March 31, 2010
Subject: (US) A Prisoner Seeks Vegan Food in Prison: Why Refusing Him is
Both Illegal and Foolish
FindLaw - opinion]
In February 2007, Paul Cortez was convicted of the murder of his girlfriend,
Catherine Woods. From the beginning, Cortez has denied any involvement in
his girlfriend's death, but the question of his guilt or innocence is not the
subject of this column.
Approximately two years ago, Cortez decided to become a vegan. Disturbed by the
ubiquitous aggression and cruelty in prison, Cortez became unwilling to
participate in the violence involved in producing the food that most people
(including prison inmates) daily consume: the flesh and bodily secretions of
slaughtered sentient beings.
The prison where Cortez resides, however, has refused to accommodate his diet
and has instead offered him so-called "vegetarian" options (including fish as
well as dairy and eggs, products of what are perhaps the cruelest practices in
animal agriculture) .
This column is about the various ways in which the prison's refusal to provide
vegan food to Cortez and other vegan prisoners represents an enormous legal and
-- full story:
news.findlaw. com/colb/ 20100331. html