State Senator From East Bay Wants Plant-Based Meal Options For Prison Inmates

April 26, 2018 10:00 am · 49 comments

State Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, has introduced legislation ensuring that Californians confined to prisons and hospitals who prefer not to eat meat have access to plant-based meals.

Senate Bill 1138, if passed, would require that prisons, hospitals and nursing homes have at least one plant-based meal option available – although they would not be required to develop extensive new menus.

“Whether at school, work or elsewhere, most of us can satisfy our food preferences by bringing a meal from home or preparing one on site; but that choice is rarely available for people in a prison, hospital or nursing home,” Skinner said in a statement issued this week.

Increasing the availability of vegetable-based dietary options would also help the state meet water conservation goals, as tofu and foods like pasta require less water to produce than meat.

“Offering plant based meal options is a great way to give people healthy choices and reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions,” Skinner said. “But most importantly, I want to make sure we’re being fair and giving those in institutional settings food options that meet their individual needs.”

Yves harlowe April 26, 2018 at 10:03 AM

Really? Prisons? Why should felons get to pick what they want to eat?

Sign from Above April 26, 2018 at 10:04 AM

Another incredible example of wasted time in Sacramento. Really? Can she not think of something a little more important to spend her time on? What do you expect from a representative from Berkeley!

Oracle April 26, 2018 at 1:44 PM


cocnord ygnacio April 26, 2018 at 10:09 AM

Awaiting the conservatives on this thread to flip out on what is a very reasonable request. Prisoners still retain the human right to be a vegan or vegetarian and eat organic food.

Venice April 26, 2018 at 12:24 PM

Prisoners surrendered their rights when they CHOSE the criminal life.

4Rollo Tomasi April 26, 2018 at 1:12 PM

Prisoners are free to pass on whatever non-plant options are plopped on their tray.

Kentucky Derby April 26, 2018 at 10:10 AM

Hospitals – yes. Prisons – they get what they get. If they don’t like it, quit committing crimes.

Gitittogether April 26, 2018 at 11:06 AM


Star Lord April 26, 2018 at 10:15 AM

People in prison should not have a choice. Eat what they give you or starve.

Ricardoh April 26, 2018 at 10:20 AM

Reading the headline I thought she meant no longer serving meat in prison. I should have known better. How about if we give them all menus so they can choose the Blue plate special if that’s what they want. They are in prison because they are worthless. Feed them porridge, sounds good to me

Just a Person April 26, 2018 at 10:36 AM

Give me a Break!

Brehbrah April 26, 2018 at 10:50 AM

Give me a break…

Really? April 26, 2018 at 10:53 AM


Of all the problems this state is facing this is what our law makers are working on?

Our state is run by idiots…

Ricardo April 26, 2018 at 10:58 AM

I rather like the idea that none of them get meat. Let them eat eggplant and lettuce. Lower the price of meat for the rest of us carnivores.

Kirkwood April 26, 2018 at 11:04 AM

Re: Skinner’s quote, needs yes, desires no.

walnut creek oldtimer April 26, 2018 at 11:15 AM

Prisoners should grow their own food, and sew their own jumpsuits. Put them to work to earn their keep. They should learn to be productive.

Kirkwood April 26, 2018 at 11:24 AM

I agree. Do they still make license plates?

Original G April 26, 2018 at 3:30 PM

In 1970s and 1980s jail east of Clayton grew enough vegetables to supply there, Richmond and Martinez jails. Also raised their own beef.

OHnO April 26, 2018 at 11:28 AM

I was waiting for this to happen. We already pay for their medical services, housing, etc. Why not give them an extensive menu? Room service? Make it organic while your at it. LOL. They shouldn’t be fed meat at all anyway..

Dorothy April 26, 2018 at 11:37 AM

On the other hand, making prisoners eat veggies could be one way to keep many of them from doing anything to keep from going back again.

America April 26, 2018 at 11:40 AM

Hospitals already do. This is BS! She is so full of it! Just another bleeding heart for criminals. This is what our senators are working on ? Really?

RSD April 26, 2018 at 11:42 AM

Really? We don’t have more important issues to worry about than prisoners rights? How about working on the crime issue and protecting innocent hard working tax payers?

Simonpure April 26, 2018 at 11:46 AM

And no more last meals either. Die hungry.

Playcord April 26, 2018 at 12:07 PM

Easy solution. They want greens, give them the greens that are left over at restaurants. Problem solved.

woody April 26, 2018 at 12:10 PM

Fine, let them grow it.

Nature Lover April 26, 2018 at 12:53 PM

Another example of why we only need a part-time Legislature. Those people have too much time on their hands. She had to really stretch to come up with that crazy idea.

PO'd April 26, 2018 at 1:01 PM

I’m surprised that she didn’t demand the veggies have to include kale on every plate. A perfect example of how the left thinks- make victims out of prisoners
and then offer a politically correct solution to a problem that really doesn’t exist. She’ll be revered by her constituents.
Classic. Serve them gruel.

