Actress and animal rights activist Pamela Anderson serves free vegan meals during an event held by Green Party candidate for East Vancouver Bridget Burns to register voters for the federal election, in the downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Wednesday October 9, 2019. Actress Pamela Anderson is asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take meat and milk off prison menus to help the planet and the health of federal inmates, and save taxpayers some cash, to boot. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Actress and animal rights activist Pamela Anderson serves free vegan meals during an event held by Green Party candidate for East Vancouver Bridget Burns to register voters for the federal election, in the downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Wednesday October 9, 2019. Actress Pamela Anderson is asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take meat and milk off prison menus to help the planet and the health of federal inmates, and save taxpayers some cash, to boot. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Pamela Anderson asks Trudeau to serve inmates vegan meals to save cash

Anderson says a jail reduced costs by $273,000 when it switched to vegetarian meals

Actress Pamela Anderson is asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take meat and milk off prison menus to help the planet and the health of federal inmates — and save taxpayers some cash, to boot.

The former Baywatch star makes the pitch in a letter to Trudeau part of her work with the animal-rights group PETA, writing that she hopes Canada embraces what she calls a “simple but effective way to reduce costs and improve lives.”

The Ladysmith-born actress wants Canada’s federal penitentiaries to serve vegan meals of beans, rice, lentils, pasta, vegetables and fruits, which she bills as sources of all the nutrients one would need, “at a fraction of the cost of meats and cheeses,” since most vegan ingredients don’t need to be refrigerated.

In its most recent departmental plan, Correctional Service Canada says it provides nutrition “sufficient in quality and quantity” and in line with the Canada Food Guide.

Anderson says the newly retooled food guide put less of an emphasis on eating meat and dairy, instead suggesting more plant-based proteins in Canadians’ diets.

Her letter also points out a UN climate panel report calling for a dietary shift to help combat climate change — another interest for the actress who backed the Greens and their leader Elizabeth May in the just-concluded federal election.

Four years ago, Anderson travelled to Arizona to serve vegetarian meals to the approximately 8,000 inmates at the Maricopa County Jail alongside Joe Arpaio, the controversial local sheriff who made the decision. Arpaio estimated the move would save US$100,000 a year.

Anderson says the jail reduced costs by $273,000 when it switched to vegetarian meals, although reported savings vary widely.

She says the savings could be even higher for Canada’s almost 40,000 inmates — a number that includes inmates in provincial jails, which fall outside federal jurisdiction.

A report in May from Statistics Canada said that in the fiscal year 2017-18, there were on average 24,657 adult inmates in provincial or territorial jails, while the federal portion was 14,129.

READ MORE: Pamela Anderson returns home to enjoy ‘peace and solitude’ of Ladysmith

VIDEO: Sea Shepherd releases footage after Pamela Anderson boards fish farm

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Cowichan Valley Arts Council is offering courses in drawing May through August 2021. (Submitted)
A&E column: Art is everywhere in the Cowichan Valley

What’s going in the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment community

The CVRD introduces new app to contact residents during emergencies, a tool that chairman Aaron Stone says will improve communications. (File photo)
CVRD launches new app to spread information during emergencies

Cowichan Alert is a free app that can be downloaded onto smartphones, computers

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

The Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors in July 2021. (Malahat SkyWalk photo)
Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors this July

Highly anticipated attraction will take guests 250m above sea level

FILE PHOTO
Editorial: Time to roll up our sleeves and pitch in

They’re just not quite sure they want to get a vaccine — yet

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Findings indicate a culture of racism, misogyny and bullying has gripped the game with 64 per cent of people involved saying players bully others outside of the rink. (Pixabay)
Misogyny, racism and bullying prevalent across Canadian youth hockey, survey finds

56% of youth hockey players and coaches say disrespect to women is a problem in Canada’s sport

Most Read