Animal Law Review

First Page



Vegan prisoners face obstacles in accessing meals congruent with their beliefs, but it may be possible to assert the right to vegan meals while incarcerated via a number of constitutional and statutory provisions. Focusing specifically on the federal le­gal landscape, this Article acts as a road map to those options. First, this Article discusses the scope of relevant religious free exercise jurisprudence-and its utility for prisoners who are vegan for religious reasons. Second, this Article explores the extent to which an equal protection approach may provide vegan prisoners with a viable route to securing appropriate meals. Third, this Article discusses possible application of the Eighth Amendment's "cruel and unusual punishment" provi­sion to vegan prisoners who are denied the appropriate diet. Fourth, it gives an overview of the Prison Litigation Reform Act's impact on litigating these issues. The objectives are three­ fold: to summarize the relevant jurisprudence, to highlight new legal developments, and to suggest creative legal theories ad­dressing the needs of vegan prisoners. In doing so, the Article seeks to support lawyers confronting these issues and benefit vegan prisoners.

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