Incarcerated transgender woman Jennifer Jasmaine recently filed a lawsuit against a North Carolina prison for refusing to accommodate her vegan diet. In her handwritten lawsuit, Jasmaine explained that officials at the prison told her she would have to change her Wiccan religion to either Rastafarian or Buddhist to be able to obtain vegan meals. “The plaintiff, Ms. Jasmaine, shouldn’t have to change her religion to get on the proper diet,” Jasmaine stated in the lawsuit. Under current state policy, individual prisons must provide “reasonable religious menu accommodations” to any inmate who observes religious dietary laws/restrictions. In the lawsuit, Jasmaine alleges that the prison is not respecting her religious rights as a Wiccan—the practitioners of which she said have been “discriminated against and persecuted for hundreds of years without just cause.” Jasmaine demands a jury trial and $1 in damages from the prison’s chaplains. Similarly, Osman Evcan—a prisoner in Silivri Prison in Turkey—recently went on a hunger strike after jail officials purposely served the vegan inmate meat and rotten food in violation of a vegan food law that he helped establish in 2012.
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