This letter was sent to The Garden Island and to Nolan Espinda, Director of Department of Public Safety, Kauai Community Correctional Center.
Dear Mr. Espinda,
On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands across Hawaii, I’m writing to suggest that you serve only vegan meals to Forrest Broyles—the man who recently wielded a machete while making death threats against his former boss and vandalizing his home in order to get his share of fish they had caught together.
The actions that Mr. Broyles is being incarcerated for caused his former fishing accomplice to experience fear and trauma, but the actions that started this whole dispute — hooking terrified animals through the mouth, dragging them into an environment in which they cannot breathe, and killing them — did the same to other sentient beings.
Fishing is actually extremely violent, and the scientific evidence has become increasingly clear that fish are intelligent, emotional beings who feel pain and suffer. Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals often also become violent toward other humans. It seems fitting, therefore, to prevent Broyles from participating in further acts of violence while he’s in prison by serving him only cruelty-free vegan meals.
Vegan meals are healthy and easy to prepare, can be less expensive than meat-based dishes, and supply all the nutrients that anyone needs. Some prisons — including Alabama’s highest-security prison, William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility—have found that giving inmates vegetarian or vegan meals can be a successful part of a violence-reduction program.
Vegan eating would also improve his health, since vegans have a lower risk of suffering from heart disease, obesity, cancer, and diabetes than meat-eaters do—which could save taxpayers money by decreasing his health-care costs.
Although none of us can stop all violence, you have the power to prevent Broyles from contributing to more violence by placing him on a flesh-free diet. Vegan meals are also cost-efficient and easy to prepare.
In fact, a vegan meal plan could benefit all your inmates, and we’d be happy to help you with recipes and more, if you’d like to explore this idea.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Tracy Reiman is the Executive Vice President, PETA.