Animal Protection > Activist Index

[from Bay Area Indymedia]

On March 8 we were informed by Eric McDavid's lawyer that he is now on hunger strike. Last month there was some confusion regarding this issue. At the beginning of February Eric engaged in a brief fast because he could not cope with the food that the jail provided. This was incorrectly interpreted as the beginning of a hunger strike. Later he was interviewed by a jail nutritional nurse who recommended that he be given two vegan protein shakes a day. Eric patiently waited and went through all channels to get these shakes. Finally, after extensive inquiry his family found out that the doctor had denied Eric the shakes, citing the need for a "health reason". Eric believes that it is the jail's responsibility to feed him and has stopped buying food from the commissary. In a declaration submitted to Judge England, Eric wrote "I have done everything possible to get a vegan diet here at the jail, without success. I have written to the jail medical staff, had numerous meetings with jail supervisors, done everything. They will simply not provide me with a vegan diet, for whatever reason."

Without food from the commissary Eric had no protein sources in his diet and was living off of bread and frozen fruit. Then on March 8 Eric informed his lawyer he had stopped eating and began a hunger strike. Eric's veganism has not been taken seriously by the court, but it is an important way of life for him. As he wrote in his declaration, "my vegan beliefs and morality are animated by the way of living which shows a respect for all life, recognizing the rights of living creatures--It is a truly ethical relationship between humans and other living creatures--It is healthier for me and the planet I live on." It is clear that the Sacramento County Jail has no such concerns. Eric's attorney has been untiring in his attempts to improve Eric's confinement conditions while simultaneously working towards Eric's ultimate release. He has appealed the denial of bail, noting in his written motion that Eric is not allowed outdoor exercise or vegan food, is having his mail held up and is being denied a wide range of privileges usually granted to pretrial detainees. Thus far these efforts have fallen on deaf ears.

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