Vinay Menon: Pamela Anderson should do hard time for trying to turn jailbirds into vegans

This is the first time I’ve felt sympathy for the incarcerated: Pamela Anderson wants to turn Canada’s jailbirds into vegans.

A few hours before Halloween was all but rained out — what am I going to do with all this leftover candy? — the actress-turned-activist posted an open letter to Justin Trudeau via People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, of which she is an “honorary director.”

She congratulated him on his election win. She professed admiration for his work on women’s rights, which probably caused Jody Wilson-Raybould to do a spit take.

“Since my days on ‘Baywatch,’ I have focused much of my international advocacy work on animal protection and the environment,” wrote Anderson, shrewdly implanting a mental image in Trudeau’s brain of those days when she’d jiggle-sprint across a beach in the red swimsuit that turned her into a global sex symbol.

Then she got to the point: “I recently moved back to Canada, and I have a suggestion that would save Canadian taxpayers money and improve the health of tens of thousands of people: Please switch to serving nutritious vegan meals in correctional facilities.”

Put “save” and “Canadian taxpayers money” in the same sentence and I’m all ears.

The older I get, the higher my blood pressure spikes whenever I hear about waste. You ever dine with a bureaucrat? You get two glasses of wine into them — BOOZE THEY’RE PROBABLY EXPENSING BACK TO TAXPAYERS — and the tales they tell about this program or that proposed budget item or how x number of dollars went to y and then z happened — WHERE Z STANDS FOR NOTHING BLOODY HAPPENED — and I’m looking around for the server to get the bill before I flip the table upside down and start screaming at other diners.


On the other side, there are the taxpayer dollars that help make Canada as beautifully livable as it is. If my paycheque is gouged biweekly for health care or education or transportation or the environment, no questions asked.

If it’s for the greater good, take my money. I can make do.

And this is where Pamela Anderson has made a fatal error: felon happiness should be seen as an essential service. Not screwing with criminal diets is the greater good.

Think about all those stories you’ve read about prison riots. You notice how they always have something to do with food? There’s always a gloomy quote from a warden who says something like, “Well, we changed chicken breast suppliers, and then the inmates started throwing chairs and decapitating the guards.”

I’ve never spent a day in the slammer. But I am married with kids, so I know a thing or two about losing my freedom. Kidding! Maybe! All I’m saying is prison, beyond crime and punishment, has a secondary goal: rehabilitation. Ideally, we want our inmates to return to society as contributors instead of menaces. This happens way more than we’re told. Over the years, I’ve received so many handwritten letters from roughnecks who were either in prison or recently released from prison, and I’m always struck by the thoughtful self-reflection.

They were incubating inside a system helping them get better.

But if you’re doing, say, five-to-seven, mealtime is the one time you get some satisfaction. And if you’re already a carnivore prone to shocking violence, I can only imagine how you might react after learning Steak Sunday is hereby Spinach Sunday. Really, Pamela, serving carrots to an axe murderer won’t make all of us less safe in the future?

I’m happy to pay more in taxes to ensure that arsonist gets his cheeseburger.

And this idea that a vegan diet will nourish offenders is idiotic. Woman, if they cared about cholesterol or longevity they wouldn’t have committed those crimes. Force-feeding them sprouts will have no impact on their health. It will only make mealtime in the big house so utterly traumatic they will become even more dangerous upon release.

These PETA peeps are off their rockers. They’ve lost perspective. In the preamble to Anderson’s letter, there was this line: “The group opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview.”

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Specieism? I did a spit take. I’m sorry, did the otters come up with indoor plumbing? Did the chickens get to the moon? Do lemmings understand gravity? Do eagles know how to calculate pi or do CPR? Is there a LETH — Lions for the Ethical Treatment of Humans? You know what happens if a lion stumbles upon a human in the wild?

That lion eats that human, no questions asked.

Humans are supreme, PETA. Get over it.

I honestly love that Pamela Anderson is fighting to make the world a better place. In the ’90s, she seemed more inclined to fight for her right to party. Somewhere between the first Playboy cover and the leaked sex tape with Tommy Lee, if someone asked me to predict what she’d be doing in 2019, I would have said, “Ah, daytime orgies on yachts? Late night infomercials for push-up bras?”

But there’s a reason it’s called pork barrel spending and not lettuce barrel spending.

Her suggestion to Trudeau is dumber than a plot line on “Baywatch.”

If you’re going to force veganism on a Canadian group, pick one that might not bound and gag us before stealing our cars. Foist your dietary radicalism on the accountants or librarians. Deprive the clergy of meat.

But leave the hardened criminals out of this.

You know what’s crazy? If Trudeau were to embrace her suggestion — and he’s never met a celebrity cause he can refuse — I couldn’t even donate my leftover Halloween candy to the Toronto East Detention Centre. It’s made with animal products.

It would be deemed contraband.

Forcing a vegan lifestyle on inmates makes about as much sense as forcing college athletes to eat nothing but cotton candy. We want to rehabilitate these jailbirds, not make them hate the world even more. No, we should not be plying them with caviar and champagne. But “beans, rice, lentils, pasta and potatoes,” as Anderson suggested to Trudeau in her letter, is counterproductive to what is ultimately best for society.

Pamela Anderson should go to jail for suggesting something this stupid.

Vinay Menon


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