Sample Letters of Support

NO to prison goat dairy! 

March 9, 2018

Dear Mr. Goodale / Mr. Gerretsen,

I am deeply disappointed to learn that Corrections Canada will be establishing a goat dairy at the Joyceville prison farm. This is a narrow economically-motivated decision that flies in the face of public opinion, democratic process, and all available evidence concerning rehabilitative programming, ecological farming practices, and community health.

Through petitions and letters to public officials, Kingstonians and the broader community have eloquently advocated for plant-based farms without any form of animal exploitation. Plant-based farming is the obvious choice for reasons of ethics, sustainability, health, as well as skills training and community re-integration opportunities for prisoners. And sanctuary is the only option for rehabilitative human-animal relationships.

For a self-proclaimed gender-sensitive government, it is stunningly retrograde policy to institutionalize, inside a prison for men, the exploitation of female reproduction and sexuality in order to generate profit. Added to this is the deeply problematic linkage of the goat dairy to the multi-national infant formula producer Feihe, which will export over 80% of its product to China. The World Health Organization has identified China, where fewer than one in four mothers breastfeed their infants, as a key target for promoting breastfeeding. Once again, the interests of women and their children are being tossed under the bus by Canadian government policy.

Prisoner justice is also being sacrificed. Feihe, which is already benefiting from millions of dollars in Canadian corporate welfare, will now have access to prison labour too. These are not jobs that most prisoners want. In a recent survey Joyceville prisoners voted 70% in favour of plant-based agriculture and/or animal sanctuary over a goat dairy operation.

I wish to add my voice to the thousands of Canadians who have registered their opposition to involving prisoners in the inherently exploitative and harmful practices of dairy farming. I urge you to reconsider this decision while there is still time.


***

March 5, 2018

To Minister Ralph Goodale / MP Mark Gerretsen,

There are disturbing rumours that Kingston’s restored prison farms will adopt an animal agriculture model. A special interest group of cow and goat farmers have been pushing this, while thousands of Canadians have been speaking out in favour of a sustainable and humane vision of plant-based farming and animal sanctuary – a vision also endorsed by 70% of federal inmates in a recent survey.

The former dairy and chicken operations involved prisoners in harming and killing animals. Numerous experts have documented the psychological damage, traumatic stress, and criminogenic risk associated with this form of work. Dairy requires inmates to forcibly impregnate cows (thrusting an arm into a cow’s rectum, and an artificial insemination gun into her vagina), remove their calves, exploit their bodily fluids, and then slaughter, butcher and eat them.

This is not a “feel-good” story of bonding with animals. It is irresponsible and foolhardy to involve prisoners in these activities, and antithetical to the process of rehabilitation which should be based on learning to respect and value life.

The return of prison farms represents a unique opportunity to implement a progressive evidence-based approach to prison programming and community reintegration. Canadians will not stand by and watch this opportunity be hijacked by a vocal minority of dairy farmers with vested interests.

Please respond to this letter with your assurance that animals will not return to prison farms unless they are returning to sanctuary.

***

From: NM
Sent: March 21, 2017 9:09 AM
To: info@evolveourprisonfarms.ca
Cc: minister_ministre@agr.gc.ca; justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca; ralph.goodale@parl.gc.ca; Mark.Gerretsen@parl.gc.ca; elizabeth.may@parl.gc.ca; Matthew.Dube@parl.gc.ca; Erin.OToole@parl.gc.ca; jane.philpott@parl.gc.ca
Subject: The Evolve proposal for plant-based prison farms enhanced by Sanctuary.

YES!  I absolutely support the Kingston-based coalition of citizens united by concerns about animal agriculture's profound ethical, ecological, and health costs.
http://www.evolveourprisonfarms.ca

This is exactly what we should be doing for prison rehabilitation, any rehabilitation, any farm.
This IS a unique opportunity to transition from animal agriculture to a more responsible model based on ethical and environmentally sustainable plant-based farming. 

And applied more widely, THIS is the way to ensure we reach our urgent climate change goals, create good innovative jobs, improve our health and produce good food, clean our waterways, lower farm operating costs and chemical soil pollution, spare billions of innocent beings the cruelty and injustices callously inflicted on them, reduce the level of violence in the world, help feed the poor, connect with our true values and soothe aching souls. 

We need to get on-board with this because THIS is the future that should have been all along.
The planet needs this, people need this, and god knows the animals need this.

I tip my hat to the Kingston coalition of citizens for this comprehensive and thoughtful project and I ask our Ministers to do the math and see how this farming model will serve us all.

Regards,

NM
Montreal, QC

--
''L'arme la plus violente sur terre est la fourchette de table.''  Mahatma Ghandi.  
http://www.carnism.org/carnism

'The most violent weapon on earth is the table fork.'' Mahatma Ghandi.   http://www.carnism.org/carnism