Vegetarian Prisons

by @edent | # # | 3 comments

I once read an excellent article which asked the seemingly simple question "Is Kosher food Halal?" It's worth a read to understand the politics, religion, cultural assumptions, ecclesiastical law, and bigotry behind the two systems of approved food.

To me, the argument is a bit like saying "Who would win in a fight - Chewbacca the Wookie, or Worf the Klingon?" Fascinating, but ultimately the product of two imaginary systems with no real world relevance.

Sadly, we live in a world where we have elevated personal delusions to a position of unassailable rights. If you claim to be a follower of a specific religion, you must have your dietary whims catered to by state institutions. For example, British prisons routinely serve Kosher and Halal meals to prisoners who claim faith.

I had wondered whether it was possible to serve both Jewish and Muslim prisoners the same food - one way to save money and reduce complexity. Then it struck me - why not make all prisons vegetarian only.

Vegetarian food is suitable for all religions, prohibited by none, is generally cheaper, requires less preparation, contains a lower risk of food poisoning, and may reduce violent tenancies.

Seriously, what's not to love? Even the Daily Mail can't object to that!

There is a specific Vegan Prisoner Support Group and PETA have compiled a list of the top 5 vegan friendly prisons in the UK.

I'm not claiming that vegetarianism will cure all the world's ills - but surely a cheaper and more nutritious way of feeding prisoners is desirable?

3 thoughts on “Vegetarian Prisons

  1. I thought Kosher and Halal were prepared the same way except one is done in silence and the other with a short prayer beforehand. (also since both religions believe in the same god, just a different messenger, this should not be an issue.) ^_~ but that's just athiest in me speaking...

  2. Martin says:

    Both sets of rules started out as food hygiene routines that were included in religious practices in order to imprint them on the masses and got distorted in the process. So i think those are not completely incomparable.

    Making all prisons vegetarian only would seriously deter me from a life of crime ;-).

  3. This might even give people a pause before committing crime. The prospect of a meat lover having to eat only vegetables and grains for 20 years just might be enough to stop him from robbing that corner Wells Fargo branch. 😉

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