Let me start off by saying thank you so much for caring about us incarcerated vegans. I became vegan in 2005 after my Mom gave me the book, Skinny Bitch It opened my eyes to what I was actually eating and it grossed me out. I am actually a vegetarian now because of the lack of vegan items available here in this state prison, our diet from the kitchen is not very healthy. Our breakfast is either pancakes or oatmeal and we get the same oily peanut butter and jelly sandwich every night for dinner. We get no fresh fruit or vegtables, but the kosher diet does. Most of the women here that take the 7th day Adventist test fail and are forced to eat meat.
Honestly, I am not 7th day Adventist (religion) but I studied really hard and passed the test just so I could get the food. We have to lie and pretend to be something we are not just so we don’t have to eat meat. We are incarcerated because we made a mistake in our life or went down the wrong path. We are here serving our time and working on changing our lives so we can get out and become productive members of society. And yet, we are living a lie the whole time. I feel guilty about it but I just can’t put meat in my body.
Can you please find someone to help us? So many of us vegans are sick and unhealthy in here because we are not receiving the nutrients we need. It makes me so sad. I have tried to write the nutritionist with my concerns about the lack of protein we get and the overload of carbohydrates, but I am constantly shut down or ignored. We need someone like you on the outside that understands why we don’t want to eat meat, someone who cares about us, and our health.
I have 10 more years to serve and I pray that something changes in our food choices. I know some people feel that we don’t deserve good food since we are prisoners. If you only knew some of our stories and why some of us are here serving time. I would ask people to please not judge us. We are human, we all make mistakes on our journey in life. People do not consider the fact that when we get out we will either be healthy or we will be sick. If we are sick, we will continue to be a drain on the medical system. When I get out I will still have a lot of life left in me and I know that consuming dairy is taking years off my life, but what choice do I have? The dairy we get in here is the lowest possible form from the barrel with every kind of chemical and waste available.