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Vegan Prisoners Support Group

NEWS - September 2009

15 YEARS OF CAMPAIGNING FOR AUGUST 2009: TWO MAIL


EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR VEGAN PRISONERS ORDER CATALOGUES NOW
FINALLY APPROVED BY THE
PRISON SERVICE
APRIL 1994: VPSG JUNE 1996: GUIDELINES VPSG have been highlighting
HIGHLIGHTS CONCERNS FOR VEGAN PRISONERS their concerns that vegans remain
TO PRISON SERVICE After two years of campaigning finally
disadvantaged in Prison Shops
since 1994. In August 2008 NOMS*
Shortly after VPSG was GUIDELINES FOR THE CARE OF
awarded a new national contract
t
established in 1994, a Repor VEGANS were installed in every
for the provision of retail services
was presented to the Pris on prison!
ns in public prisons in England and
Service highlighting concer
re wa s a lac k of Wales. The service included a new
that the
provisions in place for veg
an standard product list that extended
APRIL 2002 the range of products available for
prisoners.
A report was pres
ented to the
order by minority groups, including
er
The Report outlined, in ord Director of the Pr
ison Service vegan prisoners, to provide daily
opp ortu niti es’ highlighting area essentials such as shampoo,
to ensure ‘equal s where vegans
orit y gro up, acc ess remained disadva chocolate and a variety of snack
for this min ntaged –
le
to similar items freely availab assurances were
that vegans would items.
det aile d be provided with
to other prisoners and equal opportunit
on the ir die tary in all areas of their ies
information care by end In August 2009 this was further
requirements was required. August 2002. Th
e Head of Caterin enhanced by the mobilisation of
Alan Tuckwood, g,
was the first to ta a new mail order service offering
VPSG’s recomm ke
VPSG identified that endations on boar access to two new companies
d
vegan prisoners were also and the PSO500
0* was revised. supplying a range of health
ps.
disadvantaged in prison sho *Prison Service Order
s suc h as nut s, supplements including nuts and
Vegan mainstay
sui tab le pro tein seeds and toiletries that are
seeds, and
items as well as hygiene/b
ody suitable for all prisoners, including
care products nee ded to be FEBRUARY 2003 vegans.
available. Alan Tuckwood assisted with
first
the compilation of VPSG’s However, this doesn’t mean it’s all
re MA TIO N
Research showed there we CATERING INF OR plain sailing from now on as it is
over 114 protein item s, 118 PACK [CIP] which was still a local prison decision whether
confectionary/biscuit items distributed to every prison. to include standard products on
l
confectionery items and 120 The CIP contained Nutritiona local order forms, or to add these
but er use ful
body care/beauty products, Guideline s and oth
companies to their local listing.
not one of the m sui tab le for information for use in prison The VPSG team still have their
diet.
vegans. kitchens on this specialist work cut out contacting individual
prisons to outline the importance of
vegan prisoners having access to
MAY 2004 both these mail order catalogues
P/O Stuart Head was presented to ensure that they can order their
with
the Butler Trust Award for his body care, hygiene requirements
input
MARCH 1995: into improving catering for veg
ans, and also make healthy purchases
RESEARCH/STUDY including his ideas for produc
ing the of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, herbal
Prison News Sheet and the Cat
COMMENCED Information Pack.
ering tea bags and supplements.
The VPSG began collating
In the meantime, VPSG are
information from vegan prisone
rs continuing to work with NOMS*
to ensure the recommendatio
ns and the retail provider to secure
presented to the Prison Service
were accurate. The research DECEMBER 2004 s
further improvements to the
selection of products and cost of
showed there continued to be onal hygiene wa
a The issue of pers ry delivery. Efforts also need to be
shortage of information on the and Mr. Ga
vegan finally addressed
diet and a lack of vegan produc ra l Pu rc hasing Unit/ concentrated on vegan prisoners’
ts in Pyne, Cent
prison shops. d basic prison access to suitable footwear.
Prison HQ source
ita ble for vegans.
issue toiletries su *National Offender Management Service

VPSG, BM Box 2107, London WC1N 3XX. Tel: 020 8292 8325 Websites: www.vpsg.org and www.vpsg.info Email: info@vpsg.org
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GUIDELINES INSTALLED IN ALL PRISONS IN 1996 NOVEMBER 2004
VPSG were invited to take a stand at
PRISON SERVICE GUIDELINES ON THE CARE OF VEGANS the Prison Service National Catering
Workshop. The interest by Catering
BASIC BELIEFS foods. Managers was overwhelming.
