As Governor of Oregon, I will seek to implement a vegetarian diet in prisons, and in government schools if we cannot close them. By vegetarian, I mean without meat, fish, or poultry, but possibly with dairy and eggs. Perhaps I would implement a vegan diet in prisons, but permit prisoners to purchase forms of dairy products and eggs that do not require refrigeration, like powdered milk and dried eggs, or products containing them at the prison commissary. Forms of meat that did not need refrigeration, and had no disposal problems, like beef jerky, would have to be permitted in packages from outside. A sausage in a plastic wrapper or boiled eggs would not be permitted, because of sanitation concerns in disposing of the wrapper or shells. We are only talking of implementing vegetarian or vegan diet within the prison cafeteria and commissary. Prisoners should probably be offered B12 supplements if they request them. (Powdered milk usually contains B12, which it gets during processing.)
This measure would save the taxpayer a small fortune, not only in prison food costs, but also in refrigeration and disposal costs, and prevention of salmonella poisoning. Additionally, thanks to studies on groups of long-term vegetarians like the Seventh Day Adventists, it has been possible to show statistically that a vegetarian diet leads to lower rates of morbid disease. This would mean an additional huge savings to the prison system in the future in saved treatment costs, or no treatment costs at all on a case that might have arisen from a conventional diet.
Moreover, since the American Medical Association opined, years ago, that a vegetarian diet was a completely healthy diet, there would be no moral reason not to implement it in prisons, in order to protect the property rights of the taxpayers, who must fund the prison budgets. Food costs are obviously a big factor in those budgets.
Lastly, we should not forget the Property Rights of those taxpayers who are observant Hindu-Americans. It is an outrage that their deepest religous sensibilities can be trampled on by the law by forcing them to pay taxes that will go toward the purchase of meat, especially beef. This is equally a crime against the many taxpayers who are Buddhist vegetarians, as well as the many sects within the major Western religions that are strictly vegetarian, like certain Catholic religous orders, and the Seventh Day Adventists. Then add in the the secular, atheistic, and other types of vegetarians, and you have a large number of taxpayers, forced by coercion against their wills, in having to financially support that which they feel to be most morally reprehensible. This should not be, and can be rectified by implementing the vegetarian/vegan plan I outlined above.
Public schools are slightly different in that, since it would probably take a Constitutional Amendment to close the government grade schools, years 1-12, they will unfortunately probably have to be maintained for a few years, much as we’d love to abolish them and liberate the children overnight from their forced dragooning into these horrendous institutions. Children are not criminals, and in the case of prisons above we are dealing with criminals. That means that while school cafeterias should still serve only vegetarian/vegan menus, children should be able to bring whatever they want to school to eat. Also, children need fats for the development of their nerves, so we could not morally put forth a diet in schools that excluded vegetarian products that had fats in them, like whole eggs, whole milk, or low-fat yogurt. Still, these products could be brought to school by the children, if they felt they needed or wanted them, so perhaps school kitchens should also be as vegan in product choice as prisons. That is for public debate.
Prison and government school diet is a very important issue which the bipartisan politicians never talk about. But, if elected Governor, I will.
Let’s protect vegetarian taxpayers who are forced by government to violate their most sacred beliefs. Elect me, and I will implement this very necessary and just reform.
Libertarians can check my name on the Libertarian Primary ballot. Democrats, Republicans, and Communists can write me in.
Paul Grad, paulgrad4governor.wordpress.com