The Viva Vine: vol #6, no #3: May / June 1997

cluster of grapes

G . R . A . P . E . V . I . N . E



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Prison Diet: Vegetarian prisoner filing suit to guarantee veg option at every meal

In mid-March, I filed a complaint in federal court under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 and Title 42 §1983 of the Civil Rights Act stating that vegetarians who are such due to a deeply held religious belief in the sanctity of all life are discriminated against while the prison system accommodates the no-pork dietary requirements of Jews and members of the Nation of Islam. Recently, South Carolina's prison system settled a prisoner's lawsuit out of court on the same issue by placing a vegan/vegetarian diet line in all of its prisons. There is a good chance I will prevail in my lawsuit for a suitable diet after 18 years inside Tennessee prisons.

I am hopeful my pending lawsuit can help publicize the health aspects of a vegetarian diet as well as bring forth data about the barbaric treatment of animals in egg and meat factories and farms.

Harold H. Thompson #93992
Turney Center Industrial Prison
Only, Tennessee

Wanted: More vegetarian restaurant reviews

For a time in February and March, the restaurant correspondent for New York City's all-news TV channel, New York 1, seemed to be actively and almost exclusively promoting steak houses and other meat-based restaurants. On Febru- ary 21, a restaurant segment had Sharon Dizenhuz praising "Fred Flintstone-like rib portions." She said, "Any cow would be proud to wind up on a plate at this restaurant."

This was too much to take! I sent Dizenhuz a package of information about vegetarianism, which included VivaVegie's "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian" along with other informational literature, such as Satya magazine's list of vegetarian restaurants.

I figure that with scientific studies confirming the health benefits of a plant-based diet, it's irresponsible for NY1 to promote such unhealthy restaurant fare. Tobacco companies have been sued by consumers and health advocacy groups for selling and promoting products known to be dangerous to human health. Still, I have watched NY1 for years and have never seen a review of a vegetarian restaurant--even though New York City has dozens of fine examples. I believe we vegetarians should keep up the pressure. I ask your readers to please write to Dizenhuz and tell her that you would like to see NY1 review vegetarian restaurants, particularly given the recent federal dietary guidelines, which acknowledge vegetarian diets as healthy and viable. Dizenhuz receives correspondence at NY1 News, 460 W. 42nd St., New York, NY 10036. Or call 212-NY1-News.

Alix Fano
New York, New York

Come again?
Open plea via the Internet...

Jay writes: I'm only 17 and I'm trying to get started in A.I. [artificial insemination] school and I need a semen tank. I will pay shipping. Please keep the price down and as close to Alabama as possible. Thanks.

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