1.1 Veganism is not a religion but Fortified Yeast extract is a good source
a philosophy whereby the use of of some of the B-vitamins, including
an animal for food, clothing or any vitamin B12 as is fortified Soya milk.
other purpose is regarded as wholly
unacceptable. PURCHASE OF SUPPLEMENTS AND APRIL 2006
1.2 The majority of Vegans reject REMEDIES The Vegan Prisoners Support Group
entirely, anything which has its origins 3.1 Herbal remedies, dietary, or food and Vegan Society were again invited
in the exploitation, suffering or death of supplements of a vegetable or synthetic by Alan Tuckwood to the National
any creature. An individual may lead a origin such as Iodine (Kelp tablets) may Catering Conference for prisons in
Vegan lifestyle for one particular reason be requested through the prison shop. the public sector at Heathrow with
or for a combination of reasons, and Catering Managers eager to chat with
this may result in some Vegans being DRESS our team.
stricter than others in what they deem 4.1 Clothing and footwear must be
as acceptable and unacceptable. from non-animal (eg plant or synthetic) It was a busy day and attracted even
Vegan beliefs are followed by sources. The wearing of all animal more interest than our stall at the
individuals within various faiths, to fibres, skins and materials including previous Conference in 2004.
varying degrees, and by individuals of wool, silk, leather and suede will not be
no faith. accepted by Vegan prisoners.
1.3 Most Vegans will not involve
themselves directly, or indirectly, in
anything whereby their lifestyle and
TOILETRIES
5.1 Toiletries containing any animal
GUIDE FOR VEGAN
beliefs are compromised or violated, derived ingredients and toiletries where PRISONERS
either for themselves or for others. either the product or its ingredients The information included in VPSG’s
Throughout their lives, Vegans will have been tested on animals are totally new ‘Guide for Vegan Prisoners’
seek to sever all links with, and unacceptable and are not permitted. provides prisoners with the relevant
dependencies upon, the use or abuse Therefore, whenever toiletries suitable rules/regulations useful in prison.
of animals. for Vegans are required,
establishments should make Our handy ‘Catering Information
DIET arrangements for such items to be Booklet’ and ‘Cooking Behind Bars’
2.1 A Vegan diet is based on fruits, stocked in the prison canteen or will shortly join the information
vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, pulses ordered in as necessary. provided to prison kitchens and
and cereals. The diet omits all animal 5.2 Vegans should not be expected to which will also be issued to vegan
products including meat, poultry, fish, use inappropriate toiletries. prisoners upon request.
sea creatures, invertebrates, eggs, 5.3 Vegans should not be asked to
animal milks, honey and royal jelly. handle or use substances that have
Vegans should not be required to involved animal testing on the product
handle such foodstuffs. or its ingredients.
Food/drink containing or made with any
of the above or their derivatives should WORK Issued to all
not be served. 6.1 Most Vegan prisoners will not wish prisoners
The Vegan Society can provide helpful to be involved in any way in the care June 2009
information on a range of issues of animals on prison farms. Vegans
including how nutrients are obtained usually choose not to engage in any
from a Vegan diet. sport, hobby, or trade that directly
2.2 Human nutrient requirements, or indirectly, causes stress, distress,
with the exception of B12 can be met suffering, or death to any creature.
by a diet composed entirely of plant 6.2 Vegans should not be expected to
foods, but to do so it must be carefully work in butchery or handle anything of
planned using a wide selection of animal origin or content.
Updated
September
2009
MAY 2003 DECEMBER 2005:
VPSG issued the first Prison VPSG/VEGAN SOCIETY
News Sheet – available for PRESENT FIRST AWARDS
viewing on www.vpsg.info - news It was decided to jointly present awa
sheets should keep Catering rds
to the top prisons who were ensurin
Managers up-to-date with the g
the vegan diet was not only nutrition
latest nutritional information on ally
sound, but interesting and varied. Planned for
veganism. The Frequently Asked
Questions section proved popular. issue October
Participation in the scheme created 2009
This section invited questions a
lot of interest from Catering Manage
from Catering Managers on those rs.
Yearly awards were planned.
specialist issues on which they
needed clarification.
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EXTRACTS FROM OUR CATERING INFORMATION PACK IN PLACE IN ALL PRISONS
NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR A VEGAN DIET IMPORTANCE OF NUTS/
Food Group Daily amount1 What It Provides Suggestions
SEEDS IN THE VEGAN DIET
Nuts and seeds offer an
Vegetables 2+, 100g [4 oz] vitamins, minerals, broccoli, kale, spring greens, abundance of nutritional benefits
protein, fibre cabbage, spinach, carrots,
peppers, tomatoes, pumpkin
and are an important part of
a healthy vegan diet when
Fruit 3+, large pieces2 vitamins, minerals, fibre, include some citrus fruit
vitamin C to help absorb combined with grains and
iron vegetables. They are a good
Nuts 1-2, 25g [1 oz] protein, oils, minerals, almonds, walnuts, cashews, source of vitamins, minerals,
fibre hazelnuts, peanuts, nut butters protein, essential fatty acids and
Oils as required for energy, oils unhydrogenated rapeseed oil fibre.
