                                                                                                         ~Roger Williams

Documentaries Forks Over Knives and Food Matters (available on Netflix) explain how food effects our body and mind and how we can improve both just by switching our diet.

Also, if you are interested and want to find out how to affordably make a switch, visit websites like Plant Based on a Budget and Eat Vegan on $4 a Day for some guidelines.

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