It has been two weeks since the jury found Eric guilty, and we are still trying to regroup and get ready for the next round. While this is going to be a long process - one which will require your help and support in a variety of ways - there is one thing that simply cannot be put off.
The jail is still denying Eric vegan food. After enduring a two-week hunger strike in March 2006, Eric was finally given vegan meals on April 24, 2006. This lasted for 15 full months. Then, without any warning or reasonable explanation, the jail cut off Eric's vegan meals one week before his trial began. Since that time, he has been surviving off the few options he can purchase from commissary (peanut butter, beans, chips... ) and the little food he can pull off of the meal trays they bring him (usually bread and fruit - sometimes oatmeal in the morning). Clearly, this is not enough to constitute a healthy, balanced diet. It is the jail's responsibility to provide Eric with the food he needs to remain healthy and strong. This is obviously something they are completely able to do, as they did so for 15 months with no problems.
Eric has been contemplating what courses of action are open to him in this matter, but unfortunately, his options have become even more limited. The suit that Eric filed against the jail to secure vegan meals was dismissed by the judge, greatly diminishing any hope he had for redress in the courts. A hunger strike could be extremely risky due to the bout of pericarditis for which he was taken to the hospital in April. It is unclear whether his heart could handle the strain a hunger strike would put on his body - he could quickly end up back in the hospital, potentially with a VERY serious heart condition.
Because Eric's options are so limited, in the jail and in the courts, he needs support from the outside more than ever. This seems to be the only hope for change. In the meantime, Eric continues to lose weight, and his health will soon begin deteriorating. Please call the jail immediately and request that Eric be given vegan meals... again. When you call, be prepared to sit through a lot of ringing and possibly transfers. The person who made the decision to cut off Eric's food before trial is Lt. Ilg, and the person who oversees him is Scott Jones. Feel free to request to speak to either of these people when calling the jail.
It's always helpful to have Eric's x-reference number handy when calling the jail, in case the person you are speaking with asks for it. Eric's x-ref is: x-2972521. You can call the jail at :
Below are some things you might suggest while talking to the jail:
1)The jail fed Eric vegan food for 15 months with no problems. There is no reason they cannot continue to do so.
2)The jail is responsible for providing Eric with a healthy diet. Eric has made it clear that he will not eat food that is not vegan. As such, they will be responsible for any health problems that Eric suffers due to his lack of nutrition.
3)The jail cannot claim they are unable to provide Eric with vegan food due to associated costs. This is simply false. The jail is paid thousands of dollars by the feds to house federal inmates (such as Eric). They are profiting from Eric's incarceration (and let's face it, vegan food is simply cheaper to begin with...)
In an affidavit filed with the court in March 2006, Eric wrote, "... my vegan beliefs and morality are animated by the way of living which shows a respect for all life, recognizing the rights of living creatures; extending to them the compassion and kindness exemplified toward people. It is a truly ethical relationship between humans and other living creatures. My vegan lifestyle is based upon my own health and my own ethical and moral underpinnings which I have arrived at conscientiously and I am firmly convinced it is the right and appropriate way to live. It is healthier for me and the planet I live on. It is as sincerely held to me as others hold their own religious beliefs." Throughout his time in the Sacramento County Main Jail, Eric has maintained his integrity and resolve to live his life in the most ethical and compassionate way possible. Let's do our part to support him and ensure that he does not suffer for doing so. Please call the jail and request that Eric be given vegan meals immediately. And then call again, and again, and again - until this simple demand is met.