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Thursday, April 16, 2015

PETA is Partnering with a Notorious Arizona Sheriff to Reduce Prison Meat Consumption

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 4:00 PM

  • Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock

In perhaps the oddest nonprofit synergy since the not-especially-health-conscious 7-Eleven baked pink ribbon-shaped donuts for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is buddying up with 82-year-old Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to get the entire US prison system to serve meat-less meals to inmates.

Yes, that would be the same Joe Arpaio who only yesterday lost a racial profiling case that determined that his office disproportionately targets Latinos for traffic stops, the same Joe Arpaio who’s staunch support for the anti-immigrant SB1070 led San Francisco’s city government to boycott of the entire state of Arizona for a time, and the same Joe Arpaio who uses his cruel mistreatment of prisoners to demagogue his way to re-election again and again in law-and-order Phoenix.
This time, Arpaio is linking arms with none other than Pamela Anderson, because in 2013 the Maricopa County jail system went meat-free, making Arpaio a humanitarian in PETA’s eyes. As Think Progress observed, Arpaio’s commitment to animal welfare seems fairly minimal compared to his lust for depriving his inmates of daily necessities (and saving taxpayers money). Most individuals Arpaio’s office oversees are low-level offenders awaiting trial, or immigrants housed in an outdoor tent city, yet they’re expected to pay for their own meals while incarcerated.

Further, according to Think Progress, a Fox affiliate toured the factory that produces the inmates’ food, and found brown carrots and soy that looked like wood chips, something Arpaio dismissed as nothing more than harmless dirt. (Simpsons fans may remember Principal Skinner responding to Mrs. Krabappel’s accusation that she could “taste the newsprint” in the cafeteria lunch by saying it provided “essential inks.”)

Meanwhile, whatever savings the sheriff might have racked up through his campaign of unconstitutional deprivation will go to the $21.9 million payout in the racial profiling case. This is the man whom PETA is hailing as a hero in their quixotic campaign to reduce meat consumption.

So politics have made strange bedfellows once again. “America’s Toughest Sheriff” has also been known to force inmates to wear pink underwear, which does open up a potential partnership with the Komen Foundation down the line.

[Via Think Progress]
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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.

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