Cautiously Informed April 26, 2018 at 1:17 PM

Another of the many examples of the liberal democrat government that cares, supports, coddles and provides for criminals and the criminal element. In the meantime, the states roads, schools, infrastructure …… and so on.. crumbles and deteriorates away.

Taggit April 26, 2018 at 1:38 PM

I see this as an opportunity to teach the inmates to garden and grow their own vegetables to eat. Seems like a win-win.

Oracle April 26, 2018 at 1:42 PM

You can’t be serious, but since this is California I guess it is. If they don’t like the food then don’t eat it/don’t commit crimes! Agree that the person that came up with this has too much time on her hands. This is pretty bad.

As for hospitals etc I agree.

FromClayton April 26, 2018 at 1:45 PM

I’m going to make the assumption that the commentors that are sticking up for this have either been in jail and or know people in jail. Otherwise make em eat dog food for all I care.

Cowellian April 26, 2018 at 1:47 PM

That’s fine by me. Create a nutritionally complete food product that contains protein, fiber, and vitamins, as well as being vegan, halal, and kosher certified, form it into patties, and serve it to all the prisoners every day. It will save money by not containing meat, and will allow the prisoners a chance to feel like they’re helping the planet. It’s a win-win situation.

mombearto4 April 28, 2018 at 12:50 AM

Bean burgers! They are cheap and easy to make.

Fred P. April 26, 2018 at 2:08 PM

Bologna sandwiches made with tofu.

There ya go…. Problem solved.

biggus thinkus April 26, 2018 at 2:56 PM

soylent green! let them eat kale!

The Mamba April 26, 2018 at 2:56 PM

I guess all the other problems have been solved everybody!

Reality says... April 26, 2018 at 3:35 PM

I’ll add more fuel to this fire…

My son is active military (3 years) and has been a vegetarian for 15 years. In the military there is no vegetarian option unless you don’t eat meat for religious reasons. He’s been to 4 bases across the US and is told tuff sh&t every time he asks for veggie option. So he basically trades his meat portions with the other soldiers for their veggies or starch. Aside from him also having to purchase some of his own military gear (because its on back order or the quality is so poor you wouldn’t send your enemy to battle with it) now I read this bulls&t.

I’ll be sending Nancy a note on this – but I’m sure I’ll ge the standard form letter with the “that’s a military issue” response like I did when I learned our soldiers are sleeping in barracks with mold on the walls and mattresses. Can you imagine if the jails had a mold problem?

People should be disgusted with how poorly we treat our men and women in the military (Army). People in prison and jail have better living conditions then our soldiers.

Elisa April 27, 2018 at 7:59 AM

That is horrible! Makes me so angry.

Clayton Squirrel April 26, 2018 at 4:14 PM

This sounds like a win-win. Meat is expensive so why not have a vegetarian option mandated. It saves money and allows for choice. Working at growing your own food is also an excellent idea. Anything that changes the mindset into seeing rewards for honest labor. People seem to forget that most prisoners will be back in society so the more skills they have the better.

TIFOKCIS April 26, 2018 at 4:43 PM

You’re in prison eating better than the people paying your room and board.

Another D expanding their insanity.

WC April 26, 2018 at 5:49 PM

Make them eat hospital food.

Poor Richard April 26, 2018 at 6:31 PM

Make meatless meals mandatory. Prisoners will consider it additional punishment, not saving the planet, but it will eliminate the halal demand problem.
I believe prisons normally purchase “Utility Grade” meat, which is below USDA prime, Choice, and Select grades, which are sold in grocery stores.
(I visited all the County prisons while serving on the County Civil Grand Jury.)

Reality April 26, 2018 at 7:26 PM

Uimmmm, there are no County Prisons

mombearto4 April 28, 2018 at 12:52 AM

No prisons, but several jail facilities in East, West, and Central County.

Silva April 26, 2018 at 6:46 PM

Are there other special meals in prison; Kosher, low sodium, Hindi, lacto-ovo, etc., etc.? If not, this will open up pathways to fat lawsuits. She could be on to something though. Maybe if they converted all the meals to plant based, no one would even notice their ”meat” was missing. They would save money, contribute to a healthier planet, and done right, It could be a lot more edible. If done wrong, it might be a better deterrent to recidivism.

Owsley Stanley April 26, 2018 at 7:10 PM

Humans are ment to eat Meat…All veggies are Poison!

Frank Barker April 27, 2018 at 8:11 AM

Let the prisoners grow there own vegetables and fruits in there own prisons Problem solved right there!!!!!!

Former con April 27, 2018 at 8:20 AM

If I remember correctly, you can actually already request special diet meals. Also most of the guys dont eat from the kitchen they eat what they buy from the commissary. I wish I could vote…

D.V. Guy April 27, 2018 at 8:25 AM

Make all inmates eat a Vegan diet, no meat at all….no choice….no meat….

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