cooking The daily requirement is 1-2
Wholegrains and 2+, 100g [4oz] energy, protein, vitamins, pasta, oats, bread, rice, corn, servings. A recommended serving
root vegetables fibre millet, buckwheat, barley, bulgur would be 1oz (30g). Walnuts
wheat, potatoes, sweet potatoes,
supply copper and manganese
yam, parsnips
and are full of linolenic acid, which
Pulses 1+, 100g [4 oz] energy, protein, peas, lentils, chickpeas, baked
minerals, fibre beans, kidney beans, soya
can be converted to omega-3 fatty
products acids in the body. Providing just 6
walnut halves a day will provide
As a general guide food from the above groups should be eaten every day to provide a solid daily requirements of omega 3.
foundation for a vegan diet. Increased servings may be needed according to energy requirements. Any
ALMONDS
margarine used should be non-hydrogenated. Rapeseed oil is preferred to sunflower, safflower, soy or
sesame oil as it provides a better balance of types of fat, including omega-3 fats. High in riboflavin, copper,
magnesium and vitamin E. They
Key Nutrient Daily amount1 Suggestions also contain zinc and are a rich
Calcium 700 - 1200 mg An adequate intake of calcium can be assured by 3½ litres per source of calcium.
week of fortified soya milk [containing at least 120mg/100ml] or HAZELNUTS
an equivalent amount of other calcium rich foods: tofu prepared Good source of B vitamins,
with calcium sulphate (see label for calcium content); green leafy calcium, magnesium, potassium
vegetables, such as kale or spring greens (about 150 mg per 100g),
and vit E.
or a vegan calcium supplement. Note that calcium from spinach is
poorly absorbed. CASHEWS
Vitamin B12 3 micrograms+ Fortified foods or supplements. E.g., 25g per week of a yeast
Can be used raw or toasted and
extract fortified with 50 mcg of B12 per 100g or 600ml per day of are a good source of copper and
soya milk fortified with o.5 micrograms B12 per 100ml or a daily B12 magnesium.
tablet containing at least 3 micrograms B12. BRAZILS
Good source of selenium; one per
Iodine 150 to 500 Iodine is important for good metabolism and thyroid function. Ideal day will fulfil the daily requirement
micrograms intakes for adults lie between 150 and 500 micrograms a day. While of selenium.
this can be achieved by careful use of seaweed it may be more
convenient and reliable to use a supplement
PEANUTS
Although peanuts are not a nut
Stephen Walsh PhD., Chair of the Vegan Society and Spokesperson on Diet and Health. but a legume, they are a good
Updated March 2006 protein source and also contain
vit E, folate, fibre, protein, copper,
1
Daily amounts are given as number of servings followed by serving size, for cooked foods serving sizes are phosphorous and magnesium.
given as cooked weights.
Peanut butter is a nutritious and
2
Each piece of fruit should be around 100g, e.g. one orange, banana or apple. For smaller fruits a serving versatile form.
should be sufficient pieces to make up 100g, e.g. 2 nectarine oranges or about thirty grapes.
PUMPKIN SEEDS
Can be used in salad and stir-fry
and are an excellent source of
iron and zinc.
FRUIT AND VEGETABLES THE CATERING SUNFLOWER SEEDS
5-A-DAY INFORMATION PACK Can be used in salad, stir-fry,
burgers and nut roast. They are
THE CATERING INFORMA
Two to three pieces of fruit can TION PACK the richest seed source of vitamin
contains comprehensive info
form part of the 5-a-day, but if only rmation on E and an excellent source of
what the vegan diet compris
two are provided then the other es of to be copper and magnesium.
healthy, such as basic dietary
three portions should be provided nutritional charts etc. The
guidelines, SESAME SEEDS
by vegetables. This includes provides answers to those
pack also Can be used in sweet and
vegetables which have been Frequently Asked Question
most savoury dishes and are nice in
incorporated into dishes, as well as provided in the vegan diet”
s “how is B12 stir-fry. They are a good source
side portions. “how much of zinc, magnesium and calcium.
calcium is required daily” “is
membership Tahini or sesame butter is a useful
Three heaped tablespoons of of the Vegan Society needed
before form.
chickpeas, kidney beans or lentils vegan supplements are issu
ed”. FLAXSEEDS (LINSEEDS)
can also be counted as no more The information included rec
ommends This highly nutritious seed is
than one portion per day. nothing more – nothing les
s than other best known for the high levels
Potatoes do not count since they prisoners are provided with
in their prison of omega 3 that it contains. Also
are a starchy food. diet.
a good source of magnesium,
phosphorus and copper.
3
IMPORTANCE OF YOUR On Saturday 4th July I cycled 10 times
CONTINUED SUPPORT (approx 15 miles) around Brockwell Park
in South London, to raise funds for VPSG.
