Pamela Anderson in Tent City!

By on May 2, 2015

Last month, Sheriff Joe Arpaio was noticeably thrilled at having the opportunity to personally welcome his most recent arrival toTent City – Pamela Anderson.  However, Ms. Anderson was not in Tent City due to any violation of the law.  Nor was she there to scout the jail facility for possible use in filming a sequel to her cinematic cult classic, ‘Barb Wire.’  Instead, the former Baywatch star, and current spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), visited Maricopa County Jail to get a firsthand look at Sheriff Arpaio’s new vegetarian program for the inmates.  Say what?  It seems that the toughest lawman in the land has gone vegetarian – “Say it ain’t so, Joe!” – and, in the process, decided that all the inmates at the county facility would be better off as well by not eating meat.  In fact, Arpaio touted the meatless and cost-effective meals served to inmates, by saying, “Those meals are both nutritious and well-balanced and lower in cost than you’ll find in any other jail anywhere.”  And by eliminating meat dishes, the Sheriff’s Office calculated the savings to county taxpayers to be over $200,000 per year, which includes the additional benefit of not having to tailor meals on the basis of religious convictions or dietary needs.  PETA’s senior vice-president, Dan Mathews, applauded Arpaio’s policy and called for jails and prisons nationwide to follow suit; “Sheriff Arpaio’s meat-free jail policy is as bold as his animal cruelty unit, and with a mega-size jail as an example, PETA will now be able to reach out to other jails and prisons across the country in calling for them to veganize their menus.”  Sheriff Joe agreed with Mathews by adding, “I am proud of our jail system, and am very gratified that our vegetarian meals are being recognized and lauded by PETA.  I don’t know why every other jail and prison wouldn’t want to copy what we’ve accomplished here.  It works on every level: financially for the tax-payer, health-wise for the inmate.”  And it also works to enhance Sheriff Joe’s nationally public stature.  That being said … What did Pamela Anderson think of her visit to the penal facility?  While the long-time vegan offered no comment on the conditions faced by the inmates, she wholly embraced their change to a vegetarian diet, saying, “I believe people can be rehabilitated from the inside out.  Jails are full of people wanting to change, to make amends, to learn healthier habits and understand compassion and empathy.”  Hmm, with a statement like that, you have to wonder which facility the lovely Ms. Anderson actually visited.  The Maricopa County Jail/Tent City that everyone else knows is not operated to inspire inmates to learn healthier eating habits.  And eliminating meat dishes from an already diminished menu hardly seems like something that will help the inmates understand compassion and empathy (though it is doubtful that anyone will actually miss the green bologna).   Nevertheless, this is being viewed as a forward-thinking initiative that can only be applauded as innovative; a dietary program serving nutritious meals to penal facility inmates … At Quest, the only thing we can add is that if going vegan is what it takes to get a lunch date with Pamela Anderson – then count us in.

By: Lucien “Lucky” Gunn

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