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

Energy consultant Michèle Deluca and city building inspector Sam Ellison are researching how to account for embodied carbon when calculating a new building’s carbon footprint. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Nelson researches climate impact of embodied carbon in new buildings

Embodied carbon is the footprint of the manufacture and transport of building materials

The Quartz Creek watershed is located in the area behind the small community of Ymir south of Nelson. Photo: Tyler Harper
Timber companies swap management of controversial Ymir watershed

Fruitvale’s ATCO Wood Products is now overseeing Quartz Creek

The trial of Harry Richardson began Monday at the Nelson courthouse. File photo
Trial of man accused of shooting RCMP officer near Argenta in 2019 begins

Harry Richardson is facing five charges in a Nelson courtroom

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Five big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19:

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform as she makes a phone call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver man calls 911 to report his own stabbing, leading to arrest: police

Officers located the suspect a few blocks away. He was holding a bloody knife.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vernon has agreed to a goose cull to control the over-populated invasive species making a muck of area parks and beaches. (Morning Star file photo)
Okanagan city pulls the trigger on goose cull

City asking neighbours to also help control over-population of geese

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
2 years after his riderless horse was found, police believe Merritt cowboy was killed

Two years after he went missing, Ben Tyner’s family makes video plea for information

A ground worker wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 unloads lobsters from a WestJet Airlines flight at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Trudeau teases stricter travel measures; Canadians flying to U.S. now need COVID test

Prime minister says measures need to not hurt imports and essential trade

Most Read