VPSG would like to thank all those The bike I had borrowed from a friend
supporters who have funded our wasn`t in the best condition, but at least
work over the years. Without each it was stuck on a high gear which proved
and every one of you we would not useful as the park has a steep hill. Neither
have been able to campaign for the was the saddle something to be desired,
rights of vegan prisoners. We hope but in the face of adversity, I managed
you will help us to finish the job by to complete the course in just over two
your continued support. hours and only dismounted once. When
I finished I laid down on the grass which
Being part of the was very welcome.
VPSG-team requires Thanks to everyone who sponsored me Robin’s
Robin’s Cycle
Cycle Raised
Raised £1,256.95
£1,256.95
a multi-faceted and for supporting the VPSG`s invaluable
approach to the work on behalf of vegan prisoners.
various tasks one Robin Lane.
encounters with the
care of prisoners. the information visually attractive to how vegans are treated thanks to the
On a personal level I persuade people to read it. hard work of the VPSG team.
analyse the diet sheets You know that in human history changes
which prisoners forward to us and make have not been achieved from one day VPSG Caseworkers now help prisoners
the necessary recommendations if to another, and all attempts to ‘change with day to day problems, especially
there is cause for concern, or if the diet the system’ take a lot of effort. Our when they first arrive within the prison
is not adequate for vegan prisoners. main objective is to reform the Prison system or move to a new prison.
This may entail a phone call to the System and to help prisoners in their
kitchen manager at any given prison or ethical principles. Your financial support Some of the tasks Caseworkers often
advising a prisoner to arrange a meeting ensures we remain in existence to need to tackle, is explaining to a prison
with kitchen staff. Although prisons make sure prisoners are provided with a why a vegan is unable to work as a
have been provided with guidelines in nutritional vegan diet and lifestyle. cleaner, as general cleaning products
respect of dietary needs,appropriate Lidia are currently not vegan. Or outlining
toiletries,clothing and footwear for
ethical vegans, mistakes do occur and the many jobs they are able to accept
On looking back without compromising their vegan
this is where VPSG steps in to rectify the over the past 15
situation. believes. Our asistance is often sought
years, I have been when a vegan prisoner is offered a job
As a Caseworker i also often assist wondering if all the
with the provision of suitable healthcare in the kitchen or gardens, but requires
hard work and long steel capped boots to comply with
products and clothing.
hours to facilitate health and safety rules.
Whenever the need arises, the family of
the current changes
the relevant prisoner will be informed if
now in place in prisons The work at the VPSG is varied to say
particular issues need to be addressed
was worth it or not? To be frank if I the least and all the VPSG team have
and kept up to date with any progress
had known that the wheels of change to be flexible and have a good working
made.
Last but not least, I endeavour to visit would take so long, I am not too sure if knowledge of prison rules/regulations
various prisoners whenever I can, I would have ventured down this same and be able to multi-task, so I would
apart from the obvious benefits this path, BUT one thing I am certain about like to take this opportunity of thanking
social interaction may bring, it gives is that FINALLY equal opportunities my team for that flexibility and all their
me an opportunity to discuss prisoner’s are so close VPSG definitely needs hard work.
personal concerns face to face and to continue to finish the job I started in Jo-Ann
hopefully lighten their burden somewhat! 1994!
Hella
I remember when I first began
researching the care of vegans in URGENT APPEAL FOR
It is now 15 years
since Jo-Ann decided
prison, I found out the vegan diet was PRISONERS’ ANIMALS
not as nutritionally sound as it should We mustn’t forget prisoners’ animals
to campaign for
be and it was usually soya burgers with who are also affected when they
equal opportunities
everything! My biggest surprise was to suddenly lose their guardian.
for vegan prisoners;
and joining the VPSG discover there wasn’t even access to It is important for prisoners to
was the best decision I vegan soap and toothpaste. I wondered know that their animals are looked
have ever taken. how prisoners were expected to after while they are serving their
I design newsletters and leaflets for perform their daily hygiene? I then sentences. So let’s all try to help
supporters, prisoners and prisons. thought, what a mammoth task I was out on this one by contributing to a
I designed the newsletter you are facing. Special Prisoner Appeal to help with
reading now; I’m currently working on a those vet and foster care bills that
‘Catering Information Booklet’; ‘Vegan Before the installation of the Guidelines need paying. This would be one less
Cooking Behind Bars’ and a news-sheet vegan prisoners were even severely thing for them to worry about.
for Governors, Catering Managers reprimanded if they refused to wear All cheques ahould be made payable
and Prison Shops. It is very rewarding non-vegan shoes. Fortunately, as usual to VPSG, but write SPA on
and my main challenge is to make nowadays there is a huge difference to the back of the cheque.
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