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Sunday, January 06, 2008

PETA Loves Jail?

Okay, so in one of my random visits to the PETA website, looking for fuel for my anti-PETA fire, I had initially stumbled onto a link to GoVeg.com and their "Top Ten Reasons to go Vegetarian in 2008" article, which enraged me horribly. For starters, three of their Top Ten reasons were about being healthy and happy. I know plenty of fat and miserable vegetarians. I'll have to save that rant for another day, because I later stumbled onto a PETA Top Ten list that dumbfounded me.

I'd heard about their list of the top ten vegetarian-friendly colleges. I guess if we shovel all of the college-age liberal hippies into select locations, the sane people will know which ones to avoid. I've got little problem with shining a light on college hippie liberalism and all that jazz. And then there was a reference to the top ten vegetarian-friendly ballparks. This started worrying me, because I didn't think people went to ballparks to enjoy anything other than beer, peanuts, crackerjack, and um that sport. I think it's called "baseball" or something. So apparently baseball isn't a sport that has pissed PETA off yet (unlike basketball and football) and PETA is rewarding those ballparks offering attendees some vegetarian options (because apparently nachos, beer and peanuts aren't good enough for some people). Fine. Promote tourism and try and suck up enough to maybe get ballparks to return the favor somehow. I can stomach that quid-pro-quo of sleazy business.

That's when this article came up: "Top 10 Vegetarian-Friendly Prisons!"

Words fail me.

Okay, now words are passing once again and I can rant about this. PETA has run out of venues that lots of people wind up at and might be interested in a vegetarian cuisine, so they offered up a list of PRISONS that cater to the herbivores among the captives. Somehow they bothered to catch on that people would think "um, so they're trying to convince people to go to jail?" and offered this statement: "I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if this latest top 10 list gets you all amped about the prospect of going to one of these prisons, you may want to set some slightly more ambitious goals for yourself … but for the people who—through bad luck or poor planning—are on their way there, this will come as some very good news."

So then they go into a shpiel about prisoners who want to better themselves, or possibly punish their taste buds as much as their prison-raped anuses, and eventually go into the list of vegetarian-friendly prisons and the menu items they offer which got them on the list. Some of these items just sound incredibly terrible...

Vegan hot cakes (I hope this is talking about pancakes and not something else), meatless chicken macaroni casserole (which most of us would call "macaroni casserole", but they apparently put fake chicken in it), soy Salisbury steak (as if regular Salisbury steak served at a prison weren't bad enough), baked macaroni crumble (it shouldn't count on the list if it doesn't say "vegetarian or vegan" since that's just a regular item! That's like saying they're vegetarian-friendly because they serve Diet Coke!) and possibly one of the grossest menu items I've heard of: vegetarian shepherd’s pie with texturized vegetable protein. I don't know where to begin with insulting this dish. I eat Slim Jims, which contain on their ingrediant list "mechanically separated chicken" - and you know what? That still sounds more appetizing than "texturized vegetable protein" ever will!

It gets better, though. They thought that naming these prisons would bring some kind of glory to them in some way - that they'd be thanked for bringing this vegetarian-friendliness to light - and that's just not the case. North Dakota (#10 on the list) offered these responses:

Wade Moser, executive director of the North Dakota Stockmen's Association in Bismarck, wouldn't bite. "It's just one of the tactics PETA uses to get attention," he said. "It doesn't deserve comment."

Tim Schuetzle, warden of the North Dakota pen and director of the state prison system, said the inclusion of vegetarian meals on his menu "really was in response to religious diets" required by some prisoners.

"It's a tenet of their religion that they don't eat meat," he said. "There are some who have special diets for medical reasons, too. It's not like the prison is promoting vegetarianism or coddling prisoners with a fancy dining experience, he said. "We're not saying, 'Here's our salad bar, and would you like tofu with that?'"


Even more luckily, the non-vegan egg on PETA's face gets even stickier when I found out that one of PETA's biggest and most-popular current enemies might not be in jail for as long as they thought!

That's right - Michael Vick might not be in jail quite as long as originally planned. PETA advocates were practically dancing when the judge ruled a 23-month sentence was in order, which is typically a longer sentence considering the crime. Yahoo! Sports is reporting, though, that it's possible he might be able to shave 12 months off that sentence. It's all because of marijuana, too. The same failed drug test that could possibly have led to the increased prison sentence might prove to be the reason for a reduced sentence.

Apparently the drug treatment program he was able to enter into thanks to the positive test for marijuana, which is only in place at the Leavenworth federal penitentiary, allows inmates to wipe off up to a year of their sentence if they complete the drug treatment program. Thing is, in order to get the time cut off his sentence, he'd have to be in the program for a year. And since he hasn't started yet, he's still looking at a good chunk of his sentence. Even so, he might only have to serve 12 or 13 months of the 23-month sentence because of it, and Yahoo! Sports said (possibly jokingly) that he could be back for the 2009 football season.

I mean provided he gets his indefinite suspension lifted, passes various drug tests, and finds a team that would sign him after all of this negative press surrounding him that would certainly taint any team that hires him.

But hey, stranger things have happened. And I'd just love to see PETA get all ruffled about their victory becoming a disgraceful defeat in the end...

(The PETA article about veggie-friendly prisons)
(The response from North Dakota)
(The article about Michael Vick)


1 comment:

CresceNet said...

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