Open letter to Minister Ralph Goodale and MP Mark Gerretsen

The following was released March 5, 2018:

People have been asking how they can help prevent animal agriculture from returning to Canada's prison farms. It's time to demand that our politicians respond to the many serious concerns we have raised. This is our last window of opportunity to speak up before a decision is announced.

Personalize and send the following letter to Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale ( / 613-991-2924) and Kingston MP Mark Gerretsen ( / 613-542-3243). Phone calls also also highly effective.

Remember, we stand for non-violence. Please speak with respect, kindness, and conviction.

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.