Group Offers Plan to Improve Kids’ Health, Spare Animals’ Lives and Save Taxpayers Money

For Immediate Release:
5 December 2013

Wagga Wagga –  PETA has sent a letter to Narelle Fitzgerald, manager of Riverina Juvenile Justice Centre, urging her to follow the lead of “no-bull” Sheriff Joe Arpaio in the US and stop feeding prisoners cows, pigs, chickens and other animals. Arpaio recently instituted the vegetarian programme in Maricopa County, Arizona, jails to save taxpayers money. Not only is a plant-based diet less expensive than a meat-based one, it also saves animals’ lives, protects prisoners from serious illnesses that can cost the state a small fortune to treat and is a great way to promote compassion and non-violence among inmates.

“It doesn’t make sense to feed young offenders some of the most expensive food on the market when they can get all the nutrition that they need from healthy vegan options while saving taxpayer dollars”, says PETA Australia Director of Campaigns Jason Baker. “The fact is that vegans and vegetarians are healthier than meat-eaters are, and they save animals’ lives.”

The consumption of meat and dairy products has been linked to obesity, and young people are especially at risk. Studies have found that once children or adolescents become overweight, they are less likely to return to a healthy weight. Health problems associated with obesity include cardiovascular disease, cancer, sleep apnoea, type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal problems and hypertension. According to figures from the National Health Performance Authority, Wagga Wagga is one of the most obese areas in New South Wales. People on the outside who want to give a plant-based diet a try can order PETA’s vegetarian/vegan starter kit for free at The guide includes easy-to-follow recipes, tips for making the transition and information about meat’s devastating effects on animals and the planet. A copy of the kit was sent along with the letter to Fitzgerald with an offer to supply additional ones to the prison.

As an incentive, PETA also offered to pick up the tab for a professional chef to work with the prison to implement the new menu.

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